I taught my children Mandarin while driving them to school, and back. I found that it took me about 25 minutes each way. When I picked them up from school, the first thing I'd do was to ask them about their day. After that I’d teach them Mandarin. I told them that they were simply wasting their time, their ‘life’, looking out the car window, not looking at anything in particular, while I was driving. So why not use this precious time effectively, for life is but a series of time. I had bought two books from the Mirror series used by Yale University for their students. The books were 'Speak Chinese' and ‘Chinese Dialogues'. These books are useful for students who know English. My children were not allowed to bring the books into our home. These books were to be left in the car. We were to use them only during the drive to and from school. This was simply because they had enough home work given by their school teachers. My children would read the books and I would correct their pronunciation as they read. Like I have said earlier, once you get used to the sounds the letters make, one can read Romanized Mandarin in a very short time.
What I told them was this: Let us read 15 minutes on the way to school and 15 minutes on the way back. Within five years all of you would be able to speak basic Mandarin. (The five years are the five years in secondary school). Sure enough they have all learned to speak Mandarin in the five years.
Only Hakim though speaks good Mandarin as he is the only one who uses it with his friends after school. My daughter Yazmin is about to finish Chinese Dialogues after which I hope she would follow in Hakim’s footsteps.
You may ask why all this elaboration about learning Mandarin in this blog. Well, my aim is to inform, you could make use of all available time to teach your child and even more so if your child has dyslexia. If my children could learn a language over the 5-year secondary school period in the time we went to school and back, surely your child too can also learn during his travelling- to-school time. The idea here is simple: a little a day. There is an English proverb which says : “Little drops make an ocean”.
I have more or less written all that I wanted to write in this blog to share with parents of children with dyslexia. If I have omitted anything and I do recall I’ll write here again. So do visit this blog off and on.
I am also going to write a book on how to study smart. Over the years many parents had asked me how had I taught my children to study and be an excellent student. My children have all been top students in their school. Therefore I believe it would be a good idea for me to write such a book for everybody’s benefit.
Meanwhile I’ll start on my lessons for parents’ guidance of their children with dyslexia, tomorrow. My lessons would also be useful as parents’ guidance of all other children generally. I will blog the lessons on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Do pass on the information on my blog to others like tutors and even teachers. They are all most welcome to continue into the lessons. I leave you now in God’s hands and may God make things easy for you. See you tomorrow