7. A child nourished by ancient poetry-Woodmam

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Children who are nourished by ancient poems not only get poetic and literary talents, but also become people who are more favored by life and fate.

  When Yuan Yuan was very young, I started to read some poems to her. I found that she loved both listening and remembering.

  When she was about three years old, I learned to type on the computer and memorized the "Five Strokes" root recipe every day. The inventor of the five-stroke input method, Mr. Wang Yongming, made the "character root list" as rhythmic and catchy as a poem. When I recited it, Yuan Yuan heard it next to me, and when I was lying in bed at night with the lights off, she was able to prompt me when I couldn't remember some parts of it. These things without content, the little one randomly listened to, actually remembered faster than I, I was amazed at the child's memory.

  Chinese writing originally contains artistic beauty, and Mr. Zhou Zuoren said that Chinese characters are playful, decorative and musical. Classical Chinese poetry is a distillation of the essence of our mother tongue, and has always exuded a charming and noble aura from ancient times to the present with its unique rhythm, rhyme, and aesthetic qualities. In the process of teaching Yuan Yuan to read poetry, I gradually became convinced that children should recite a lot of poetry, especially ancient poetry.

  When Yuan Yuan was four or five years old, I began to formally teach her to read ancient poems. The earliest reading book we used was a set of six illustrated books, "Reading Ancient Poems for Young Children", with about a hundred poems, all of which were very short, usually only four lines. I often read these poems aloud with her, and then memorized them together when we were familiar with them. I didn't plan this and did it rather randomly, but because I kept doing it, she basically knew all these poems by the time she started elementary school at the age of 6.

  In recent years, I have read some information that some people are against teaching children to read ancient poems when they are young. It is thought that children do not understand and just parrot some syllables, so it is proposed that children should be taught to read children's songs when they are young and not to memorize ancient poems. Personally, I don't quite agree with such a view.

  Art first requires perception, and learning ancient poetry for young children is not focused on understanding, as ancient poetry rhymes well with a good sense of rhythm. It is a matter for adults to find classical poetry strange and difficult to understand, but children do not have this sense of detachment. Children's songs can teach children some, but they cannot replace ancient poetry in terms of quantity and quality. Everyone has a very limited amount of time to learn, and we should teach the best to our children. If parents take out the ease and pleasure of reading children's songs to teach their children to read ancient poems, the children will not feel the difference in pleasure and beauty of the two texts.

  In addition, childhood is the golden age of memory, and what is read and recited at this time will really be engraved into the brain and internalized into one's own wisdom wealth. That's why we should cherish the recitation in childhood all the more and not let our children waste their time on some mediocre works. Classical poetry, mainly Tang and Song poems, I think is worth memorizing from childhood to old age.

  Another misconception that people have because ancient poems are "difficult to understand" is that when teaching a child ancient poems, they should explain them as much as possible and "translate" each line into "vernacular". The truth is that what we need to prevent in learning ancient poetry is precisely "over-explanation. The reason for this is based on trust in children's comprehension; the second is that the beauty of the context and words in poetry are to be experienced, and they are not to be interpreted, and an interpretation is a fetter on the imagination and a destruction of the beauty of language.

  Before children are two or three years old, they do not need to explain the poems they read, as long as they read them as if they were singing, experiencing the sense of rhythm. When the child is four or five years old and understands something, then add "explanation". But the explanation must be simple, just briefly say the meaning of the poem, and explain some words that affect the understanding.

  For example, when I taught Yuan Yuan to recite "Goose, goose, goose / bend your neck and sing to the sky / white feathers floating in green water / red palms plucking clear waves", I only explained what "bend your neck" was because the poem itself was as clear as words.

  Less explanation is not the same as not "interpreting". For example, when we saw "The autumn sails on the Green Maple River are far away, the ancient trees by the White Emperor City are sparse", we would pay attention to the neatness of the couplets and appreciate the delicacy of each word; when we saw "We are willing to drink with our neighbors, and call for the remaining cups across the fence", we would imagine how such a life scene is. When I saw "I was willing to drink with the neighboring man, I called for the remaining cup", I imagined how simple and interesting that kind of life scene was. This is the enjoyment of reading poetry. But for each poem, Yuan Yuan and I spent more time on reading and reciting it again and again.

  We learned from our study that reading and reciting a lot of poems aloud is still the most classic way to learn ancient poems, which is the traditional method of teaching language in China, and this method is the easiest and most effective. "If you read a book a hundred times, its meaning will come to you", the previous people have summarized this point very eloquently.

