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Because of the invitation from the Buddhist temple, I compiled some thoughts, records and thoughts about Xiaoxu's reading of the scriptures and learning Chinese for more than a year and a half. It also left some records for the road we traveled together. Maybe my records can be used as a reference for other parents.

Xiaoxu began to speak at the age of two years and two months. I began to think about his Chinese education. After reading a large number of overseas Chinese children's Chinese education experience and stories on the Internet, coupled with the situation of the children of friends around me learning Chinese. I fully believe that the current status of Chinese education for overseas Chinese is just like what online experts said: It is possible that more than 99% of children will eventually become illiterate or semi-literate in Chinese. After the child enters puberty, a small number of parents who are good enough in English will not have major problems with the child's communication and language communication. Most of the parents are not good enough in English, and the children have limited Chinese expression ability and can only express daily simple food, clothing, housing and transportation. It is difficult for many parents and children to have more in-depth communication. And because of the complete absence of Chinese cultural value transmission derived from unsuccessful Chinese education, many children eventually become disgusted with Chinese and Chinese culture, and even ashamed of their Chinese blood and the culture of their parents. Hate why I am not white.

Many overseas Chinese education experts said that the key to overseas Chinese education lies in the Chinese character literacy education before enrollment. Based on the characteristics of speaking and pronunciation consistent with Western Pinyin language. As long as you can speak and master the easy-to-learn pinyin rules, you can start learning to read. In Chinese, you need to be able to understand 300~500 words to read elementary picture books for children. Once children start to read in English, their English reading ability will go a long way. In two or three years, it will far surpass Chinese reading ability. Chinese was soon overwhelmed by the ubiquitous English in life. The Chinese reading ability still stays at the level of simple children's books, which is far behind his mental development. Coupled with the forced learning of Chinese by the parents, Chinese has become very boring and annoying, and sometimes the parent-child relationship will be affected. Some children even neither learn nor speak Chinese in the end, and Chinese fall back to the level they had before 4 to 5 years old.

Therefore, refer to expert advice and the experience of many parents. I decided to make Xiaoxu literate early. I hope he can pass the 2500-character literacy level before going to elementary school, have the ability to read Chinese independently, and can read Chinese books in plain text. I hope he can feel the joy of Chinese reading before English reading has started. This goal was a bit too high at the time. But he can only cross the river by feeling the stones, and walk and adjust as he walks. I clearly realize in my heart that the ten years of hard work in the small Chinese environment against the large English environment has just been unveiled.

I know many different ways to teach children literacy from the Internet, such as using nursery rhymes, literacy game software, literacy textbooks, finger-reading picture books, word cards, and scripture reading. Since Xiaoxu started learning Chinese, I have basically used all of the above methods except for nursery rhymes.At the beginning, I tried my best to surround him with Chinese characters. Paste Chinese characters on various items, utensils, locations, etc. in your home. Because Xiaoxu likes cars very much, I use car-related word cards to make him read. Then gradually extend to all means of transportation. At the same time, he began to read the children's books of picture books for young children. A month later, he began to listen to and read Tang poetry.Later, I found a "literacy game" software on the iPod, and let him learn literacy from games. The "literacy game" has a total of 120 characters. If he plays for 3 to 5 minutes at a time, he loses interest. I often pretend to play with him, and he will play for a few more minutes. I bought a set of "Basic Chinese Characters 500" from Hong Kong and joined the literacy study. This is a very interesting and effective teaching material. Xiaoxu finished this set of textbooks in more than half a year. He later read a picture book, thanks to this set of textbooks, which laid a foundation of 500 words.

A year and a half ago, when Xiaoxu turned two and a half years old (October 2019), I finally found the Chongde reading class in Richmond, which is the only reading class for Xiaoxu in Metro Vancouver. Let him try to recite Chinese classics. In the past year and a half, reading the scriptures has emerged from many Chinese learning methods and has become the main axis of Xiaoxu's Chinese learning and literacy. Others such as reading picture books, character cards, literacy textbooks, and learning vocabulary are supplemented. In retrospect, participating in the Chongde reading class was a great opportunity for him to learn Chinese and a weapon for gradual improvement in Chinese learning.

The selfless dedication of the volunteer teachers of the Buddhist temple is very touching and admirable. People who only give and don't think about rewards are angels on earth who have ideals and great love in their hearts. The world is warm, soft and beautiful because of these angels. If it were not for the volunteer teacher of the Chongde Reading Class, I really don't know how to start reading with Xiao Xu.Volunteer teachers are very patient to lead the Bible reading and encourage every child. But Xiaoxu was still too young, and it was difficult for Xiaoxu to sit still in the Buddhist scripture reading class. Usually it is constantly twisting, if there are tens of millions of ants upper body. Sometimes I can't hold him. As soon as he leaves me, he starts to run in circles all over the court. Even so, after two or three months, 1.5 hours a week in the Buddhist temple reading class and 30 minutes a day at home, I can clearly feel that his articulation and pronunciation are clearer than before.

