Fortune Cookie Mom https://fortunecookiemom.com Chinese Educational Resources & Bilingual Homeschooling tips Thu, 26 Mar 2020 08:24:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.3.2 https://fortunecookiemom.com/wp-content/uploads/cropped-fortune-cookie-momT-100x100.png Fortune Cookie Mom https://fortunecookiemom.com 32 32 110285196 Writing in Chinese Characters: 10 Tips for Teaching Young Children of How to Write Chinese Characters https://fortunecookiemom.com/writing-chinese-characters-tips-for-young-children/ https://fortunecookiemom.com/writing-chinese-characters-tips-for-young-children/#respond Thu, 26 Mar 2020 07:40:04 +0000 https://fortunecookiemom.com/?p=10424 The post Writing in Chinese Characters: 10 Tips for Teaching Young Children of How to Write Chinese Characters appeared first on Fortune Cookie Mom.

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Writing in Chinese seems like the hardest skill to master, especially for those are not attending any Chinese schools.

But we should not give up on this important skill.

What can we do to help our children start writing Chinese characters?

Today, I would like to share 10 Tips for Teaching Young Children to Write Chinese Characters: from pre-writing activities, recognizing Chinese characters, involve in reading, to using different media for practice, and teach the right stroke order.

There is also a 6-page of Chinese Practice Sheet FREEBIE for you to download at the end of this blog post, so you can start teaching your kids writing in Chinese characters right away.

The post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you. If you make a purchase through a link. See the Disclosure for more details.

 

* Please scroll down to download a Freebie.

 

Working on copybooks, completing heavy loads of penmanship homework, and memorizing different passages and paragraphs for dictation was part of my life growing up in Hong Kong.

No one likes learning this way, but, sadly, it seems like this is the only way to learn how to write in Chinese. This problem is always causing headaches for students and their parents.

I know there are no shortcuts for my own kids when it comes to learning Chinese writing: repeated practice is the key.

However, can I make it a more pleasant and bearable experience?

Homeschooling allows me to help each child to learn at their own pace, and to reinforce their learning with different methods, games, and materials.

Today, I would like to share some tips on how I teach my kids to write Chinese characters, and these tips work for both fluent and non-fluent parents.

10 Tips for Teaching Young Children to Write Chinese Characters

 

Tip #1: Prepare for Success

With pre-writing activities, recognizing Chinese characters, and be your child’s example

 

Pre-Writing Activities

There are many fun ways we can help our children prepare to write.

To help them strengthen fine motor skills and gain more confidence, your child can prepare to write with pre-writing activities.

For example

  • Scissors skills
  • Shaping play-dough
  • Helping with chores
  • Coloring & painting
  • Tearing paper into shapes
  • Using a tweezer to pick up small objects
  • Using clothespins to clip things together.

 

* If you want to learn more about pre-writing activities, you won’t want to miss this article from Teaching Mama.

 

 

Start Recognizing Basic Chinese Characters

There is no way to learn writing without exposure to Chinese characters. The best and easiest resources are books.

Pick some Chinese books that are clear, big, and easy to read so your child can recognize them easily.

Any type of reading material with any simple Chinese characters will work too: such as flashcards, posters, Chinese labels, photos, and decoration.

The more Chinese characters your children get to see every day, the easier it will be for them to learn how to write them.

 

 

Be an Example

Having a role model is essential for children because they love to do what their parents are doing.

Imagine how powerful it will be for your children to watch you practice writing Chinese or calligraphy.

What a great message you are sending to your child by being their example.

 

 

 

Tips #2: Recognizing Chinese Characters’ Structure through Reading

Recognizing Chinese characters always go first, then writing after.

  • Start with very simple Chinese books.
  • Pick out some common words that often appear, read it again and again. After that, you can cover the words and test your child.
  • You also can tell them a little bit about these characters by explaining its meaning, radicals, and strokes.
  • When you are learning a new character with the same radicals or meaning, connect them together, so your child will know how those characters are related, and the differences between them.
  • It’s ok to read bilingual books with both Chinese characters and English in the beginning. However, my kids usually end up focus on reading English instead of the Chinese, so I decided not to read bilingual books, and their Chinese reading has improved since then.
  • Even if you are non-fluent speakers,  don’t avoid reading Chinese books with your kids. Try to follow along with some audiobooks first.

 

I know it’s difficult for a lot of people to find simple beginning Chinese books, and not everyone can afford that ship them oversea.

I created some Chinese Children’s books that are affordable and easy to make, so you and your child can start learning Mandarin/ Cantonese with them.

As an adult, you can learn much faster than your children, so you will be able to keep up with them.

 

Tips #3: Use Different Media to Practice Writing

Growing up my teachers only allowed us to use pencils to write because they wanted to make sure we used the correct hand position for writing in order to ensure we had good handwriting in the future.

I’m sure because it’s easier to erase and make corrections.

However, I have learned so many other fun ways to practice writing after I became a homeschooling mom.

Here are a few of my favorites:

 

Do you know other ways for kids to practice writing in general?

 

Tips #4: Correct and Teach the Right Stroke Order

Following the correct stroke orders with exactness is important for developing good handwriting and memorizing characters.

When you follow the incorrect stroke order, it is very hard to correct it later.

If you do not know or remember how to write a Chinese character, it is important to look it up and learn the correct stroke order when you have your child to practice.

Here are some useful tools that I found:

Standard Writing Chinese Guidelines and Stroke Orders

This blog provides a clear picture of all the different types of strokes and the standard guidelines of writing in Chinese.

Even if you don’t know anything about writing Chinese characters, this site will help you learn the different types of strokes, and find the different patterns while learning to write.

 

Look it up in the Dictionary

This online Chinese-English Dictionary from Arch Chinese allows you to type or copy and paste any Chinese character you want to learn into the search bar.

It will then give you useful information like definition, radical, animated stroke order, stroke count, antonyms, Pinyin, Jyutping, and more.

As you learn more Chinese characters, it will get easier to learn from others.

You will start to see how characters with a similar structure, stroke order, and radicals are related to each other.

This will help you and your child a lot as you contine to learn more Chinese characters.

 

Tip # 5: Find the Similarities and Differences between Characters

Identifying differences is a basic preschool skill, and it is also a very important skill for them to learn Chinese characters.

As you know, Chinese characters are like building blocks with different parts.

Some characters are built and formed with a left and right part, others are formed from top to the bottom, and some are made from outside to inside.

If we can help children find the similarities and differences between Chinese characters they are learning, it will make more sense to them and help them solidify their knowledge of the Chinese language.

 

From Radicals

Many characters share a radical, and this often means they have a related meaning.

 

For example

The words with the mouth radical “口” usually have meanings related to actions we do with our mouths:

From the Formation itself

It’s easier to find and group the same formation together whenever your child is learning new characters.

They will see the similarities and differences between different Chinese characters.

For example

These are the most common formation you will find.

Tip #6: Provide Real-life Reasons to Learn and Write Chinese

It’s important to provide real-life reasons for kids to learn Chinese and its culture because they are going to learning something different than their friends.

I don’t think being a successful businessman or having a good future is a good enough reason to motivate children to learn.

These are the parents’ reasons for having their children learn. If you and your child don’t have a good reason for studying Chinese, now is a good time to think and talk about it together.

For me, the biggest reason is my kids are able to communicate with my parents who don’t speak and write English. T

hen, of course, I would love my kids to embrace who they are from, and open their eyes while they are learning about other cultures and languages.

When we first told our oldest child that she is half Chinese, she was so confused. We tried to tell her that’s why we speak both Cantonese and English, why her grandparents look and speak differently, and why we moved from the U.S. to Hong Kong.

Even though she didn’t completely understand, this knowledge changed her life. Now she knows who she really is, why she is in Hong Kong, and why she is learning two languages. She has started to embrace both languages and cultures in her life.

For my children, their family is a real-life reason to learn Chinese. They can use their Chinese to write birthday cards, love-notes, letters and emails to my parents.

Additionally, if they want to read messages from their grandparents, my kids must know how to read Chinese too. These real-life reasons have helped motivate my children to learn Chinese more seriously.

I know not everyone has the same reasons for having their kids learn Chinese, but it is important to have good reasons that will motivate your children.

 

What are some of your reasons for your kids to learn Chinese? 

Tip #7: Practice Writing Often

There is no short cut to learning to write in Chinese. Your child must practice and practice, but you should not force them to practice, and the amount of practice should be age-appropriate.

I would say the best way to encourage your child to practice is to have consistent practice time each day.