  This method of learning seems simple and stereotypical, but it actually makes sense.

  Mr. Qian Liqun, a famous scholar and professor of Chinese at Peking University, said: "In our traditional enlightenment education, the teacher does not give any explanation, but lets the students read the scriptures aloud, and in the midst of the intonation, they naturally comprehend certain inexpressible (or unnecessary) rhythms of the scriptures, and then recite them again and again, putting some basic concepts of traditional culture, like nails Then the teacher will explain a little bit, and then he will point out the basic ideas of the traditional culture, like nails, into the almost blank brain of the schoolchildren, which has actually been subconsciously integrated into the depths of the reader's mind, and then the teacher will naturally 'get it'. Even if temporarily do not understand, has been memorized in mind, with the growth of age, with a certain experience, is not to solve the self-passage."

  "I often find myself thinking that brief explanations are sometimes superfluous. I remember when Yuan Yuan was 5 years old and first read the poem "Li Bai wrote a hundred poems in a battle of wine, sleeping in a restaurant on the city of Chang'an, the son of heaven called me to come on board, claiming that I was an immortal in wine", she thought Li Bai was so dashing and found the poem particularly funny. Just after we finished reading it, she "adapted" the poem - changing "Li Bai" to "Yuan Yuan" and "Chang An" to "Chang An". She changed the word "Chang'an" to "Yantai" and the word "minister" to "I". -I laughed out loud with my family. Without having to explain a single word, I know she already understands the poem.

  After reading and memorizing the poem, Yuan Yuan not only understood the literal meaning easily, but she also learned to appreciate the beauty of every aspect of the poem. Once when Yuan Yuan was in elementary school, I read Du Fu's "Ascent to the Heights" with her, and when we got to "The trees fall without end, and the Yangtze River rolls on," she was silent for a moment, sighed lightly, and couldn't help but say, "It's so well written!" I have never explained this poem, and in fact I have no way to "explain" it, but she read it and was deeply moved by the beauty of the language.

  The reason why my child has a long-lasting interest in learning ancient poems is that her parents never treat memorizing them as a unilateral task imposed on her, but as a shared hobby to be enjoyed together. Together we imagined the scenery of "the flowers are getting charming, the grass is not even the horses' hooves", and together we enjoyed the warmth of "the green ants and new spirits of wine, the red mud and small fireplace". The process of reciting ancient poems has always been the process of my recitation, and I try to recite them together with her, especially when she was young. In the process of teaching her, I also reviewed and recited many ancient poems.

  After Yuan Yuan recognized words, I always copied the poems I wanted to memorize into a small book, often reading and memorizing a few lines together with Yuan Yuan during bus rides or after meals before bedtime, and before I knew it a small book was used up. We felt a sense of accomplishment when we finished memorizing each little book.

  Yuan Yuan read and recited first Tang poems, then Song lyrics, and later some Yuan tunes. The most pieces were memorized during elementary school, and when she started junior high school, she began to memorize some long poems, such as "The Long Hate Song" and "Pipa Xing".

  When Yuan Yuan started to memorize long poems, she had some difficulties, so we took the approach of turning the whole thing into pieces, memorizing a small piece at a time. At that time, she lived in school, so she came back every week to copy a few lines into a small book, and then took them to school to memorize them, constantly linking the new ones with the ones she had memorized.

  In fact, the more poems are memorized, the easier they become, and practice makes perfect.

  At first, it took time for Yuan Yuan to memorize a poem, but later on, it only took a few minutes to read a poem two or three times, read the notes, close the book and memorize it. Even when memorizing long poems, it was easier for her to recite them based on her previous recitation skills.

  Throughout her elementary and middle school years, Yuan Yuan seemed to have a much easier time learning classical poetry than her classmates, partly because she had basically memorized all the poems she learned in the textbook in advance, and partly because she had a better ability to recite them. She told me in junior high school that when she learned "Pipa Xing" in language class and was asked to recite it, many of her classmates found it too difficult to recite, and some of them blamed Bai Juyi, saying why did he write such a long poem, which is not difficult for people!

  In terms of protecting children's interest in learning ancient poetry, I think it is also important to note that the motivation for leading children to learn classical poetry must be pure, or at least feel pure to the child.

  Some parents always ask their children to perform memorized poems for guests after they have memorized some poems; others constantly count how many their children have memorized, as if memorization is for a number; and some parents directly tell their children that it is good to memorize more poems for writing essays ......

