4、Cultivate a flowering brush-Woodmam


"Let's not let our children lose at the starting line" is the buzzword in homeschooling today. Every parent thinks this way, every parent says this, but why do children fall behind as they run, and why are most parents disappointed? It is because many concepts of winning and losing in children's education have been mistaken. Doing things according to the wrong concepts will, of course, make things worse.

  There is a story about the idiom of "The Wonderful Brush Grows Flowers", which says that a scholar dreamed that a lotus flower bloomed on the head of his brush, and when he woke up from the dream, he became brilliant, and his brush was like a god.

  The idiom reflects a long-standing desire and a challenge that many people seek to solve: how to be able to write well. Especially for many primary and secondary school students today, writing essays is their biggest headache. If there is a solution to this problem, it must be a "dream come true" for children.

  I personally have been teaching language for more than ten years and working with words for many years, and I also like to write. My daughter Yuan Yuan's composition has always written well, in my memory, she began in elementary school, the composition book never appeared a sick sentence, typos are rare, the results are always very good. In 2007, Yuan Yuan's language scored 140 points in the college entrance exam. According to media reports, out of nearly 120,000 candidates in the arts and sciences in Beijing that year, only a total of 12 people scored 140 or higher in the language. Her essay must have scored high as well - there may be an element of luck in it, but it also shows that her writing skills are really good.

  For these reasons, I am often asked how to develop my child's writing skills. Instead, I sum up my experience over the years and come up with only two words: reading.

  I don't like to give the so-called "writing skills" to children who have not yet experienced reading. I have observed some teachers' "composition classes", and I always feel that such classes are just a self-indulgent performance by the teachers, which has little effect on students' writing. People make writing skills too complicated and summarize so many methods, and some teachers who can't write at all can talk about "writing skills" in a very clear way - which in turn can prove that these " writing skills" are of little use to students, right?

  "Beauty" and "simplicity" are often synonymous. The best techniques are the simplest. Reading is the most fundamental, important, and effective "big skill" for writing; and all the skills that are taught by reading aside, can be called "small skill" at most. If you have big skills, small skills will come without invitation; if you don't have big skills, all small skills are not in a condition to be realized.

  I have always attached importance to Yuan Yuan's reading. She may not understand at first, but she likes to listen, and her bright eyes stare at my mouth or the book with fascination, without crying or fussing. When she was a little older and could understand, she kept asking me to tell her stories, listening to each one over and over again. No matter how many times she asked, I almost never refused.

  Every baby and toddler likes to listen to stories and read books. If there are children who show a dislike for reading and listening to stories, it must be because their parents did not expose them to reading in time and missed the best time to do so, and their interest in reading was replaced by other things (mainly watching TV at the moment) - something that many parents take as lightly as if their child had accidentally spilled a bowl of rice, when in fact This is a very big loss.

  "Don't let your child lose at the starting line" is the buzzword in homeschooling today, and every parent thinks and says it, but why do children fall behind as they run, and why are most parents disappointed? It is because many concepts of winning and losing in children's education have been mistaken. Doing things according to the wrong concepts, of course, will make things worse.

  In early childhood education, parents prefer to see immediate results. People are eager to send their children to preschool to learn phonics and foreign languages in advance, eagerly expecting them to get good grades on every test, enthusiastically enrolling them in many extracurricular classes and developing various talents, which they think is a step ahead of the starting line.

  And whether early reading is done or not, no difference can be seen for the time being. From preschool to the end of elementary school, and even to middle school, students who read less outside of class often show superior performance if they study only for various tests. This gives many parents the illusion that reading outside of class is optional, or even that it will interfere with learning, so it generally does not get the attention of parents.

  In fact, the lack of attention to children's reading is one of the worst behaviors in early education, and it is the difference in reading from an early age that is the important "win-lose" difference. Children who have little access to reading, even if they are bright and high-achieving as children, often show a tendency to become more and more mediocre overall and academically incompetent from middle school onward because they have only a small reserve of intellectual energy. The hardship and confusion in this area may stay with them for the rest of their lives. Those children who read a lot, on the other hand, they generally show not only intelligence from an early age, but also a strong burst of learning. In terms of a person's lifelong development, they are the ones who truly win at the starting line by laying a good foundation of reading and interest in reading from an early age.

  Specifically, the development of writing skills is even more directly related to reading. Without reading, there can be no writing.

  Reading should not only start early, but should be read enough.

  Currently, the state, through language curriculum standards, requires that elementary school students read a total of no less than 1.45 million words outside of class, middle school students no less than 2.6 million, and high school students no less than 1.5 million. That is, by the end of high school, a child's normal reading should be between 5 and 6 million words - I feel this is a very conservative standard based on the current reality of our country - and even then, it is far higher than the vast majority of students today Even so, it is far higher than the actual reading volume of most students today.

