We’ve been doing a remedial zhuyin class for Astroboy for the last few weeks. He really needed a review because he just doesn’t know his tones and tends to pronounce things wrong. I know the problem is that I did not spend a very long time teaching him zhuyin well before I left him to read on his own.
But before I go on, let me vent a little on how people traditionally teach zhuyin. They spell to children, 馬 ㄇㄚ 馬, when it really should be 馬 ㄇ ㄚˇ 馬. I’m not immune to this. It’s how I learned zhuyin and how I unconsciously said it to my kids. It drives me nuts because you’re not teaching kids, right off the bat, to hear the ending tones.
What happened after the initial teaching is, I drop the ball on finishing teaching zhuyin, Astroboy went to reading and he semi succeeded since he can sometimes guess words from context and the characters he already can read, until he can’t when the book is too high a level.
So maybe I have no one to blame but myself. Except I think this is a very common problem amongst people I know who learn Sagebooks first, then zhuyin, then move on to reading very quickly due to the desire to learn to read ASAP.
In any case, now that Thumper can read, the next step for us is composition. However, since she doesn’t know how to write many characters, I thought I should let her review her zhuyin a bit first.