You could even make a progress chart for your child to check off each day, and they can earn a reward when they complete the chart.

My two youngest children usually go to bed first, so I have about an hour of alone time with my oldest child.

During this time, she picks a quiet activity she wants to do, and I add about 10-15 minutes of writing time to that activity.

 

For example, I might pick a few Chinese characters from the book we read or some important sight words she needs to learn, and I will teach her how to write those characters.

I also encourage you to practice with your child too.

It’s easier to work hard when someone is doing it with you. Your child won’t feel alone or discouraged if you are practicing with them.

Plus, this will help you understand what your child is going through, and you may come up with easier or better ways to help your child practice.

 

 

Tip #8: Give a lot of Praise and Encouragement

We all know having positive feedback is one of the most powerful tools to motivate us to do hard things.

We also know writing Chinese characters is much harder than writing the alphabet. Children will struggle when learning to write Chinese, so we need to encourage them to keep working and praise their efforts.

It’s okay if their handwriting isn’t perfect or the stroke order is incorrect. When they finally master one character, celebrate with them.

Do a silly Chinese dance or simply give them hugs and kisses. They deserve it!

 

Tip#9: Make it a Family Thing

“Why I am the only one learning Chinese?”

“Why do I have to learn Chinese if there is no one using this weird language here anyway?”

Have you ever heard this complaint from your child? When children are struggling to do something difficult, they like to know that someone else feels the same way.

If you are alone teaching Chinese and don’t have any Chinese neighbors, friends or family, don’t forget about your own family! Get the whole family involved in writing activities like:

 

For Example

  • Practice writing and creating Chinese New Year Banners together
  • Sending letters, notes, and messages in Chinese to each other
  • Create labels in Chinese and put the labels around the house together
  • Have competitions of who remembers the most Chinese characters, or who writes the most Chinese characters, etc.

Here are other Ten Best Activities You Can Do as a Family to Enhance Chinese Learning.

 

TIP #10: Avoid Comparision and Follow Their own pace

It is so easy to worry about our kids’ progress by comparing how many books they have read or how many characters they know how much other children can do.

To keep this from happening, set your own goals and design a plan to accomplish them. You and your child should focus on reaching your goals at your own pace.

 

Freebie: Chinese Practice Sheets

 

I have created 6-page different Chinese practice sheets that you can use.

Some with boxes on the whole page, some with an area to draw pictures, some can practice writing with or without the box, etc.

It’s perfect for ages 3 and up to elementary kids.

In the comment, let me know which tip(s) do you find useful for you?

What next steps are you going to do to help your kids in writing Chinese?

Join my Facebook support group to meet and get connections with parents and educators with the same goals.

The post Writing in Chinese Characters: 10 Tips for Teaching Young Children of How to Write Chinese Characters appeared first on Fortune Cookie Mom.

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Free Curriculum Maps to Start Home-school During Quarantine https://fortunecookiemom.com/free-curriculum-maps-home-school-during-quarantine/ https://fortunecookiemom.com/free-curriculum-maps-home-school-during-quarantine/#respond Sun, 15 Mar 2020 07:08:26 +0000 https://fortunecookiemom.com/?p=10128 The post Free Curriculum Maps to Start Home-school During Quarantine appeared first on Fortune Cookie Mom.

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Since the middle of January in Hong Kong the coronavirus has been limiting our ability to go out. During the quarantine, we have been stuck at home and have been limiting our contact with other people.  Even though we home-school, it doesn’t mean isolating ourselves has been easy. We were trapped in a tiny apartment with 8 people.

Our four children have no space to run around. It’s harder for us to fall asleep. Their emotions go up and down.

The good news is we have adjusted to our new lifestyle, and we have learned to enjoy every moment and count our blessing every day. I know you can do it as well.

I have gathered the best free resources and created a 4-week Curriculum Map for you to start home-school during quarantine. You can download and use right away without spending any extra time making a plan.

*Please scroll down to download this FREE Curriculum Map*

 

Our Life in Hong Kong During Coronavirus

No one wants to be stuck at home for weeks or even months and yet, we are forced to do it right now to protect our health and each other.

Generally, we do spend a lot of time at home, teaching, learning, playing, and spending time together, we would still get out every day and get some exercise and some fresh air. So having to restrict our time outside has been a challenge and not something we looked forward to.

Time outside the house was relaxing and enjoyable. My kids would play at the park for at least an hour a day, it was time they could be free and explore and I could enjoy the chatting with other moms.

Bedtime used to be a lot smoother as well, the playtime allowed my kids to tire themselves out and help them sleep, especially my two-year-old.  Now, it is a struggle to get him to go to bed on time.

Boredom is also a regular thing, which was fine, but there is a lot of limitations to living in a packed apartment with very limited space.

Plus all the stress that comes from the news and rumors, not knowing when everything will calm down and be safe again. I finally had to stop myself from receiving news updates for a while.

But, after a couple of weeks, we started to figure a pattern and made adjustments to our lifestyle of being at home all the time.

We made a daily schedule for my kids, giving them more responsibilities and things to work on.

It has had made a huge difference.

When kids have a purpose in their lives, they are more active and happy.

Of course, they still had tons of time to play.

Now, it is just me and three kids all day. (It’ll be a temporary family situation) I am able to manage it on my own.

I believe we all need a plan and a new routine to make everyone happy and active.

 

 

Homeschooling Challenges I Face during Coronavirus

 

  •  All extra activity was canceled and it’s hard to find a replacement. For example, going out to play, grocery shopping, church service, meeting with friends, eating out, etc.
  • Kids aren’t active enough
  • Overloaded screentime
  • They fight and get upset more often

 

The Blessings we found

  • Extra family time
  • A perfect moment to talk about what to do and prepare during crises
  • Kids are more aware of hygiene and health
  • Everyone tries to eat healthier and sleep more
  • My kids create tons of interesting and fun activities to do
  • My kids protect each other by reminding each other to wash their hands or not to touch anything when we are out
  • My kids read a lot
  • We are all feeling more grateful for what we have

 

Freebies: 4-Week-Curriculum Map

 

Once I came up with a new schedule with a reward chart for each of my kids after 3 weeks of self-quarantine, things changed.

We had our life back, we were more organized and happier. So I would like to share with you a 4-week-curriculum map with a weekly reward chart to start. And then, during those 4 weeks, you can have time to face your challenges or do any preparation without worrying too much about your kids.

 

If you prefer to watch, I did a Facebook Live HERE to explain how this curriculum map works.

 

I have gone through this already, I know how it felt. So here it is, the 4-week-curriculum map:

Who is the Curriculum Map for?

  • Children (age 3-8)
  • Anyone who wants to homeschool their children during the quarantine
  • Those who need a plan for their children with educational activities and meaningful things to do
  • Those whose children are learning either English &/ Chinese (if you are not teaching any Chinese to your kids right now, it’s ok. You can sub other activity of that day, or simply enjoy those Chinese activities as well. Why not?)

 

 

What is in the Curriculum Map?

  • 2 Levels of Curriculum: (age 3-5) & (age 6-8) learning either Mandarin/ Cantonese
    (If you aren’t teaching Chinese, you can still use this map. Just skip the Chinese part!)
  • 7 Language versions of a Good Job Weekly Chart: to help your kids create a flexible schedule every week

English
Traditional Chinese
Traditional Chinese with Jyutping
Traditional Chinese with Pinyin
Traditional Chinese with Zhuyin
Simplified Chinese
Simplified Chinese with Pinyin

  • A list of our Favorite Online Programs (Science, Art & Music, Exercise for kids, Mandarin & Cantonese,  Crafts, English, Maths, Piano/Music, Typing, and Coloring Pages.)

How Does it Work?

 

Curriculum Maps

  1. Pick a curriculum map that fits your child. If you have multiple children, they can use the same map or each child has their own.
  2. Print out the curriculum map, and hang it up so your child can see it and be excited about it.
  3. In the digital copy, click on the activity listed in each day.
  4. You will either need to print some printables, follow simple instructions for an activity, or prepare to watch an educational video.
  5. Feel free to explore each topic further with your child. Allow your child to lead, and see what they want to discover and learn.

 

 

Good Job Weekly Charts

  1. Pick the version of the good job chart and print them out for each child.
  2. Sit down with your child and plan 8 activities to do each day for the coming week. And come up with a reward with them as well.
  3. They can pick 2 kinds of chores, 4  learning activities, and 2 slots of fun activities.
  4. For those who have younger children, you can easily block off certain activities on a certain day. Just pre-fill the box for your child, and they don’t have to overdo it.
  5. Remind your child to check it off, or fill the boxes with stickers, stamps…  during the week.
  6. Reward them after they finish the chart each week.

