The famous children's author Roald Dahl once said: “If you want to remember what it’s like to live in a child’s world, you’ve got to get down on your hands and knees and live like that for a week. You find you have to look up at all these bloody giants around you who are always telling you what to do and what not to do.”
I was teaching a reading comprehension class when I read this quote. Bemused, I sat there for a while and stared at it. My student, a primary 1 student, familiar to me and responsive to my pauses was thinking about the sentence I had read. She was looking for the right answer, the correct answer, but I wasn't technically asking her anything. An impressive social response on her behalf.
Wow, kids are impressive.
On reading the above passage, I suppose I had just realised that I am doing exactly what Dahl said. I really do get down on my hands and knees and live like a child, not for one week but for many weeks. On leaving the class I pondered the thoughts that were springing into my consciousness. I could probably write a pretty good children's book. I mean, I'm currently doing the work experience, I'm doing the field studies and the lab research. On thinking about it, I really should have created a tally of all the children's books I have read! It's sure to be hundreds! With the hours I spend at Hong Kong Central Library I could practically be referred to as a researcher.
During my private classes I am always amazed at the connections I notice among the students. Although these students have never met, there is a universal response to certain stimuli - it's so funny!
When I was a student, I always admired my English literature teachers, they were always one step ahead, already aware of the question on the tip of my tongue. Teaching students privately takes me back to this.
By the end my working week I would have taught variations of the same lesson a handful of times. For this reason, I am often able to predict the question(s) my final students might ask, the pictures they will be most excited about reading, the things they think are boring or silly, and the story they'll ask to hear again.
The experience I am gaining with a particular age-range is providing a strange type of training for me. I am no longer in the lecture hall learning from a lecturer; I am in the classroom, or family home, learning from the children whom I work for.
By degree I am a Psychologist. I wish to work with families for the rest of my working life and so gaining feedback from children now is probably a beneficial step in my future career moves.
Reflecting on the elements of lessons my students enjoy most has led me to create my first holiday workbook. The students I teach should be able to notice the little things they have expressed a liking for. To find out, just wait to see their response! This should be a good indicator.
My workbooks will be posted on this website for your purchase and discretion. I hope to create many more seasonal workbooks should families find this beneficial. I would appreciate your comments and guidance!
Don't forget to share your progress by posting on the app listed! You'll also find additional information on the app! How enjoyable did your children find the workbook? How useful did you find it?
Children are not a distraction from more important work. They are the most important work.
- C.S. Lewis, author of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe
Thanks for reading! 😊
I reference one of my students in the title, "Open up the moon". The young boy would say "open up the moon" when he was woken up in the mornings and wished to return to bed. I find joy in their sayings and the stories that I feel a connection to. I will endeavour to explain each title at the bottom of each blog.