Age: 8-12yrs (I’ve seen it on 1-2 grade reading lists)
Online bookstore/more info: books.com.tw
The last two weeks, we re-started homeschooling after 3+ months off. One of the first things I did was to implement a read-aloud time. It has been frustrating me that Thumper does not read her zhuyin correctly half the time and she just lets it slide when she reads. On top of that I can’t help correcting her even though I don’t want to. I can’t remember where I’d come across the idea of reading out loud and how to direct read-aloud time, but I vaguely remember it’s one way to let the child be aware of what it is they’re reading as they practice their phonics.
I had a talk with her and let her know that I don’t like correcting her myself. But she often just glides over words she doesn’t know and when she reads zhuyin incorrectly she doesn’t stop. When she reads, she needs to understand what it is we’re reading. This means when she hears something not quite right, she needs to stop and go back again to re-read.
I’m not sure how much this went into her head. The good thing is that since we’re doing zhuyin class, her zhuyin is better. Though she is still not getting the tones and mis-reading. As soon as I find time, I’m taking her to see an optometrist, as that’s one possible reason she can’t read really small zhuyin.
We’ve been doing read-aloud on the way to swim lessons/practice. It’s a good way for us to squeeze it in because there is a definite stopping time, perfect for someone who gets frustrated when she has to stop to re-read. I try as hard as I can not to correct her, but to ask questions. So basically it’s just 10-15 minutes each day reading out loud, being mindful of what you’re reading. I did get into a fight with her because I kept telling her to use her finger to guide her reading but she refused. sigh
Things are going 80% well, partly because of the new series she’s reading. Wei Jun Goes to School (君偉上小學) is a 6 book series, detailing Wei Jun’s adventures in each grade level. The first book, 一年級鮮事多 is about all the new and interesting things Wei Jun encounters in first grade. The book has a lot of very short 3-4 page chapters. One is about the strange toilets in school (those ones that are holes in the ground instead of regular toilets at home), another about mistaking the principal for a gardener. They’re super funny and Thumper laughs and laughs and keeps on reading in the car, sometimes not wanting to stop when we reach our destination. She doesn’t complain much when I ask her questions or tell her I don’t understand what she’s saying （as a way to get her to re-read). She’ll sometimes even go back and re-read funny parts to me.
I’ve definitely enjoyed having this book read to me. Aside from the easy language, the other reason I like the book is that the fonts are bigger. If there is any downside it’s that some “episodes” are specific to school experience in Taiwan, so there are things the she doesn’t really understand. For example, getting vaccinated in the classroom, brining bento boxes to school for lunch, being a 值日生 (I don’t even know what that’s called in English) etc. Otherwise, highly recommend!