 

Suggested Rewards for Finished the Good Job Weekly Chart

  • Stay up late
  • Let them choose what to eat for dinner tomorrow
  • Bonus screen time
  • 30 minutes of one-on-one time with you
  • Treat
  • Pick what board game to play in the family game night
  • Extra responsibilities
  • Extra video chat with friends and families
  • Play crazy in the bedroom

 

Sign Up & Download Here

I hope this 4-week curriculum map can help you adjusting this crazy time of your life and make it better. I hope that no matter what challenges you are facing right now, you are able to figure it out and get support. 

What kind of educational resources are you looking for? 

What resources would you like me to create to help to smooth your days at home?

(Please leave a comment below and I will reply to you personally!)

身为职业妈妈的我,常常牺牲睡眠来自作教材。版主全方位学习的新年教材真让我省下不少宝贵的时间找资料。四岁的女儿对中文学习有点抗拒。我们善用版主提供的迷你故事书和生字卡来增强她对语文的认识。版主的中文单词棋盘游戏更让女儿投入学习, 因为她想赢嘛!版主的教材可让小孩边玩边学, 太棒了。

Grace

两个小孩的职业妈妈

This is the second 5-Day Challenge that we have done with Fortune Cookie Mom. Both have been very beneficial to our family. I am a homeschool mom of three little kids. We are not Chinese and do not speak any Chinese. With the help of Fortune Cookie Mom, we are slowly learning! The challenges have given me fun activities to do at home with the kids. Each one has reignited my kid's interest in learning. It has been a fun experience for everybody!

Nicolette

Homeschooling Mom of Three

The post Free Curriculum Maps to Start Home-school During Quarantine appeared first on Fortune Cookie Mom.

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The Very Hungry Caterpillar: Chinese Printable https://fortunecookiemom.com/the-very-hungry-caterpillar-chinese/ https://fortunecookiemom.com/the-very-hungry-caterpillar-chinese/#respond Mon, 09 Mar 2020 14:06:48 +0000 https://fortunecookiemom.com/?p=9826 The post The Very Hungry Caterpillar: Chinese Printable appeared first on Fortune Cookie Mom.

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Recently, my kids caught five caterpillars.  It was a magical experience for our family to watch them grow and change into moths, and to release them back into nature.

Since doing this, I have been preparing to teach my children about caterpillars in Chinese, and we will certainly be reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar (好餓的毛毛蟲)Eric Carle did an amazing job writing and illustrating this beautiful children’s book on nature transformation.

Today, I am very excited to share my Chinese printables (games, worksheets, coloring pages, etc.) for The Very Hungry Caterpillar with you.

The post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you. If you make a purchase through a link. See the Disclosure for more details.

 

“This early work by a premier author marked an exciting breakthrough in the traditional children’s book format. Carle uses clever cutout pages to depict a caterpillar eating his way through the calendar week. Caterpillar also brilliantly displays Carle’s ability to integrate a concept (days of the week), scientific information (the life cycle of a caterpillar), and an appealing story. (Ages 3-6)”

– by Judith Rovenger, Sesame Street Parents, July/August 1994

“The very hungry caterpillar literally eats his way through the pages of the book—and right into your child’s heart…”
Mother’s Manual

*Quotes are from the official website of The Very Hungry Caterpillar*

A Plot Summary

One night, a little caterpillar hatched from an egg. He was very hungry, so he started eating all kinds of food and treats. Over the week, he gets fatter and fatter. Eventually, he spins a cocoon and turns into a beautiful butterfly.

Eric Carle used a very interesting and unique educational tool – each page has a hole in it to show where the caterpillar has “eaten” the food. This helps children learn about the days of the week, names of food, and a caterpillar’s metamorphosis into a butterfly.

 

Grab Your Copies of The Very Hungry Caterpillar

 

Click the images to get an English version in a variety of choices.

Click the images to get a Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese or English versions of the book.

Accomplishments

The Very Hungry Caterpillar is Carle’s best-known work, and has been a popular children’s book since 1969. Here are a few of the many accomplishments and awards for Carle and his book:

  • Translated into 62 languages and sold over 44 million copies.
  • Silver Medal from the City of Milano, Italy, 1989
  • The 1995 David McCord Children’s Literature Citation, Framingham State College + The Nobscot Reading Council of the International Reading Association, 1995
  • Japan Picture Book Award, Presented by Mainichi Newspaper for Lifetime Achievement, 2000
  • Honorary Degree from College of Our Lady the Elms, Chicopee, MA, 2001
  • Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, 2001
  • Honorary Degree from Niagara University, Niagara, NY, 2002
  • The NEA Foundation Award for Outstanding Service to Public Education, 2007
  • The Original Art Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of Illustrators, New York, NY,2010
  • Honorary Degree from Smith College, Northampton, MA, 2014

 

Read more about Eric and his awards on his official website.

 

Activities to Go-along

The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a perfect children book to fo with all different kinds of themes and activities.

Here are some ideas of crafts, printable, other activities (Science, playdough, STEM…), and videos.

 

Crafts

 

Printable

 

Other Activities’ Ideas

 

 Videos

Chinese Printable for The Very Hungry Caterpillar

 

Today, I would like to share TWO Sets of Chinese printable to go with this book:

  • Hands-on Activities
  • Worksheets

Goals

  • Teach basic Chinese vocabulary for the days of the weeks, butterflies’ life cycle, and food from the book through games, coloring pages, hands-on activities, and worksheets.

 

Suggested Duration

  • For preschoolers: 2-3 weeks.
  • For kindergartners and up: 1 week.

 8 versions

  • Traditional Chinese
  • Traditional Chinese with Jytuping (for learning Cantonese!)
  • Traditional Chinese with Pinyin
  • Traditional Chinese with Zhuyin
  • Simplified Chinese
  • Simplified Chinese with Pinyin
  • English with Traditional Chinese
  • English with Simplified Chinese

 

The Very hungry Caterpillar: Hands-On Activities

There are two games: Retelling Story and Today’s Menu, with instructions in the printables.

By playing these games, children will learn and apply the basic Chinese vocabulary from the book.

Some Photos of My Kids Learning with it

The Very Hungry Caterpillar: Worksheets

There are eight pages of printable worksheets. These worksheets focus on Chinese character recognition and reading comprehension. Math and literacy skills are also included.

  • Ordering a butterfly’s life cycle
  • Matching games with handwriting practice
  • Dot-to-dot game
  • Chinese word coloring page
  • Pattern
  • Make a mini-Chinese book

 

I love all of these printable and the clipart. Aren’t they super cute? Which one is your favorite?

Some Photos of My Kids Learning with it

Working on the printable isn’t the only way to learn; there are many arts and crafts activities that you can do as well.

What are your kids’ favorite activities?

I hope you enjoyed reading this post and working with the printable.

If you have any suggestions for other Chinese books you would like to see featured in the future literature-based study, please let me know in the comment section below or email me.

Also, feel free to leave any comments or questions regarding this post too!

 

You Might Be Interested

 

You are Not Doing it Alone

Join my Facebook support group to meet and get connections with parents and educators with the same goals.

身为职业妈妈的我,常常牺牲睡眠来自作教材。版主全方位学习的新年教材真让我省下不少宝贵的时间找资料。四岁的女儿对中文学习有点抗拒。我们善用版主提供的迷你故事书和生字卡来增强她对语文的认识。版主的中文单词棋盘游戏更让女儿投入学习, 因为她想赢嘛!版主的教材可让小孩边玩边学, 太棒了。

Grace

两个小孩的职业妈妈

This is the second 5-Day Challenge that we have done with Fortune Cookie Mom. Both have been very beneficial to our family. I am a homeschool mom of three little kids. We are not Chinese and do not speak any Chinese. With the help of Fortune Cookie Mom, we are slowly learning! The challenges have given me fun activities to do at home with the kids. Each one has reignited my kid's interest in learning. It has been a fun experience for everybody!

Nicolette

Homeschooling Mom of Three

The post The Very Hungry Caterpillar: Chinese Printable appeared first on Fortune Cookie Mom.

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A Book Review: A Cantonese Picture Book for Your Little Kids https://fortunecookiemom.com/book-review-cantonese-picture-book-for-kids/ https://fortunecookiemom.com/book-review-cantonese-picture-book-for-kids/#respond Mon, 02 Mar 2020 16:27:46 +0000 https://fortunecookiemom.com/?p=8788 The post A Book Review: A Cantonese Picture Book for Your Little Kids appeared first on Fortune Cookie Mom.