  According to some survey data, the current reading level of primary and secondary school students in China is very low, with a rough estimate that the average reading level should be below 20% of the national standard.

  Why is it so low? Some articles analyze that this is due to the pressure of homework caused by the college entrance exams, and "insufficient motivation to read". The college entrance exams have now become the scapegoat to which all boards are directed. I think the root cause is the child's interest. Why didn't those children who indulged in the game feel the pressure of homework and thus were "not motivated" to play the game?

  Secondary school students do not like to read, which is a problem formed when doing elementary school students, elementary school students do not love to read, because before and after school parents and schools are not attentive to mobilize his interest in reading.

  If parents can cultivate their children's interest in reading early and make reading a very natural part of their children's lives like eating, it is only natural that they will read millions of words by the end of high school. A child who likes to read, where is the "pressure" of reading for him, he will experience it is as simple and enjoyable as eating or playing games, you do not want him to read he is reluctant.

  Yuan Yuan started reading long novels in the second grade and has not stopped reading since then. During the winter break, which was only three to four months before the college entrance exam, she still read about 400,000 words of literature in between her busy studies, which was not an added burden for her, but a kind of relaxation and supplement.

  A rough calculation of Yuan Yuan's reading volume should be 15 to 20 million words by the end of high school. This is not much for a child who loves to read, and many children who love to read can read even several times this amount.

  The most important thing in learning a language is to build a sense of language. The reason why there are never any sick sentences in Yuan Yuan's composition book is that she has seen fluent sentences millions of times, built up a good sense of language and accumulated a rich vocabulary. With a good sense of language and a rich vocabulary, the sentences she writes are naturally free of problems.

  Reading a lot gives children not only the ability to express themselves correctly, but also creative talent. Yuan Yuan's writing often shone with such astonishing talent that I would even sigh at myself. I once overheard a novel she secretly wrote in her senior year of high school, and was surprised by the fluency and sophistication of her writing. I had always read what she had written in her composition book, which after all could only be called an exercise, not a creation. I thought that it was possible for her to eat a bowl of words if she wanted to in the future. It's not that Yuan Yuan has any special talent, other children who reach her reading level will also have good writing.

  Our language education has always done a very awkward job for a long time.

  The teachers and students spend a lot of time and energy "dismembering" the text and sentences. The old-fashioned teaching methods such as paragraph idea and central idea are still the mainstream of teaching methods in primary and secondary schools, despite repeated criticism. Each thin language book takes up a whole semester of children's time for no good reason, which is a huge waste. Language teachers do not pay attention to students' reading, making what should be the most interesting class the most boring one. I have heard more than once from a child that he hates language classes and hates writing essays even more.

  Our forefathers, the literati of the Han, Tang, Song, Ming and Qing dynasties, whose names and works were as brilliant as a river of stars, formed what cultural splendor in human history, but which of them learned to write by spending years analyzing the central ideas of other people's paragraphs, learning grammar and correcting sick sentences? What kind of a thing do we offer up after tradition has been abandoned and want it to rule the language learning of generations of children?

  Decades of facts have actually proven that ignoring reading outside the classroom and trying to guide immature elementary and middle school students to write structurally correct sentences by learning grammar and beautiful sentences by analyzing other people's words is a long way around and scratching an itch. To be sure, in the absence of reading outside the classroom, language books do not teach students language proficiency, and composition classes do not teach students to write essays.

  Once a mathematical theorem is understood, it becomes your own knowledge and can be applied immediately for immediate results. Writing is an open-ended, ever-changing activity, and there is a long way to go before external knowledge becomes your own. Any writing "skill" is not difficult to understand, it is easy, but it is difficult to absorb and even more difficult to apply. Although the primary and secondary school composition classes are now being taught in a variety of ways, many teachers do put effort into their lectures, and there is nothing wrong with the class itself, and it can even be said that some of the lessons are very exciting, and the teachers have put a lot of effort into revising students' essays. But without a lot of reading by the students, these activities are just spilling rice seeds into the desert, which means nothing.

  For those who are still naive in writing skills, especially for the lower grades, learning to write must first return to reading. The process of reading is the process of learning writing skills, which are contained in good works themselves. When you read more books, writing skills will naturally develop - the ancients summed it up long ago, "Reading breaks a million volumes, and the next pen is like a god.

  Reading to improve writing skills, on the surface it seems to be a long process, but in fact it is the most economical, effective, the most effortless way, is a real "shortcut".

  But the simplest things are often the hardest to do, and the rush to get things done makes many people lose judgment. Many parents have not been paying attention to their children's reading, but want them to learn to write in a short period of time - the market demand is thus formed.

