“Wild Cucumber” Becomes a Great Student
(Minghui.org) When he was young my son was introverted and timid. He didn't like being around other kids and had no interest in learning anything. My family was concerned.
When my son reached kindergarten age, we chose a private school for him so that he wouldn't be criticized too much by his teacher. After only two days he began crying and resisting going to school. We tried dropping him off and immediately leaving, but he would run after us. The teacher tried to stop him, but he got on the floor and crawled. Finally, his grandma had to stay with him. However, the school didn't allow parents or grandparents to stay in the classroom, so my son refused to go.
We tried changing kindergartens, but the same thing happened. We eventually switched back to his first kindergarten. Even though he refused to attend the following year we continued to pay so that he could go at any time. The last year before elementary school he eventually agreed to go to kindergarten. He was behind the other kids. I signed him up for martial arts and piano classes but he quit saying he didn't like them. He had no interest in learning anything and was especially slow at math.
An Elementary School with No Tests
By the time my son turned seven, he had learned almost nothing. I was very anxious because every other child his age had learned so much. I was worried that he was falling behind so I signed him up for a math class. He tried hard, but he couldn't make any progress because of his poor memory. His teacher called him a “wild cucumber” and hinted that we should spank him. His feelings were hurt and he didn't want to continue.
Given my son's personality, my husband and I thought a lot about an elementary school, and eventually chose a school that most people wouldn't have considered. The school we chose didn't follow the national educational system. The elementary level only taught classical poems and math. The students do not take the exams administered by the State Education Commission. My little “wild cucumber” really enjoyed his happy elementary life with no exams.
Even though the tuition was a little more than other schools, the school didn't force any information or activities required by the Chinese Communist Party. Students started the day with jogging. They read classic ancient poems and essays in the mornings and learned math in the afternoons. There was almost no homework. My son thoroughly enjoyed the school's relaxed and happy atmosphere.
Because of the State Department of Education's credential system, students lacking official school credentials would not be allowed to enter middle schools. I had to transfer my son to an official school during the second semester of his fifth grade. No teacher was willing to take a student who had never taken any exams or taken any P.E. Music, Arts, or English classes. After repeated requests, the school finally accepted him, but his performance became a huge headache for us.
Even though his math was decent, he didn't know any English or modern grammar. He didn't know the format for writing a journal or an essay, or how to spell words in phonetic symbols, much less anything about music and P.E.
On his first English test my son's score was 12 out of 100. It was a record-low for the school. His classmates burst into laughter when the scores were announced. His English teacher found that my son only had a chance to learn 12 English words since he started but he had memorized them very well, so she didn't give up on him.
“Wild Cucumber” Brightened by Reading Falun Dafa Books
My son's school performance became the biggest headache in our family. We were thankful when he could manage to keep up with his classes.
However, my mom had complete confidence in her grandson. He listened to grandma's advice and repeated “Falun Dafa is great. Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is great.”
My son believed in Falun Dafa ever since he was young. Grandma took care of him, and before he turned three he listened to the recordings of Master Li's (the founder) lectures with grandma almost every day. During the years he skipped kindergarten, he watched Shen Yun Performing Arts DVDs every day. My husband works in another town and can only come home once in a while. One day when he came home, my son pulled his dad in front of the TV. Extending one little hand towards the TV, my son respectfully bowed and said, “Daddy, Daddy, hurry, watch the divine beings!”
Our whole family loves his innocence and compassionate nature. Even though he hasn't received a “modern education,” he has learned a lot about traditional culture from grandma. He believes in the existence of Buddhas and divine beings, and knows about karmic retribution, and reincarnation.
When he was seven, grandma heard that his teacher called him a “wild cucumber.” So she decided to teach my son how to read the book Zhuan Falun during the summer before first grade. He not only learned how to read, but his memory greatly improved. When he started elementary school he could memorize long ancient essays which have many words that are hard to pronounce and understand. The essays were middle school and high school level, but he memorized them within a couple of days. He could fluently recite them and easily pronounce the difficult words.
When his English teacher told me that my son had a good memory, I believed it because I saw how his memory improved after he started reading Zhuan Falun. Since he was so behind in his English, his teacher gave him individual tutoring. In the evenings, he reviewed what he learned during the day and worked on homework. When he ran into difficulties, he repeated “Falun Dafa is great. Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is great.” After half a semester of hard work, he participated in the end-of-year exam for the first time. His scores surprised everyone: 99.5 in English, 99 in Math and 90 in Chinese.
During the recent parent-teacher meetings, his teachers said my son had improved the most of all the students in the school. His teacher told me that my son had not only improved a lot academically, but was also actively involved in group activities. She told me how he helped his class win first place at the team jump rope contest. Since he had never taken any P.E. classes and didn't know how to jump rope with a team, he wasn't qualified to join the team, but he wasn't discouraged. He asked to help his class team during practice. After observing for awhile, he found the best point to take off. He stood at that point like a nail, and let his classmates take off from exactly where he stood. Everyone was able to jump through the rope accurately. Their class team easily won first place. His classmates were thankful for his unselfish contribution.
My family and I were proud and felt relieved. He was able to catch up within half of a semester! He also made friends quickly because he's simple, honest, and warmhearted. We were thrilled to see that he adapted to his new school so well.
My son has stayed on the top of his class throughout the sixth grade. For the first time in his life he brought home awards. Due to his outstanding performance, he was among the first group of students admitted to middle school. His classmates called him a “high flyer.” My “wild cucumber” is now a bright boy! His incredible progress shows the power of Falun Dafa!
During the summer between his elementary and middle schools, I studied Zhuan Falun with my son. He is now one of the best students in his middle school and even became a student official.
Most of all, my son follows the Falun Dafa principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. He can clearly differentiate between right and wrong and has compassion. All these positive things came from his experience with Dafa. Dafa has given him wisdom. He loves traditional culture, from which he has gained a wealth of knowledge. It's not something he can learn from the textbooks in China these days. His words and behavior are indeed different from other kids.
His middle school teacher praised us for having brought up our son so well. But we clearly knew that he couldn't have improved so much no matter what method we used. His achievements and progress owe to the most powerful thing: “Falun Dafa is great! Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is great!”