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There has been a significant increase in the number of Chinese books sold by online bookstores with pinyin to help people who are learning Mandarin Chinese, but there are not as many similar books for people who are learning Cantonese Chinese.

Today, I’m excited to introduce a book with the Cantonese romanization that you can use to teach your kids Cantonese.

This is a sponsored post. I received one My First Everyday Words in Cantonese and English as compensation for writing a review. I was not required to write a positive view, and all opinions expressed here are my own. 

The post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you. If you make a purchase through a link. See the Disclosure for more details.

 

We Need More Children Books in Cantonese

When I was first contacted to do a book review for Karen, I was surprised and couldn’t believe my eyes that it was a book in my native language.

All the photos in the book are so “Asian” that I couldn’t believe Karen isn’t living in Hong Kong or anywhere close to Asia.

Inside the book, I found a note from her explaining that she wrote this book for her husband and son who are learning Cantonese.

Doesn’t this sound like you?

She told me that when she noticed there were almost no resources for Chinese characters or Chinese books for her family, she decided to create one that her family and others would enjoy.

Click HERE to understand better the relationship and differences between Mandarin and Cantonese.

 

About the Author

Karen Yee is a native Cantonese and English speaker who grew up in the United States. A graduate of Stanford University and The Wharton School, she is passionate about language and multilingual parenting.

She was a National Spelling Bee finalist, taught English in Japan and currently leads a language specialist team at Google.

Upon becoming a parent, she was determined to raise her son bilingually. However, she soon discovered there are very limited materials for learning colloquial Cantonese. Most “Cantonese” books focus on formal Chinese and aren’t appropriate for learning conversation, and very few include the Cantonese pronunciation for Chinese characters.

She created the “Chinese-English Book for Kids” series based on what worked for her own family.

Karen loves hearing about bilingual parenting and sharing Cantonese culture and language, and can be reached at everydaycantonese@gmail.com.

(Bio is from Amazon.com)

 

Summary of this Book

This is a bilingual book with Chinese characters, Jyutping (Cantonese romanization), phonetic pronunciation, and English translation for every word that introduces written Spoken Cantonese to preschoolers.

Each word goes with a photo from a sequence of a preschoolers’ daily life. There is also a special section of introducing traditional Cantonese cuisine, dim sum.

Each section of the book starts with a very simple phrase, so little kids can learn to use the vocabulary to form simple daily sentences.

Why do I Love this Cantonese Children Book?

It is a small, light-weight, colorful bilingual book. Toddlers and preschoolers love to read and look at all the pictures.

It is very rare to have Cantonese romanization with Chinese characters and English translation. For parents who are not native Cantonese speakers, or not fluent in Cantonese, this is the perfect book for introducing Cantonese to their kids.

I also love the sequence and order of the book. It simply talks about the day of a toddler/preschooler from waking up in the morning, choosing what clothes to wear, doing different daily activities, eating, playing with toys, and going to bed at night. The little bonus section introducing dim sum is just icing on the cake.

 

What is Jyutping? 

There are many Cantonese romanization systems to help others to learn Cantonese, but the Yale, Sidney, Lau, IPA, and Jyutping are the most common.

The Linguistic Society of Hong Kong promotes Jyutping as the standard romanization system. Click HERE to learn more about Jyutping.

 

 

How Can I use it to Teach my Kids Cantonese?

  • Use it as a picture book at home with your toddlers
  • Make your own labels using the Jyutping from this book and put them all over your house
  • Make your own flashcards using words from the book
  • Practice speaking and using the words from the book every day

 

Click HERE to learn How I motivate my children reading in Cantonese and English

 

Join my Facebook support group to meet and get connections with parents and educators with the same goals.

身为职业妈妈的我,常常牺牲睡眠来自作教材。版主全方位学习的新年教材真让我省下不少宝贵的时间找资料。四岁的女儿对中文学习有点抗拒。我们善用版主提供的迷你故事书和生字卡来增强她对语文的认识。版主的中文单词棋盘游戏更让女儿投入学习, 因为她想赢嘛!版主的教材可让小孩边玩边学, 太棒了。

Grace

两个小孩的职业妈妈

This is the second 5-Day Challenge that we have done with Fortune Cookie Mom. Both have been very beneficial to our family. I am a homeschool mom of three little kids. We are not Chinese and do not speak any Chinese. With the help of Fortune Cookie Mom, we are slowly learning! The challenges have given me fun activities to do at home with the kids. Each one has reignited my kid's interest in learning. It has been a fun experience for everybody!

Nicolette

Homeschooling Mom of Three

The post A Book Review: A Cantonese Picture Book for Your Little Kids appeared first on Fortune Cookie Mom.

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Chinese: The Relationship Between Spoken and Written Form https://fortunecookiemom.com/chinese-relationship-between-spoken-written-form/ https://fortunecookiemom.com/chinese-relationship-between-spoken-written-form/#respond Tue, 25 Feb 2020 07:45:01 +0000 https://fortunecookiemom.com/?p=7960 The post Chinese: The Relationship Between Spoken and Written Form appeared first on Fortune Cookie Mom.

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I would like to address some of the most common questions that people ask me about:

  • Why I make different language versions of my printables
  • What the difference between traditional and simplified Chinese is
  • Which versions can be used with Cantonese and Mandarin.

Ultimately, everyone wants to know what they should study when learning Chinese.

I am not a Chinese language expert, but I do know the basics, so I hope I can help you gain a basic understanding of the relationship between the different forms of Chinese and how they work.

In the end, I hope you can figure out which one is the best for you and your family to learn right now.

he post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you. If you make a purchase through a link. See the Disclosure for more details.

* Don’t forget to scroll down & grab the freebie *

 

Background of the Chinese Languages

Range of Chinese dialect groups according to the Language Atlas of China [Sauce]

Chinese is a language with a very long history. The principles of written Chinese have not changed much despite the many changes in dynasties, geography, politics, and society.

However, for spoken Chinese, there are a lot of different dialects, so it is not unusual that people from different provinces are able to communicate using written language but are unable to understand each other verbally.

In the early 200th century, Mainland China, Taiwan, and Singapore adopted Mandarin (Standard Chinese) as their respective official languages, so many of the communication problems have gone away since then.

Today, Mandarin and Cantonese are the two most common Chinese dialects used in the world.

Even though most Chinese people speak a minority Chinese dialect, they mostly use it at home and within their own community and will use Mandarin or Cantonese to communicate with people outside of those communities.

 

Spoken Chinese: Mandarin & Cantonese

Now, let’s look at some of the similarities and differences between Mandarin and Cantonese.

Mandarin Chinese

Region:

Mainland China, Taiwan, Singapore

Sounds & Tones:

4 basic tones

For Example:

我是一個女孩。( I am a girl.)

(Written Mandarin) wǒ shì yī gè nǚ hái

(Spoken Mandarin) wǒ shì yī gè nǚ hái

 

<< Both written and spoken Mandarin is the same!>>

 

Cantonese Chinese

Region:

Hong Kong, Macau, and Southern China.

Sounds & Tones:

9 basic tones

For Example:

我是一個女孩。( I am a girl.)

(Written Cantonese) ngo5 si6 jat1 go3 neoi5 haai4

我係一個女仔。( I am a girl.)

(Spoken Cantonese) ngo5 hai6 jat1 go3 neoi5 zai2

 

Cantonese vs. Mandarin

The examples above show that Mandarin speakers speak the same way they write.

But Cantonese is a spoken language with no official written form, so Cantonese speakers can pronounce whatever they write like in Chinese, and speak it in Spoken Cantonese which how we have daily conversations.

The grammar is likely the same, but half of the pronunciations are totally different.

If you want more examples, you can see and hear some audio examples from my vocab books and mini-books.

 

Notes:

  • When people talk about “Chinese”, they are usually referring to “Mandarin Chinese”.
  • When they want to talk about Cantonese Chinese, they refer to it as “Cantonese”.
  • Most of the Chinese immersion school and Chinese schools in the U.S. teach Mandarin Chinese.

 

 

Written Chinese: Mandarin & Cantonese

Why are there simplified and traditional Chinese?

Traditional Chinese characters were created and developed a long time ago, and most were created with individual meaning.

From 1950 to 1960, the government of China promoted the Simplified Chinese characters, and since then the Simplified Chinese characters have been officially used in Mainland China and Singapore.

However, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan have continued to use Traditional Chinese characters.