  Poetry is a piece of fine cake, and we take it to our mouths just to taste its sweetness, not to show off to others one day that I have eaten cake, or to store more calories for a future day when we may be hungry. There is no utilitarianism beyond enjoyment - recitation is to better internalize those verses, to better appreciate the beauty of language, context, and imagination of poetry, not to "memorize poetry", there is no other purpose beyond poetry --This is the proper purpose.

  So don't let your child perform poetry for others, and don't tell them how many poems they know by heart in front of them, so that they can have a pure heart for poetry and a real feeling for it.

  Only if one loves it can one talk about acceptance. If a person is never moved by the love in a poem, never shocked by the beauty of the language, never thought deeply for the wisdom, even if he can memorize 10,000 poems, he is still a person who can't read poetry.

  I've seen a private educational institution put out a CD that supposedly allows children to quickly memorize hundreds of ancient poems, which is paired with fast-changing animations and dynamic music to the fast-paced "rap" method now popular in the singing world to read out. The fact is that all the poems have been turned into a musical "fast board", no matter what the content is read out with a taste. The CD was sold to many elementary schools and was well received by teachers and parents. However, in such a "teaching", where can the children taste the beauty of the mood, thought and words of classical poetry? It can only give children a number to recite, but not to enjoy reading. I suspect that what is recited in this way will not be memorized deeply and will not take root in the memory, which is actually a waste of time in the long run.

  In the process of reciting classical poems, Yuan Yuan was also exposed to some good modern poems. She really felt the beauty of poetry and even developed the urge to write her own poems.

  When she was in elementary school, she tried to write poems on her own. Once we went to the beach together and when we were almost there, the water looked blue from afar; when we walked to the beach, we found that the water was green because there was some seaweed that day; she ran into the water with her bare feet and found that her feet were white and the water had no color at all. She then cupped the water in her hands and told me about the change she saw in the color of the water. I said, "You found the poem. When she got home, she wrote these words with my guidance.

  I stand in the distance and look at the sea / The sea is blue / I stand close and look at the sea / The sea is green / I hold the water in my hand / Huh, where did the color of the sea go?

  This is a poem she wrote when she was seven years old. Shortly after, I gave her a new pillowcase, a blue one. She said it looked like the color of the sea. I joked that I might dream of the sea when I pillowed on it. She went along with me and said that she could dream of the beach if she added a yellow one. She immediately imagined that she wanted to change it to green, so she could dream of grass. I kissed her little cheeks and said, "Your words are like poetry, write them down. Yuan Yuan later wrote a poem like this.

  I pillowed a blue pillowcase / dreamed of the sea / / I pillowed a yellow pillowcase / dreamed of the beach / / I pillowed a red pillowcase / dreamed of roses / / I pillowed a green pillowcase / dreamed of the grass / / I pillowed a pillowcase of various colors / dreamed of various colors.

  These poems are not very good, they are at the level of elementary school students; but she can find poetry in life, and her life is different because of it. She also wrote poems occasionally after she went to middle school, and some of them were really good.

  Yuan Yuan was always interested in classical poetry and understood it well. Her language teacher in high school appreciated her cultivation in this area and asked Yuan Yuan to give two lectures on ancient poetry appreciation to her classmates. After careful preparation, Yuan Yuan interpreted those two poems very well in class. It is said that some students were actually moved by listening to them, commenting that it was the first time they were moved by a poem and found poetry so beautiful.

  In 2007, the essay question of the Beijing college entrance examination was an interpretation of an ancient poem: "The wet rain is invisible, and the flowers fall to the ground without a sound". With Yuan Yuan's comprehension of classical poetry, it was easy for her to find a sense of these two lines when she finished reading them. She wrote from Laozi's "Great beauty does not speak" to Fang Yonggang, a contemporary role model who creates extraordinary performance in the midst of the ordinary. She scored 140 out of 150 in the language and should have done well in the essay. Yuan Yuan felt lucky and said that the constant memorization of ancient poems helped a lot in this exam.

  Some parents may find it difficult to think of teaching their children to read poetry because they don't have a hobby or ability to read poetry themselves. I think that's actually okay. I talked earlier about parents learning together with their children, and the problem can basically be solved if parents can do that.

  Nowadays, there are many good books of selected classical poems, usually with complete notes, so you should have no problem reading them. You can buy a few more versions, pick your favorite ones to read and understand them against each other. Some of the lines can not be read temporarily does not matter, later read more will naturally understand. Besides, the understanding of poetry is originally diverse, and it is not necessary to seek any standard interpretation.

