Click Here For Free Blog Backgrounds!!!
Blogaholic Designs

Monday, January 16, 2012

Homeschooling is a lifestyle

We had dabbled in homeschooling for about 2 or 3 years now. This year we transit into fully homeschooling our two boys.

For us, homeschooling is not about choosing the best curriculum or get our hands on all the variety of materials. There could be all the best stuff out there but we are still not teaching out kids to be.

We are not into accumulating nor are we trying to get as much done as we possibly can; we are not hot-housing our kids, nor are we bring the school home. Homeschooling to us, is a lifestyle.

Chinese New Year is round the corner. My 4.5 year old is asking me why is everything red in colour. Its a good question, simple enough, but one that a Bible believing parent ought to weigh out religious overtones.

I thought for a moment and said "Chinese who do not worship our Lord, Jesus Christ believes that red stands for good luck". He understood that we do not believe in luck.

But it is often when our friends wish us good luck that we learn to be gracious in accepting what they give. We learn that when others give us good things with good intention, we say thank you even though we may not like it, or do not partake in the same belief. We may not recieve it into our lives, but we ought to be polite. Today we are talking about "luck" and "food".

We walked through Chinatown recently as we always do yearly around Chinese New Year period. My son commented that others are worshipping the idols. We use these terms as it is, but we had to teach that he be gentle when he say that. Some people may find it offensive so we speak softly. I said "Because others who do not share the same beliefs may misunderstand us, so we try to care for how they feel. Even though we are different, we still love the people like Jesus love them."

This Chinese New Year, we learnt to love others who are different and learn to be a chinese who is a christian. All other traditions are easily found in textbooks abound, but homeschooling, it is really a lifestyle. And why not, we will be making lanterns craft and decorating our house! The doing is usually the easiest part. Living in the age of information overload, there are all sorts of fancy resources to suit ones liking.

How not to choose a good cultural story book?

My First Chinese New Year by Katz karen introduces readers to the traditions and importance of this holiday in China with My First Chinese New Year. "Red means good luck and happiness in China" reads the text, as mother and child hang patterned red tissues for decoration. The girl narrator "sweep[s] away the bad luck from last year" with her younger sister and makes an altar "to honor our ancestors" with her grandfather, among other activities sure to inspire readers and their kin. The family enjoying a banquet and a colorful parade round out the fun

I had chosen not to read this book this year because I think not all spiritual matters are quite as easily understood by a 4 year old. Ancestral worship goes into familiar spirits and the likes and it is important that we understand it correctly to explain it at their level.

Recommended good reads for Chinese New Year?
1. A New Year's Reunion by Li Qiong Yu is a great read - English & Mandarin version. Suitable for aged 5-8yr old. It talks about the importance of family.
Little Maomao s father works in faraway places and comes home just once a year, for Chinese New Year. At first Maomao barely recognizes him, but before long the family is happily making sticky rice balls, listening to firecrackers, and watching the dragon dance in the streets below. Papa gets a haircut, makes repairs to the house, and hides a lucky coin for Maomao to find. Which she does! But all too soon it is time for Papa to go away again. This poignant, vibrantly illustrated tale, which won the prestigious Feng Zikai Chinese Children s Picture Book Award in 2009, is sure to resonate with every child who misses relatives when they are away and shows how a family s love is strong enough to endure over time and distance.

Nian the New Year Monster by TaoShu. Suitable for 3-5yr olds.
Nian is a legend. A legend is a fictitious story. Since this year is the year of dragon, this book is suitable to explain away about dragons. We are also including a segment on what the Bible says about the dragon. I like Tao Shu series because there are many elements in Chinese Culture that we could talk about to adopt or not. So this provides an excellent platform for our 5yr old in the understanding of how we can walk as a Chinese yet a Christ Follower.