Learning Both Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese

Traditional Chinese Characters: the foundation of all Chinese writing

There are a lot of Chinese people, including myself, who knows both Traditional and Simplified Chinese.

Since Simplified Chinese characters are transformed from Traditional Chinese characters, it is easier to learn both Traditional Chinese first and then Simplified Chinese.

 

The Benefit of Learning both Chinese Characters

  • Understand fully the basics structure of the Chinese writing system
  • Have a better understanding of the meaning of each Chinese character
  • Have a more systematic in learning Traditional Chinese
  • It’s easier to learn Traditional Chinese characters first and then Simplified Chinese
  • Able to enjoy more volume and to options of Chinese literature and reading materials

 

Which “Chinese” Should I Learn?

 

It really depends on your goals, circumstances, and needs.

Most people and Chinese schools teach Mandarin. It is the most commonly used form of Chinese – even in Hong Kong, Mandarin is regularly taught and tested – so it is probably the most useful form of Chinese to know. If you plan on visiting, working in, or living in China someday, you probably will want to learn Mandarin.

As for written language, you should consider learning the simplified characters if you are interested in Mainland China or Singapore, but you will need to know traditional characters for Taiwan and Hong Kong.

If you have Cantonese speaking family and friends (like I do), it might make more sense to learn Cantonese. There are also still overseas communities and cities like Hong Kong that use Cantonese, so that might be another consideration when deciding what to learn.

And again, in Hong Kong, kids need to learn both Cantonese and Mandarin at school, so you might consider learning both with your kids too.

Here is a freebie for you to understand the relationship between spoken and written Chinese in just one page. Click the button to download. 

Q & A

Here are my own personal answers to some commonly asked questions.

 

1. Is Cantonese harder to learn than Mandarin?

Yes. Tonal languages are difficult to learn for English-based language learners, and Cantonese has 5 more tones than Mandarin. Additionally, Cantonese has its own slang and phrases that are difficult to write down. Also, there are more Mandarin speakers than Cantonese, so it is easier to find native Mandarin-speakers to tutor you in Mandarin than Cantonese speakers for Cantonese.

 

2. Is it possible for a Cantonese speaker to learn Mandarin and vice versa?

Yes, it is possible. For us (native Cantonese speakers), we can pick up Mandarin easily. Also, the government encourages us to learn Mandarin, so in addition to classes at school, we also have access to movies, tv programs, and songs from Mainland China and Taiwan. I mainly picked up Mandarin from the Mandarin songs that my parents sang at their weekly karaoke night. When I was a teenager, I also loved to watch Taiwanese dramas and listen to Taiwanese pop songs, so that’s how I picked up most of the Mandarin sounds and tones.

For Mandarin speakers, they may also need to take Cantonese classes, and really immerse themselves in Cantonese in order to master the language.

 

3. Since Chinese is a tonal language, how do Chinese sing and understand songs?

I had never thought about this until people asked me. Yes, you are right that we must do tones differently when we sing. When we sing, we follow the song’s melody not the words’ tones. We understand the song through the context and the meaning of the whole song. I don’t think you can learn Chinese through songs unless you know basic vocabulary which will help you understand the general meaning of the lyrics.

 

4. If I want to study/learn spoken Cantonese, will Chinese books be helpful?

If you are ONLY interested in speaking Cantonese, Chinese books won’t be really important because you are learning a dialect not the standard language. However, in Hong Kong at least, we didn’t use any romanization system to learn Cantonese; instead, we learned how to pronounce each character directly in Cantonese. That means if you don’t know any characters, your spoken Cantonese would be very limited.  If you just want to be able to have very simple daily conversations, learning spoken Cantonese through native-speakers should be enough. But if you want to be able to go a little further, and even read-out loud from books in Cantonese, it won’t be enough.

 

If you have any other questions or would like to add to my answers, feel free to leave a comment.

身为职业妈妈的我,常常牺牲睡眠来自作教材。版主全方位学习的新年教材真让我省下不少宝贵的时间找资料。四岁的女儿对中文学习有点抗拒。我们善用版主提供的迷你故事书和生字卡来增强她对语文的认识。版主的中文单词棋盘游戏更让女儿投入学习, 因为她想赢嘛!版主的教材可让小孩边玩边学, 太棒了。

Grace

两个小孩的职业妈妈

This is the second 5-Day Challenge that we have done with Fortune Cookie Mom. Both have been very beneficial to our family. I am a homeschool mom of three little kids. We are not Chinese and do not speak any Chinese. With the help of Fortune Cookie Mom, we are slowly learning! The challenges have given me fun activities to do at home with the kids. Each one has reignited my kid's interest in learning. It has been a fun experience for everybody!

Nicolette

Homeschooling Mom of Three

The post Chinese: The Relationship Between Spoken and Written Form appeared first on Fortune Cookie Mom.

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How I Motivate my Children Reading in Cantonese and English https://fortunecookiemom.com/how-i-motivate-my-children-reading-in-cantonese-and-english/ https://fortunecookiemom.com/how-i-motivate-my-children-reading-in-cantonese-and-english/#respond Mon, 24 Feb 2020 14:48:04 +0000 https://fortunecookiemom.com/?p=7892 The post How I Motivate my Children Reading in Cantonese and English appeared first on Fortune Cookie Mom.

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Motivating my four children to read in Cantonese and English independently is an important everyday family routine.

Despite all the crazy that happens during the day, our reading time is a quiet, uplifting, and sweet moment we all look forward to. I’m proud I can say all my children love to read books.

“One of the greatest gifts adults can give—to their offspring and to their society—is to read to children.” —Carl Sagan

This blog post will cover what exact things and activities I did to motivate my children reading in both Cantonese and English without stressing out.

The post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you. If you make a purchase through a link. See the Disclosure for more details.

 

Why do we teach our children reading in cantonese and english

My children are Chinese, Japanese Americans. My husband and I both speak Cantonese and English. We are very much a bilingual family.

We decided English should be their primary language, and that they should be fluent in Cantonese and Mandarin.

Balancing both Chinese and English is a challenge at times but we feel that it is important.

 

Problems to teach both languages in the Beginning

Even though I almost entirely spoke Cantonese to my oldest child, she began to refuse to learn Cantonese starting around 4 years old. I thought it would be better after moving to Hong Kong but it became even worse.

After some discussion with her, she expressed that she felt inadequate and embarrassed when speaking Cantonese.

This led her to completely shut down for a while. She would even avoid Chinese books in the library and was only willing to read and speak in English.

 

My Ultimate Goals and Intention of Teaching Chinese

I knew in my heart I couldn’t do anything unless she was motivated and interested in learning. So, my ultimate goals and focus on teaching her and my other children shifted and are now:

  • Motivating my children to learn independently by giving them space and freedom to explore on their own
  • Avoid forceful actions and choices
  • Provide real-life opportunities for my children to apply what they have learned to make learning useful and meaningful

 

Results of Homeschooling

Reading books is our main activity. We read a lot of classics and fairy tales in both English and Cantonese. Hands-on activities and crafts are next.

In the beginning, storytelling in Cantonese wasn’t very successful because my oldest child (age 4) really didn’t understand enough. She found it boring and frustrating.

I kept trying and testing different methods and activities, she seemed more interested in reading Cantonese stories with me. She was able to follow along and could more easily ask questions if she didn’t understand.

After learning phonics and basic sight words for 3-4 months, she started reading English books on her own before age 5.

By age 6, I started her on 500 basic Chinese characters from Sagebook. She learned the first three books with me and read the rest of the books on her own within 4 months. I was shocked at her progress. After that, her interest in reading Chinese books has improved rapidly. After two years, she knows more than 1000 Chinese characters through reading Chinese books on her own. And my other children are following her example and learning Chinese from her as well.

Honestly, I didn’t do any intensive training such as daily flashcards and phrases or using any educational programs. But instead, all we did was read books. That’s it!

 

Strategies of How I Teach my Children Reading in Both Chinese and English

Below are the exact strategies I used to keep my children motivated to read both Chinese and English through different reading stages.

 

ENGLISH (Dominant Language)

[Age 1-2]

  • Focus on developing habits
  • Learning vocabulary and simple phrases with short read times.
  • Mainly look at the pictures
  • Telling the stories with animated sounds, gestures, songs, body language, actions, props, etc.

 

[Age 3-5]

  • Start introducing phonics.
  • Let them pick books, figure out their favorite animal, character or theme they like the most, borrow tons of books related to it and let them soak in it
  • Read the same books over and over.
  • Use audio.
  • Add crafts, and other hands-on activities.

