Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Profound discovery

In Taipei, Ken used to read scripture in Chinese for Joseph to repeat and eventually memorize. When we moved to Dulan, we befriended a family who introduced Ken to a slightly different method of teaching Joseph Chinese. After memorizing a passage, Ken had Joseph "read" the Chinese (from a large character book of the gospels, also Psalms and Proverbs) while pointing at each word. Eventually, some of the characters would stick in his mind as he said the word while pointing at the corresponding character. For over a month now, Ken and Joseph have daily taken long walks while Ken would read one verse, and Joseph would repeat it. Sometimes, Joseph would sit and read the entire chapter several times. Gradually, Ken added more repetitions and fine tuning. He taught Joseph how to speak boldly and clearly, and to look into his eyes while speaking. Now they are up to reading a chapter (not verse) 15 times a day. As of a few days ago, Ken has been training Joseph to recite part of the sermon on the mount to guests. With a promise of a swiss army knife in the next few months, Joseph has willingly accepted the challenge. Ken asks him to introduce himself, which he does, and then tells him what chapter to recite. Joseph clasps his hands together behind his back and dives right in. He always starts with his eyes hopping down the line of faces in the audience while his head is frozen. Then gradually he loosens up and starts to move his head along with his eyes. Ken has been working on this with him.
I stand amazed at all that is being accomplished in this simple exercise: Perseverence - Sometimes they go through all 15 times in one go.
Public Speaking
Recognizing Chinese Characters
Voice modulation
Wisdom - He asks quite a few questions about what he is repeating. Ken doesn't do a whole lot of explaining in the beginning. He lets Joseph try to hear and understand for himself, then gradually offers explanations here and there.
The Bible has a mysterious power. It is amazing the effect it is having on Joseph, just be being spoken aloud again and again.
Probably the most simple and most powerful homeschooling activity ever.

Joseph is now taking ownership of this daily exercise. Ken allows him to decide if he wants to break up the readings into three sessions, or do it all at once. Joseph loves the feeling of being in control and making decisions for himself. Yesterday, Ken told me that Joseph had asked him to purposefully say some words incorrectly to see if he could catch them. He did, and he did.
I'm losing track of how many chapters he has already memorized. At least five chapters in Psalms, and most of the sermon on the mount.

Anna has just recently begun occasional readings.

I'm going publish this first before attempting to post pictures...

(finally worked!)


  1. Wow! That is inspiring!! Would love to see a video of Joseph doing this.... :)

  2. Good idea! As soon as I can figure out how to charge our camera that we use for videos, I'll post one.