Over the past six weeks, Aidan and Jordan have been participating in a book contest designed by yours truly. I give them points for listening to picture books in English, more points for short chapters books, and lots of points for comic books. I will say that there is a magic to comic books.
The magic of comic books started with Justin. He has probably 30 Maple Story comic books that he started reading in elementary school. Aidan and Jordan both love the Dragon Village comics where dragons fight out epic battles of good and evil. The latest comic book series has been Kakao friends which is a great package of comic book plus little gift. There is also a comic book series for Old Testament and New Testament stories that is very, very good. The boys got their points doubled on Sunday if they read anything from this series.
I also love the Why? books that so well done here. There are why? books for just about everything that I used to find in the Encyclopedia Britannica. Aidan and Jordan have learned about the South Korean president and the beloved figure skater Kim Yun-ah.
We've been able to do this also because of the development of libraries. Our little local library in Jochiwon has a great selection of English books. As well, there is another great library in Sejong City. We go every two weeks on Saturday and stay for a couple of hours.
The how-to's of this have been worked out over the years. First, they are allowed to pick books that they want to read, not just what I want them to read. Second, I have had to let go of the idea of them reading well in English. They do not read terribly well in English yet, but progress is being made slowly with the read-alouds we do for points. Related to the English is challenge is the Bible verse challenge. They are to practice handwriting in English every weekday with some material that I picked up years ago. It's a short 5 to 10 minutes period where they learn the printed and cursive alphabet. Third, the read-alouds are generally pretty short. 10 to 15 minutes is what they can handle in terms of listening in English. Fourth, I aim for short reading periods when they read on their own. These periods are before bedtime. Devices are to be turned off at 8:00, and the books come out. EPIC is the one exception to this as that application has so many beautiful book options.
The boys have earned a lot of points, and I want to do something to celebrate this. Interestingly, Jordan pulled ahead of Aidan in terms of points and that's when the idea of cooperation popped into my head. (Aidan is still trying to figure out how his brother go ahead of him!!?!!) We need to go to an amusement park or a movie to celebrate their achievement of over 6000 collective points.
Reading is a gift to their development. The concentration and perseverance it takes to read through an entire book relates back to their character development. They are developing patience, faithfulness, and self-control, all fruits of the Spirit.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23