 

[Age 6-7]

  • Start encouraging independent reading, 15-30 minutes per day.
  • Oral or drawing book report.
  • Have a discussion and question time about the books they read.
  • Have a book chart to track progress.
  • Use books to teach how to solve their own problems.

 

[Age 8+]

  • Extend the independent reading time to 60 minutes a day.
  • Oral and written short book report.
  • Read books across different genres.
  • Have deeper discussions and conversations about the books they read.
  • Teach them how to find answers from reading books.

 

 

CANTONESE (Target Language)

[Age 1-3]

  • Read to them simple books
  • Focus on pictures and learning vocabulary.
  • Form habits.
  • Always carry a book with you when you go out.

 

[Age 4-5]

  • Read tons of stories in Cantonese you don’t have to read the exact words, even just describing each page in Cantonese works.
  • Play I-spy to find the same character or familiar characters throughout the book.
  • Only read to them in spoken Cantonese.
  • Ask simple and direct questions in Cantonese during reading.
  • Find books and other materials that are funny and enjoyable for them.

 

[Age 6-7]

  • Read stories from books and create our own stories together.
  • Ask kids to read or describe in Cantonese each page.
  • Start learning the first 500 Chinese characters.
  • Read in both spoken Cantonese and written Cantonese. Repeat the same books over and over.
  • Encourage Independent Reading time 10-15 minutes a day.
  • Add hands-on activities, games, etc.
  • Read books across different genres.
  • Ask questions and add discussion in Cantonese during reading.

 

[Age 8+]

  • Let them translate English books to spoken Cantonese & Chinese books to English.
  • Encourage Independent Reading time 45-60 minutes
  • Read books across different genres.
    Teach reading and writing skills (radicals).
  • Let them pick the books.
  • Start Chapter books and read with them out loud.

 

Rewards

*Rewards should be random and unpredictable to form the strongest correlation. Rewards should be tied to the behavior and not the object.

Bad Example:

The child gets a reward for reading 10 books.

Good Example:

At random intervals (we shoot for about 5-10 of the time) take the child to do/eat (random reward) after a reading session saying “wow all that reading put me in the mood for (random reward).

 

 

The Importance of Having Independent Reading Time and Family Reading Time

If you don’t have family reading time in your schedule, don’t worry! It’s never too late. Start today! And make it super simple, convenient, and fun for you and your family.

My husband and I have always wanted to have independent reading time and family reading time as part of our bedtime routine. We talked about for years, but it never really happened consistently especially as more little ones joined our family. Our routine wasn’t much of a routine because it was changing all the time for breastfeeding, night feeding, bedtimes, etc.

When my fourth baby turned one, we finally settled into a good routine. My 8 and 6-year-old can read independently, my 4-year-old loves reading and going through all the pictures and finding objects from books. We finally have independent reading time and I can quietly read books on my own for 20 minutes. My husband and I take a turn reading aloud in English and Cantonese.

We are enlightened, learning, discovering new things and good stories together every day for an hour. It is the most relaxing part of the day and the activity I enjoy the most.

 

 

Tips for Teaching your Child to Read in Chinese as a Non-Fluent Speaker

Set realistic goals and prioritize

No one can have everything at once. Taking baby steps is necessary for long-term success, pick only one or two things to do at a time. Don’t set other goals or try to do other new things until after completing any current goals.

Click HERE 5 Steps to Set Better Goals for Bilingual Homeschooling

 

Focus on building a relationship with the Chinese language

Learning a new language is just like introducing a new babysitter, your child needs time to connect before they feel comfortable following along. If you want to learn how to introduce Chinese in a more meaningful way, join our Free Challenge and try it with over 500+ parents throughout the world.

 

Lay a solid foundation by forming routines and habits

As long as you have a routine of reading one short Chinese book or listening to one Chinese song each day, your child will use the routine and do it as if on autopilot.

Click HERE to read more about my homeschooling routine.

 

Learn Chinese together

Knowing they are not alone but their parents are learning together is a powerful motivator. I’m sure this is a gift you can offer to your child and your child will love.

Building vocabulary is vital grammar is not: If you don’t know where to start, building vocabulary is important for beginners, don’t worry about grammar at all they will learn it from reading.

 

How to Implement These Strategies Without Feeling Overwhelmed?

It is easy to find and create a list of ideas on how to teach Chinese at home, like reading Chinese books, listening to Chinese music, watching Chinese movies, etc.

it’s also easy to make a whole list of things to do without ever acting on it.

This is why I created a FREE 5-Day Chinese Motivation Challenge to help:

  • Join in with parents and educators from all over the world and Improve your home while creating a rich Chinese environment for learning the culture and language
  • Receive exclusive tools, resources, and printable ONLY for participants
  • Receive Daily emails full of tips and insights to keep up motivation

 

Don’t waste time, click the button below & claim your spot now!

Join my Facebook support group to meet and get connections with parents and educators with the same goals.

身为职业妈妈的我,常常牺牲睡眠来自作教材。版主全方位学习的新年教材真让我省下不少宝贵的时间找资料。四岁的女儿对中文学习有点抗拒。我们善用版主提供的迷你故事书和生字卡来增强她对语文的认识。版主的中文单词棋盘游戏更让女儿投入学习, 因为她想赢嘛!版主的教材可让小孩边玩边学, 太棒了。

Grace

两个小孩的职业妈妈

This is the second 5-Day Challenge that we have done with Fortune Cookie Mom. Both have been very beneficial to our family. I am a homeschool mom of three little kids. We are not Chinese and do not speak any Chinese. With the help of Fortune Cookie Mom, we are slowly learning! The challenges have given me fun activities to do at home with the kids. Each one has reignited my kid's interest in learning. It has been a fun experience for everybody!

Nicolette

Homeschooling Mom of Three

The post How I Motivate my Children Reading in Cantonese and English appeared first on Fortune Cookie Mom.

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Why I Created the Online Course: Introducing Chinese at Home https://fortunecookiemom.com/created-online-course-introducing-chinese-at-home/ https://fortunecookiemom.com/created-online-course-introducing-chinese-at-home/#comments Tue, 18 Feb 2020 07:32:12 +0000 https://fortunecookiemom.com/?p=7529 The post Why I Created the Online Course: Introducing Chinese at Home appeared first on Fortune Cookie Mom.

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I’m excited to share why I launched the online course Introducing Chinese at Home.

The creation, beta-testing, launch, and getting feedback from students has been such a great learning experience. It been encouraging and has prompted even more thoughts about how to raise and teach children Chinese at home. And I wanted to take a moment and share what I have learned with you.

The post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you. If you make a purchase through a link. See the Disclosure for more details.

 

Taking Online Courses is a Trend

 

Creating an online course takes an incredible amount of time, but it is fun and rewarding.

I never thought or dreamed that I would have an online course. However, as I tried to become a better blogger you better serve you my readers, I took a couple of online courses as well.

Those online courses have had a huge impact on improving my blogging skills and helping me gain a better perspective of our homeschooling community.

I love taking online courses! It was so much more efficient than trying to research on google and figure everything out on my own. Searching online is often a huge waste of time that ends in results and methods I wasn’t happy with.

Also, by participating in an online course I could see the progress everyone was making by implementing the methods taught, and how it really made a difference in their lives.

That’s why I decided to create an online course – Introducing Chinese at Home.

 

The Reasons I created Introducing Chinese at Home

Creating Chinese Printable and Resources

It is fun to creating Chinese Theme Packs, e-books, art and crafts, and all sorts of printables. It is also challenging and fulfilling to do research, write and create blog posts about teaching tips and different Chinese teaching experiences.

But it is not the best way to share how to teach Chinese at home. To do that clear instructions, examples, detailed training and feedback are needed. Otherwise, it won’t be effective and can’t change people’s lives.

Creating Chinese Online Courses

There are a million online courses for learning Chinese out there. From the very basics i.e. greetings, pronunciation, basic grammar, all the way to advance levels.

However, there aren’t many courses that guide parents on effective methods for how to teach their children Chinese at home. There also isn’t any online course to introduce and prepare children to learn Chinese before they formal learning in classes, from tutors, or online classes.

There was a gap. Helping parents understand how to lay a solid foundation for Chinese learning would be a beneficial online course. It would allow them and their children to have more success in learning Chinese in the long run.

Through Introducing Chinese at Home, you can receive video training and other actionable resources other than just blog posts. It is like having me sitting right next to you and helping you through the whole process.

 

What does Introducing Chinese at the Home cover?

