全家人一齊來

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1995 / 4月

文‧美國張渝寧



海外生活徵文專欄我如何教育下一代

華人對子女的教育向來重視,不管身在何處,對下一代能否接受中國文化的洗禮,無不心心念念,您如何教育第二代(或第三代)?有何錦囊妙計?請不吝公開。

剛來美國的那一年,碰到的第一個長假,從十二月中旬,一直到新年元旦,整整有兩個星期。要如何安排家裡的四個小蘿蔔頭每天的活動,可真是要費點心思,一則要經濟實惠,二則必須推陳出新求多樣化,三則得適可而止,避免玩過了頭,開學後還不容易把心收回來。趁著到本地的大批發超市採購聖誕樹的燈飾,順便向老闆要了一塊大紙板,足足有九尺高、四尺半寬。目的是讓孩子們有個塗鴉的地方,題目就訂為:「公園裡的音樂會」。

沒想到人人各顯神通,有的畫媽媽合唱團,有的畫擔任伴奏的交響樂團,還有碧藍的天空,和公園裡的綠草紅花、噴泉、大樹,加上彩蝶飛鳥,整個畫面顯得五彩繽紛,生動活潑。有的用蠟筆或彩色筆作畫,有的以水彩和毛筆揮灑,尤其是畫面上的人物,歌唱者、演奏家、指揮、聽眾和公園裡的遊客,面部的表情刻畫得生趣盎然。內人和我從旁幫助他們,或遞送顏料,或提供意見供他們參考,甚至適時地給他們加油——補足甜點和飲料,全家動員,前後努力了三天,真是忙得不亦樂乎!一直到了大夥兒都覺得色彩已經佈滿了整塊紙板,再也沒有發揮的餘地了。此時,大家再一起把畫高懸在客廳壁爐前的那面大牆,瞪大了眼睛共同欣賞自己的傑作,心中感到無比的驕傲。我驕傲的則是「它」凝聚了全家人的心。

次年,學校老師指定小女元祈和元欣,參加家長會主辦的藝文競賽,她倆就是以那幅畫,來配合年度的主題:「我有一個心願:讓音樂成為和平的語言」。孩子自忖才學一年的英文,做起來可能很吃力,只好全家一齊來,查字典、找資料、打電腦、設計封面……洋洋灑灑完成了十餘頁圖文並茂的「巨作」。最後僥倖地贏得初賽,獲贈乙套最新版的大英百科全書。孩子們有了這次的經驗,爾後連年都主動報名參加,不論得獎與否,一切盡其在我,樂在其中。正應了「參加就是得獎」的那句名言。

〔圖片說明〕

P.54

元祈、元欣、元樸、元禎四姐弟拿著他們心愛的小提琴合影於「畫」前。

P.55

「畫」的局部。

相關文章

近期文章

EN

All Together Now!

Chang Yu-ning, USA /tr. by Robert Taylor


The year I arrived in the USA, I met with my first long holiday. It was going to last from mid-December right through to New Year's Day, a straight two weeks. I would have my work cut out to find things for my four kids to do every day, for firstly whatever we did had to be affordable, secondly it had to be novel and full of variety, and thirdly I didn't want to overdo things, so that when school started they would be able to calm down again. When I went to the local cash-and-carry supermarket to buy lights for the Christmas tree, I took the opportunity to cadge a large piece of cardboard, fully nine feet long by four foot six wide. My idea was to give the children a surface to paint on, and the subject was to be "A Concert in the Park."

To my surprise, the children all set to with enthusiasm, some painting a mothers' singing group, some painting the accompanying orchestra, along with a blue sky, the green grass and red flowers of the park, and fountains, trees, butterflies and birds, to make a vivid, richly colorful picture. Some parts they drew with wax crayons or colored pencils, while some they painted with brushes and water colors. They put lifelike and amusing expressions on the faces of the people in the painting, such as the singers, players, conductor, audience and visitors strolling through the park. My wife and I helped from the sidelines by keeping them supplied with painting materials, offering our suggestions and encouragement, and refuelling them with snacks and drinks as necessary. The whole family pitched in, and we were busy for three full days! But finally the cardboard was covered all over with color, and everyone agreed there was no more space on which to display their talents. Then we all picked up the painting and hung it on the wall opposite the living room fireplace, and stood back with eyes wide to admire our work. Everyone felt immensely proud, and what I was proudest of was that the project had got the whole family working together.

The following year the teachers at my children's school chose my two daughters to take part in an art and writing competition put on by the parent teachers' association. The girls used our painting to illustrate that year's topic: "I Have a Dream--Let Music be the Language of Peace." As the children had only been learning English for a year, they were rather daunted by the task, and so the whole family set to--looking up words in the dictionary, searching out materials, typing on the computer, designing the cover--and thus produced a magnificent "magnumopus" with over ten pages of pictures and text. Finally they were lucky enough to win the first round of the competition. The prize was the latest edition of Encyclopedia Britannica. After that experience, every year since then the children have signed up for the competition of their own accord. Whether or not they win anything doesn't matter half as much as the enjoyment they get from doing their best, thus showing the truth of the saying "participation is its own reward."

[Picture Caption]

p.54

Brothers and sisters Yuan-chi, Yuan-hsin, Yuan-pu and Yuan-chen in front of "The Painting," holding their beloved violins.

p.55

Part of "The Painting."

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