The Buddhist scripture reading class only took two or three months. Soon, Christmas came, the New Year, and the new crown pneumonia epidemic came.After the outbreak of the epidemic, the Buddhist scripture reading class only has an online scripture reading class suitable for school-age children. My wife and I brought Xiaoxu to read the scriptures by ourselves at home.I brought my own scripture reading at home for more than a year, and I have been troubled by Teacher Cai in the Buddhist hall without interruption. I want to buy an MP3 player all of a sudden, I want to buy a book all of a sudden, I want to buy an MP3 audio file all of a sudden. Teacher Cai always takes time out of her busy schedule to meet my needs. I am very grateful to Teacher Cai.

Looking back on the experience of bringing Xiaoxu to read the scriptures over the past year, the process was not so smooth. In the beginning, Xiaoxu’s patience was only three to five minutes, and then he started to fumble, running around, drinking water, I have to pee and see the garbage truck. Sometimes there is a special rejection of certain classics, such as the Analects. Sentences are more slurred, and you will lose your temper and don't want to read it, or you don't want to speak anymore. The situation can be said to be changing with each passing day. When there is practical confusion about reading the Bible, I will read the reading theory and practice of Professor Wang Caigui again and again, as well as the opinions of many overseas reading schools, children's reading experts and the experience of reading families. Some adjustments are needed almost every half month and a month. For more than a year and a half, Xiao Xu has not read for only two days. One day he was sick and couldn't study, one day he was vaccinated and couldn't squeeze time. Xiaoxu's patience has gradually changed from three to five minutes to a continuous ten or twenty minutes now. The reading time has also increased from half an hour a day to half an hour in the morning and half an hour in the afternoon, and now is one hour each.

In the past year and a half, Xiao Xu has read a lot of things. Here is what he has read:

Three-character Scripture, Disciple Guidance, Thousand-character Essay, Hundred Family Names, Analects, Lao Tzu, Daxue, Heart Sutra, Hundred Filial Piety, Zhuzi's Family Governing Motto, Love Lotus, Shao Room Inscription, Li Yun Datong Chapter, Twenty-Four Solar Terms, Tang Poetry and Song Ci Yue 130 poems and 96 children's quizzes. I am just starting to study the Golden Mean, while reviewing the Analects, Laozi, and University. Except for the Analects, most of the things he had read could be recited when he read it. But many later forgot.

I'm not sure about Xiaoxu's current literacy level. I haven't counted it since about 1,000 words half a year ago. I guess there are about 1500 words. He can basically read ordinary picture books by himself. Such as the book by Qiaohu Junior Class students below. Only occasionally one or two words cannot be read.

Some basic bridge books with half pictures and half words can be read by himself after reading them a few times, such as the following "Frog and Toad Friends"

In order to let him see Chinese characters at any time, I posted the poems he had read and the characters he was learning to recognize on the walls and windows, as follows:

Based on Xiaoxu’s current Chinese learning situation, there should be a chance to achieve the long-term goal that I set more than a year and a half ago, that is, "I hope he can pass the 2500-character literacy level before going to elementary school, have the ability to read Chinese independently, and Read Chinese books in plain text".

Because he was reading at home, Xiao Xu had no companions. In order to make Xiaoxu feel that he is still reading the scriptures with other children in the Buddhist temple. I can only try to show him some of the reading videos of other brothers and sisters in the Internet reading class. Then tell him that the teacher of the Buddhist temple wants to watch him read the scriptures, upload his video to the reading class, and then tell him the encouragement of the teacher of the Buddhist temple or other parents. Xiaoxu usually takes a while to be more serious after watching the videos of his brother and sister reading the Bible. I am also very happy for the encouragement from the teacher or other parents in the Buddhist temple.

After reading the scriptures this year and a half, I have a lot of feelings. There are practical, joyful, anxious, angry, and ashamed. Every time I look back at Xiaoxu’s previous reading videos, I see that he has made great progress in pronunciation; I have read the same material; I am familiar with it; he reads happily; or when he reads a picture book with a smile, he feels at ease. Joy, I feel that our parents did not waste the precious learning potential of his life.

The reading theory says: "Read the scriptures early, read the scriptures honestly, read the scriptures a lot, read the scriptures happily". For me, I really can't make him read the Bible completely happily. Especially in the first six months and one year, it is particularly difficult. It is always until he has read some content well and can memorize it before he becomes obviously happy.In the process of reading the scriptures, sometimes Xiao Xu doesn't want to read it anymore. I either do both soft and hard, or threaten and lure. Sometimes people who can't stand their temper will swear harshly at him, and he will be tearful. My wife always tells me that he is so young. Don't be too harsh. Afterwards, I felt sorry for him. I was always ashamed that I was not patient enough or soft enough. I would hug him and say, "Baby! Sorry, my dad has a bad temper. My dad just hopes you read the scriptures and learn how to be a man."

I gradually learned that literacy and learning Chinese are just side benefits of reading the scriptures. The main purpose of reading the scriptures is to learn the wisdom of sages and to lay the foundation of virtue and wisdom for a long-term life. And in the process of reading the scriptures, we have also been familiar with many classics along the way. The wisdom of sages is also opening up a lot of our ignorance. I hope we can take him smoothly to read the Bible for ten years. In the next few decades in his life, he has to face all kinds of challenges, setbacks, temptations, emotions, sorrows and joys. I hope that because of the opportunity of reading the scriptures, he can gradually build up a correct character, learn appropriate behavior, good life values, and because of the guidance of the wisdom of sages, he has enough wisdom to face everything!

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