Introducing Chinese at Home breaks down laying a solid foundation for learning Chinese into three achievable steps. These are the same steps that helped my children develop a deeper connection and comfort with the language before they started learning Chinese.

  • Create a comfortable area at home your child will love to learn Chinese in
  • Methods to make your daily life so much easier while keeping Chinese exposure consistent
  • How to incorporate Chinese elements and learning into daily life

If you are a parent (fluent/non-fluent Chinese speakers) and want a better system for teaching your children Chinese at home, this is the right course.

“Introducing Chinese at Home is such a valuable course for every aspect of our homeschooling! As a homeschooling mom of 5, I try to be very intentional with what I spend my time on, and ICaH is so worth every minute. Po Tim King provides useful lessons with bite-size goals that are so attainable no matter how busy our homeschooling days are; I love how the course builds up and starts from square 1 to help incorporate Chinese into every day. Each lesson is like sitting down to coffee with a trusted friend; you leave feeling supported, uplifted, and empowered to set and take on the next goal. I’ve even used the information to help enrich our non-Chinese school subjects! As a student of Chinese myself, trying to expose my children to the world through multiple languages, Introducing Chinese at Home is an incredible resource and I’m so excited to continue putting in to practice the goals outlined in the course!”

Kristi

Homeschooling Mom of 5

Lessons I Have Learned to Teach Chinese at Home

 

During the six months it took to create and launch Introducing Chinese at Home, I have learned so much.

Commitment and Desire are Powerful

I feel honored to work with students who are committed and want to teach their children Chinese. Some of them are fluent in Chinese, but most of them aren’t.

Even though there are many limitations and obstacles, they are not afraid to start their journey and commit to teaching their children Chinese right away. They are willing to sacrifice time and other desires to make it work.

The Chinese teaching journey with them has been amazing. They are going to have great success because of strong commitment and desire to teach their children Chinese at home.

Prioritize and Know What’s the Most Important

We all only have 24 hours a day. That’s why prioritizing and knowing what’s most important in your life is vital to happiness and success.

We can’t have everything we want at once, there are things that takes more time to nourish but are very rewarding and provide long lasting joy and other things with give instant but short-term happiness. Teaching children Chinese is one that provides long lasting joy.

Learning languages need to be a long-term immersive experience for kids, and the earlier the start the better but with busy schedules it can feel overwhelming.

My students are parents with full-time jobs, part-time jobs, or are stay-at home parents. They make teaching Chinese to their children a top priority. No matter how busy they are, how crazy and unstable their lives are, they find time every day to squeeze in Chinese.

Making Chinese a priority is key, so during the launch, I started to teach my 8 years old Mandarin along with Cantonese. Don’t wait for the perfect moment to do to start, make it a priority and start now.

 

Parents are the Perfect Role Model for Children

Even though launching the course was an extra load of work on top of blogging tasks, I still wanted to learn more about how to teach a second/ third language at home, in order to better prepare to help my students.

I borrowed an amazing book from the library —  A Step-by-Step Guide for Parents Raising a Bilingual Child, from Barbara Zurer Pearson,Ph.D

It talks about how parents are always the perfect role model for their own children, whether or not they are fluent in the target language.

Hiring a nanny or having a teacher who is a native speaker of the target language teach them is not as effective. They will never be as influential as the parents themselves. As parent, our children’s growth and welfare will always be our priority. Even non-fluent parents who use the wrong grammar, words, and speak in a funny accent will still have a more positive influence on their children than anyone else.

My course helps students stop doubting themselves and help them to find ways to be the best example and role model for their children they can be. And you can do it too.

 

Look at the Big Picture and Take Baby Steps

The process of creating my first online course, Introducing Chinese at Home, has helped me see the big picture and how much we support our children’s learning even clearer. I have learned to take a huge long list of things to do from day 1 to day 1000 and turn it into baby steps for my students to follow.

That’s the power of having a vision and long-term goals, and knowing how to create digestible tasks is vital. If not, it will be so overwhelming that it is impossible to know where to start.

That’s the key to teaching/learning a new language or anything – look at the big picture, but break it down into baby-steps.

When will Introducing Chinese at Home reopen for enrollment? 

Don’t worry! I will for sure, but I don’t have the exact date right now. 

So if you don’t want to miss the next open enrollment, feel free to sign up here to get notifications.

 

My Future Plans are…

This is just the beginning.

Through getting to know more of what my students need I have even more ideas for creating future online courses.

I’m excited to keep working hard so I can help and share more methods and tips for teaching Chinese at home. 

You Might Be Interested

YOU ARE NOT DOING IT ALONE

Join my Facebook support group to meet and get connections with parents and educators with the same goals.

If you have any ideas or content you would like to see in the future, please let me know it in the comments below.

Your comments will help me understand which course to create next.

身为职业妈妈的我,常常牺牲睡眠来自作教材。版主全方位学习的新年教材真让我省下不少宝贵的时间找资料。四岁的女儿对中文学习有点抗拒。我们善用版主提供的迷你故事书和生字卡来增强她对语文的认识。版主的中文单词棋盘游戏更让女儿投入学习, 因为她想赢嘛!版主的教材可让小孩边玩边学, 太棒了。

Grace

两个小孩的职业妈妈

This is the second 5-Day Challenge that we have done with Fortune Cookie Mom. Both have been very beneficial to our family. I am a homeschool mom of three little kids. We are not Chinese and do not speak any Chinese. With the help of Fortune Cookie Mom, we are slowly learning! The challenges have given me fun activities to do at home with the kids. Each one has reignited my kid's interest in learning. It has been a fun experience for everybody!

Nicolette

Homeschooling Mom of Three

The post Why I Created the Online Course: Introducing Chinese at Home appeared first on Fortune Cookie Mom.

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Guess How Much I Love You https://fortunecookiemom.com/guess-how-much-i-love-you/ https://fortunecookiemom.com/guess-how-much-i-love-you/#respond Sat, 15 Feb 2020 15:12:26 +0000 https://fortunecookiemom.com/?p=7410 The post Guess How Much I Love You appeared first on Fortune Cookie Mom.

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What do you say when your child says, “guess how much I love you?”

A lot? Too much? Very much? Or speechless?

The author of Guess How Much I Love You, Sam McBratney did an excellent job in responding to this question with the big nutbrown hare and the little nutbrown hare, it is a cute conversation showing their love towards one another.

Today, I am excited to share with you a new Chinese Literature-based unit (games, worksheets, coloring pages, etc.) for Guess How Much I Love You 猜猜我有多愛你/猜猜我有多爱你.

The post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you. If you make a purchase through a link. See the Disclosure for more details.

 

“This is a book which both parents and children adore and will be a book any adult will happily read over and over again at bedtime!”

– The Guardian

“Gorgeous watercolors illustrate this affectionate story. A perfect picture book”

– The Good Book Guide

 

*Quotes are from the official website of Guess How Much I Love You*

A Plot Summary

The book is a sweet conversation between the big and the little nutbrown hares. They express their love for one another by using analogies and trying to outdo each other.  It’s a very simple, heartwarming story about love.

 

Grab Your Copies of Guess How Much I Love You

 

Click the images to get an English version in a variety of choices.

Click the images to get a Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese or English versions of the book.

Accomplishments

Guess How Much I Love You is one of the best-known children’s books and has been a popular children’s book since 1994. Here are a few of the many accomplishments and awards for Carle and his book:

  • Translated into 57 languages and sold over 47 million copies.
  • The book was a 1996 ALA Notable Children’s Book.
  • One of its “Teachers’ Top 100 Books for Children in 2007
  • It has been adapted as a television cartoon show in the U.S 2010

Read more about how this book came here.

 

Activities to Go-along

Guess How Much I Love You printable is perfect for Valentines’ Day, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day.

Crafts

 

Printable

 

Science

 

Other Activities’ Ideas

 

 

Chinese Printable for Guess How Much I Love You

 

Today, I would like to share TWO Sets of Chinese printable to go with this book:

  • Hands-on Activities
  • Worksheets

Goals

  • Teach basic Chinese vocabulary for the basic opposite words through games, coloring pages, hands-on activities, and worksheets.

 

Suggested Duration

  • For preschoolers: 2 weeks.
  • For kindergartners and up: 1 week.

 8 versions

  • Traditional Chinese
  • Traditional Chinese with Jytuping (for learning Cantonese!)
  • Traditional Chinese with Pinyin
  • Traditional Chinese with Zhuyin
  • Simplified Chinese
  • Simplified Chinese with Pinyin
  • English with Traditional Chinese
  • English with Simplified Chinese

 

Guess How Much I Love You: Hands-On Activities

There are four games, Memory game, Happy Fishing, Retelling Story, and Collector Game with instructions in the printable.