  Nowadays, you can see advertisements in newspapers and magazines from time to time that can make your child's composition a quick success, what with the "four-dimensional grid learning method", "exploding composition law", "one week all take down method" and so on. I have seen a few so-called "competent" children learn to write on the spot, they use some on-site mobilization techniques, guide students to build some framework of ideas, with the usual mandatory means of conventional teaching to push students to fill in the words to create sentences, it seems to work really well, students really write a composition on the spot. But then, without the teacher next to the frame, without the teacher's forced guidance, the students themselves will not know what to do, neither words nor sentences, the end of the course students' level is still in place.

  Writing, like being a human being, is a long process of cultivation. It is impossible to teach children to write using a few days of work using some fly-by-night techniques.

  A few days ago, I was called by a staff member of "Learn to Write in Three Days" and I don't know where they got my information. I don't know where they got the information about me, but they knew that my daughter Yuan Yuan did well in the language entrance exam, and that I had been a language teacher for many years and knew how to write, so they wanted me to show up. I said I was sorry, my daughter couldn't learn to write in three days, she spent more than ten years learning. I've been teaching for more than a decade, but I haven't developed the ability to teach kids to write in three days.

  What I also want to say here in particular is that writing is never just a matter of words, it is a matter of thought and understanding. Where the words go is where one's thinking goes. The significance of reading is not only to give children good verbal and written skills, but also to enrich the world of their minds and raise their level of awareness.

  A child who has experienced various social life in ancient and modern times, in China and abroad, experienced long historical development, listened to many words of wisdom, and shared the fruits of countless thoughts from reading, is not only more mature in his mind, but also more perfect in his values - this is the root of being a human being and the condition for writing.

  Those whose hearts are pale, whose minds are empty, and who do not have mature values are not capable of fiddling with soulful works, even if they have a belly full of wonderful words and phrases. Many teachers and parents criticize their children's essays as "not profound", but the "profundity" of the essay is the scale of one's level of thought and understanding. If a child has never or seldom shared the social life experiences of his predecessors and the ideas of others in books, how can he be "profound" at a young age?

  Every book allows a child to experience something and learn something from it. Great educators such as Dewey and Tao Xingzhi have placed special emphasis on learning from life. As everyone's life is limited, it is impossible to participate in everything personally, and reading essentially constitutes children's participation in life and the richness of their experience.

  All the classics that have been around for generations, regardless of their content, must contain something true, good and beautiful. These truths and beauties influence one's values and way of thinking, and of course, one's writing. What kind of person you are will say what kind of words, what kind of ideology you have, what kind of writing you will write.

  A person who does not read is ignorant, a family that does not read is uninteresting, a nation that does not read is shallow. The government advocates quality education, but now when it comes to quality education, people always think of "small skills" such as piano, chess, calligraphy and painting, and the most vulgar ones such as golf to cultivate "gentlemanly manners" and dancing on campus to cultivate "artistic The most vulgar ones like golfing to cultivate "gentlemanly manners" and dancing to cultivate "artistic temperament".

  Why no one thought of promoting popular reading it, probably because reading is not easy to create momentum, not easy to quickly form a visible "results" it. The Ministry of Education has set out 30 books in the form of language curriculum standards that secondary school students must read, but which schools take this seriously? How many parents know about this?

  Whether from survey data or from our common sense, more than 90% of current primary and secondary school libraries exist in name only. That means it is almost impossible for children to borrow the books they want to read from school.

  The child is the only one for us, and his growth cannot wait, so this deficiency must be filled by the family as soon as possible at the moment. Instead of taking your child to McDonald's when you feel like it, parents should take him to a bookstore; instead of equipping him with a cell phone or a Walkman, you should always put a few good books on his desk. Especially those parents who are worried about their children's inability to write and want to pay a high price for their children to enroll in a crash course, use that money to buy books for your children! Put some thought into guiding your child to discover the joy of reading, and make it as fun as watching TV or playing games!

  One day you will be surprised to find that the pen in your child's hand has sprouted at some point and blossomed into a fragrant flower.

  Special Tips

  The difference in reading from a young age is the important "win-lose" difference. Children who have never been nurtured by reading are really one step behind from the starting point.

  The reason why middle school students don't like to read is because of the problems they developed when they were elementary school students; the reason why elementary school students don't like to read is because their parents and schools didn't try to motivate them to read before and after school. If parents can cultivate their children's interest in reading early and make reading a natural part of their children's lives like eating, it will be natural for them to read millions of words by the end of high school.

  For those who are still naive in writing skills, especially in the early grades, learning to write must first return to reading. The process of reading is the process of learning writing skills.

  The process of reading is the process of learning writing skills. It seems to be a long process, but in fact it is the most economical, effective and effortless way to improve writing skills. Writing, like being a human being, is a long process of refinement. It is impossible to teach children to write in a matter of days by using a few fly-by-night techniques.

  Reading essentially constitutes children's participation in life and the richness of their experiences.

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