Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A father's chronicle (I like magazines with ALL-CAPITAL letters)

These 2 weeks, I have been searching at the bottom of my coffee table. For magazines. Not just any magazine. I am looking for magazine with huge prints. Best if it contains lots of capital letters.

Yes, I am teaching Gracia how to recognise alphabet. Her learning approach is a slight twist from her brother's. She is not just visual / graphical. She has a "hook" on shapes actually. So, letters are of different shapes. And that's her starting point.

Dad: This is "A". Say "A"...
Gracia: "A"....
Dad: Now, where can you find more "A"s... can you circle for me?
Gracia: Over here! ....
(circles it up)
Dad: Good! How about here?....

This "Find-The-Alphabet" game is fun. I like it. We circle all those "A"s. Then we moved to "B" and .... it is a very slow process. She is getting it. And we are not going to stop anytime soon.

Reading. To me it is a tool. A key. A key to a world of discovery. And as a Christian - the needed skill for her to read the Bible on her own and understand it. Reading is not just eye-ing of characters. It provokes emotions. It enlightens us. It moves us to action. Reading requires thinking, understanding, ... though I must admit at times - an unfair situation. Why "unfair"? Because I voluntarily enter into a monologue. The authors speaks constantly to me. I have a private exchange with him - which he cannot respond! Now that's unfair!

Theophilus has good reading habit and skill. His ability to comprehend what he reads is amazing. And, sometimes, we shape him through the choice of books. We have many books at home. I am a great fan of books. Some parents feel it is a waste of money (or at least feel but don't voice it out the way I am writing now). I don't see it a waste of money. A good book can bring us far. It is a constant enjoyment. Better than watching television or a movie. I get to color the places. I get to imagine how the wind howl. I fly through thick clouds and sit in the eye of a storm.

When I was younger in Secondary school, I have had an interesting situation. I was the only fellow in the class of 40 who broke out in laughter while the teacher was reading out "Things Fall Apart". My literature teacher, of course, asked me what's the joke. Sure, an explain "joke" is not as laughable when explained. Nevertheless, I did explain what was so funny in that section of the story - which my teacher smiled in approval (yes, she did reveal to me that she was wondering why the class was not laughing out loud).

I want my children to enjoy reading. Not just eyeing of characters or words. Some authors are great word craftsman. The words are so carefully chosen. They are almost like Christmas gifts waiting to be unwrapped. Waiting to surprise and delight the careful trotting reader.

I am also disgusted with bad books. Books that promote wrong values. Books that bring harm. Some authors are best kept in prisons or locked-up. They poison the mind. The spill venom on the canvas of young minds. Zoe brought to my attention on such a book today. They appear Godly but are corrupted. They give assurance when there is no ground for such. I need to steer my children far away from such materials.

Meanwhile, I will continue to build on the foundations for Gracia.... let's circle the "D"s....

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