  As long as parents can often read with their children to memorize, this cultivation will naturally deepen. The child's perception is more likely to be better than the parent's, and he will gain a lot from the simple recitation. It is a wonderful thing for parents and children to learn together, and it is easier to arouse the child's interest and give both sides a strong sense of accomplishment.

  It is better for children to start learning poetry when they are young, but perhaps your child is already in middle school. That's okay, it's never too late to start reading poetry, learning is a lifelong thing and there is no absolute "missed opportunity". Maybe you're worried about your child's schoolwork and lack of time. This requires us to use some brains, so that children less extra-curricular classes, more use of the margins of time, time can always be found.

  Nowadays, there are some study classes in the society, specializing in learning classical poetry and literature. Parents should be careful whether they want to enroll in these classes.

  If the teachers of these classes are well trained in classical literature and will guide their children to read, such classes can be attended. However, I am concerned that some teachers will turn these classes into another kind of "extracurricular cram school", giving children "poetry lectures" and forcing them to memorize poems, which may lead to children becoming bored with poetry and losing the meaning of learning.

  One of the easiest ways to find out is to ask some of the children who have attended the classes how they feel about learning, or to let your own children try it out for a while. Whether the children like it or not is the most important evaluation criterion.

  As I write this, I suspect that some people may be thinking that, despite all the benefits of reading poetry, what is needed in this day and age is technical expertise, so it is better to get a jump on the curriculum.

  This is understandable, but not necessarily justified; there is a saying that "the sharpening of the knife does not spoil the cutting of wood".

  It is said that Nobel laureate Mr. Yang Chen-ning grew up to show extraordinary mathematical talent, just one year in secondary school to learn all the mathematics of secondary school years. He was advised to learn more advanced mathematical knowledge, but his father disagreed. His father, a university mathematics professor, asked Yang to spend a few years studying classical Chinese literature instead. Later, Mr. Yang spoke on several occasions about the inculcation of classical Chinese literature, arguing that this inculcation had a profound impact on his scientific research.

  Likewise, Premier Wen Jiabao's cultivation of ancient poetry is also a source of great interest. In every major press conference, he would readily come up with some verses to add deep and moving colors to his clear and rigorous speech - cultural cultivation brings not only knowledge itself, but it is also a perfect way of thinking.

  China's classical poetry is as vast as the sea, as bright as the star river, each person is exposed to but a drop in the ocean; and for the limited chapters that we are exposed to, we dare not say that we have fully read and understood and read through - even so, we have benefited a lot.

  Once, I read a small essay written by Yuan Yuan when he was in high school, and there was this sentence in it: "From junior high school to now, I have copied Bai Juyi's 'The Song of the Long Hatred' in every excerpt book. Some people say that "Dream of the Red Chamber" is inexhaustible, but I think that "The Song of the Long Hatred" is also inexhaustible". I am really glad that she feels this way - what a nourishment it is to have some beautiful hobbies in life; what a treasure it is to have something in life that cannot be read to the end!

  So, the last thing I want to say is that a child who is nourished by ancient poems will not only get poetic and literary talents, but actually become a person who is favored by life and fate. In addition to the ordinary life, he has a world where "peach blossoms and flowing water are far away, and there is a world other than earth". Let your children read more poems!

  Special Tips

  Don't let your children waste their time on mediocre works.

  What you want to prevent is "over-interpretation" of ancient poems.

  The most classic method of learning ancient poetry is to read aloud and recite, which is the simplest and most effective method of language teaching in China.

  The reason why your child has a long-lasting interest in learning ancient poems is that parents never treat reciting ancient poems as a task unilaterally imposed on her, but as a common hobby to be enjoyed slowly together.

  Don't let your child perform reciting poems for others, and don't tell others in front of your child how many poems he knows by heart, so that your child can have a pure heart for poetry and a real good feeling.

  There are many good books of selected classical poems available now, and they are usually well annotated, so you should have no problem reading them. You can buy several versions, pick the ones you like and read them to understand them against each other. Some of the lines can not be read temporarily does not matter, later read more will naturally understand. Besides, the understanding of poetry is diverse, so it is not necessary to seek any standard interpretation.

  As long as you can read and memorize with your child, you will naturally deepen your training in this area. Your child will most likely have a better sense than you do, and he or she will gain a lot from simply reciting. It is a wonderful thing for parents to learn together with their children, and it is easier to arouse their interest and give both of them a strong sense of accomplishment.

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