For those who missed this Chinese post series, Please begin with Chinese Copy Cats 1 before reading this post for it to make sense. He did his verse on 1 John 4:19 ‘We love, because He first loved us.’ All these within 6 days of the 5mins-20mins sessions. I mentioned the time frame to help you see realistically how writing a sentence was done when I am consistent in my teaching. My boys do copywork daily, but Chinese writing will be about twice a week for A, while daily for J. Each child is different and we need to bear in mind that one may take even shorter time or longer time to do this. I’ve noticed that being physically fitter and being a kinesthetic learner, J required a much shorter time to learn and got the hang of writing easily. Erm, my hubby also remarked that J did a much better job than his mum, aka me. hee. Which I admit, my handwriting is really poor and mostly illegible. Hmph, so am also learning to write more legibly. ; p
My eldest has since progressed in his attention span and is able to write a few words to a sentence at a time within a 20-40mins session. As my Eldest got the hang of learning the Character Strokes, we skipped the erasable board and jumped into actual writing. The goal is to stretch their attention span and writing tenacity. As we know Primary school is no longer the same. Having trained them now to grow in their writing process, means equipping them to be more ‘enabled’ in their future work. I know there are other schools of thought on how stressful it is in Primary school, and kids should enjoy childhood now without the ‘stress’ of early copyworks.
I beg to differ. Simply because at this young age, they’re learning all these at lightning speed (with really little effort in absorbing) and training them now would instill a good foundation with habits of good discipline and learning. By the time the child enters into Primary level, it will be more difficult in fact, unfair for the child who is not trained for the work in Primary school. If my kids can’t even take One Hour of lessons at home, how is he going to last for 6hrs of school in Primary One? It is only fair that I prepare them for the long hours by training them now. By that, I don’t mean worksheets and drills of the ‘to know’ practices. I am also not advocating studying the syllabus of P1 now which will only make them bored when they enter P1. On the other hand, I don’t even want to open the can of worms of our Kiasuism culture….. For those who are already enriching their kids’ lives sufficiently, I can only say my amount of preparation here is pretty insignificant? So please bear with my thoughts.
What I am proposing is to train them in the good habits of self discipline and eventual independent learning in the long haul. I trust that when they’re equipped to learn in a meaningful context, they can grow to be more responsible and resilient in their future school work or learning for any matter. Also, by now, if you’ve been following my blog, I encourage PLAY. So, my child is not in danger of being deprived or even stressed. Copy work would be best done early before Primary One. I started my eldest near 5yo, and my second one who is 3mths away from 5yo. Not because i think they couldn’t handle. It’s more of I couldn’t handle. It takes a lot of discipline myself to be consistent with copywork. I started them with English copywork prior to this. Afterwhich I finally dived in and picked up on Chinese with them. A lot of times I realised it’s not the kids who can’t handle the pressure. It’s me. Until I was ready to put in the hard and heart work will they benefit from the training.
Phew, thank you for bearing with my train of thoughts! The below is the first piece of Chinese Copy Work done by J.
The below is an example of my print outs from the website I recommended. I got the clear pockets from Daiso. This visual aid helps in J’s review. To view how to print out, please view Chinese Copy Cat 2.
What really made me beam with pride was when J actually went to retrieve my hand written words and laboured through the correct sequence of strokes to write a letter to his dad. It is the heart and willingness to apply what he has learnt that filled me with such sweet joy. He could’ve just asked me to demonstrate or just write in English which is by far simpler. Yet he chose to write in Chinese 我爱( I love) and asked me how to write 爸爸 (papa) and 你 (you). My eldest then offered to help him by showing the first word. And I helped a bit with 你.
You would notice that 爸爸 is not very accurate. Amos had demonstrated the first one while J attempted the one on the right. And yes, mummy was too excited to observe the mistake that is until now. ; p
At the end of the day, if my children can continue in this teachable spirit, having a thirst to learn and grow, it would surpass the joy of them being just puffed up with knowledge and performing well in school. Above all, I pray they would love God and men.
‘If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that i could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing.’
I Corinthians 13:2