By playing these games, children will learn and apply the basic Chinese vocabulary from the book.

Some Photos of My Kids Learning with it

Guess How Much I Love You: Worksheets

There are seven pages of the printable worksheets. These worksheets focus on Chinese character recognition and reading comprehension. Math and literacy skills are also included.

  • Matching game 1&2 (opposite words) with 2 levels
  • Cut & paste opposite words
  • Do-a-Dot with 2 levels
  • Drawing
  • Coloring page by Chinese characters

Some Photos of My Kids Learning with it

Grab the Freebies below

Working on the printable isn’t the only way to learn; there are many arts and crafts activities that you can do as well.

What are your kids’ favorite activities?

I hope you enjoyed reading this post and working with the printable.

If you have any suggestions for other Chinese books you would like to see featured in the future literature-based study, please let me know in the comment section below or email me.

Also, feel free to leave any comments or questions regarding this post too!

 

You Might Be Interested

 

You are Not Doing it Alone

Join my Facebook support group to meet and get connections with parents and educators with the same goals.

身为职业妈妈的我,常常牺牲睡眠来自作教材。版主全方位学习的新年教材真让我省下不少宝贵的时间找资料。四岁的女儿对中文学习有点抗拒。我们善用版主提供的迷你故事书和生字卡来增强她对语文的认识。版主的中文单词棋盘游戏更让女儿投入学习, 因为她想赢嘛!版主的教材可让小孩边玩边学, 太棒了。

Grace

两个小孩的职业妈妈

This is the second 5-Day Challenge that we have done with Fortune Cookie Mom. Both have been very beneficial to our family. I am a homeschool mom of three little kids. We are not Chinese and do not speak any Chinese. With the help of Fortune Cookie Mom, we are slowly learning! The challenges have given me fun activities to do at home with the kids. Each one has reignited my kid's interest in learning. It has been a fun experience for everybody!

Nicolette

Homeschooling Mom of Three

The post Guess How Much I Love You appeared first on Fortune Cookie Mom.

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5 Steps to Help Kids Memorize the Chinese Multiplication Table https://fortunecookiemom.com/kids-memorize-chinese-multiplication-table/ https://fortunecookiemom.com/kids-memorize-chinese-multiplication-table/#respond Wed, 12 Feb 2020 14:25:28 +0000 https://fortunecookiemom.com/?p=7176 The post 5 Steps to Help Kids Memorize the Chinese Multiplication Table appeared first on Fortune Cookie Mom.

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I have been thinking about and searching how to start teaching my older kids multiplication recently. What methods should I use? I may need to pull out my secret weapons of doing quick Math — Chinese multiplication table. 

That’s how I learned multiplication when I grew up in Hong Kong.  

But is it the best method to teach my kids multiplication? Do I need to teach my kids multiplication in Chinese or in another way? 

In this blog post, I’m going to show you five steps to help kids memorize the Chinese Multiplication Table with other useful resources as well.

If you are interested to teach multiplication in the Chinese way, I also created a FREEBIE for you to download at the end of this blog post. Don’t miss it!

 The post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you. If you make a purchase through a link. See the Disclosure for more details.

 

What is the Chinese Multiplication Table?

Chinese Multiplication Table has a total of eighty-one terms. It is a quick and easy way to do any single-digit multiplication in your head or out loud, so most of the elementary students still memorize it today. 

It was often called the nine-nine table (乘數表), simply nine-nine, little nine-nine 九九乘法口訣 (小九九 in short), or even the nine-nine song or poem (九因歌).  

And it was known in China as early as the Spring and Autumn period 春秋時代 (approximately 771 to 476 BC (Sauce: Wikipedia).  

The Chinese Multiplication Table can be read in Cantonese and Mandarin.

 

How does the Chinese Multiplication Table work?

 

The Pattern inside the Multiplication Table

 

First, you have to repeatedly say it out loud and memorize it like a rhyme. The whole table begins with 1 times 1 equals 1, and ends with 9 times 9 equals 81.

 The interesting thing about using the Chinese Multiplication Table is that it consists of four or five Chinese characters per line only. It creates a constant rhythm like a poem or a song.  

So try to say it out loud, and you will find the same pattern and rhythm throughout the whole table. It utilizes our sense of hearing and makes it more fun and easier when it comes to memorization.

Imagine each song consists of the following pattern:

A= Chinese numbers        B = a Chinese character             C =  another group of Chinese numbers

 AABA 

AABAA

AACCC

 

The Chinese Characters Inside the Multiplication Table 

There are different versions of the Chinese Multiplication Table out there for us to learn. The only difference between the different versions is the Chinese characters that are being used. But they all provide the same meaning and create a constant rhythm for the whole table, so feel free to choose whatever versions that you like.

 With the version that I used, there is a total of three Chinese characters “如, 得, 中” are being used. All of them have the meaning of “to get” or “equal”.  

I’m really not sure why the ancient Chinese picked these three characters, but they all create a great rhyme for the whole multiplication table.

 

The Simplified Way to Solve Multiplication Problems Quick

In case you have no idea, each Chinese number consists of only one syllable, so it is faster to say the whole thing and get the answer in Chinese than English. 

So when my 8-year-old kid forgot the answer of two times four, and then she would have to backtrack from the beginning of the two’s, until she got the answer. 

Since reading in Chinese is faster than English, she was able to get her answer faster when using the Chinese Multiplication Table. It’s the same way for myself as well.

Example: Two times one equal to two (2 x 1 = 2)

7 syllables for English

二一如二

4 syllables for Chinese

  

How do Chinese speakers and English speakers memorize the multiplication table?

I have asked my husband how he learned multiplication in the U.S., and I guess the way he learned was to look at the table every day until he remembered it. Most likely, the teachers provided a 1-minute quiz every day or games to make sure all the students got it. 

Of course, before they started memorizing it, they learned about skipping. They learned about the 2’s, 5’s, and 10’s first. And then eventually they learned the rest of the numbers. And they become the answer to multiplication.

But for Chinese speakers, the Chinese Multiplication Rhyme consists of logical rhymes to help us memorize.  And because of shorter syllables, it helps solve math problems much quicker.

 

Do you know any other methods people around the world use to memorize  Multiplication?

 

Steps to help kids memorize the Chinese Multiplication table

 

Children need to know why they need to learn times tables

Before introducing the multiplication table, you may want to explain why we need to learn and recite it.

Use objects around the house to show your kids the relationship between addition and multiplication.

For example, put the box of strawberries on the table, and let your kids count the total numbers of it. And then show them how to count it with multiplication quickly.  

Understand and pronounce all the characters in Chinese

Learn how to pronounce the Chinese numbers (1-90) and the Chinese characters from the Chinese Multiplication Table.          

Rhythm to the rhyme

It’s time to add some beat in the rhyme. Read it with clapping hands, moving the body, even add some simple instruments to help your kids feel the rhythm. Practice it all the time until it sounds like singing along with their favorite song. 

Apply the time tables knowledge

Your child must apply the knowledge from memorizing the Multiplication Table, if not it will only become tons of numbers with rhyme. Test your child with daily tasks from going shopping to cooking at home.  

Solidly with using resources

Even though using the Chinese Multiplication Table is a great tool,  it can be boring sometimes. I use the following resources to enhance learning Multiplication.

  • Try to memorize it with fun games
  • Compete with someone (e.g. siblings, classmates, friends, etc)
  • Use flashcards to write down all problems (e.g.: 2×1), and then use one minute to see how many flashcards you can answer correctly.
  • 1-Minute Multiplication quiz
  • Do it with your child
  • Reward system

  

How memorizing the Chinese Multiplication table helps to learn Chinese

Learning Chinese Numbers

Before memorizing the multiplication table, learning the meaning and pronouncing the numbers in Chinese is the very first step. After memorizing the whole table, you actually get way up to ninety-nine in terms of Chinese numbers.

 

First Poem to Learn

There are a lot of Chinese poems that all parents or teachers want kids to learn. However, memorizing poems in a foreign language and pronunciation can be difficult. The Chinese Multiplication Rhyme is very easy to learn with repeated Chinese numbers only. So it is a great option for your kids’ first Chinese poem.

 

Sing with a Tonal Language

Since Chinese is a tonal language, so when we sing in Chinese, the pronunciation of each character may change and follow with the melody of the song without changing the meaning. So learning Chinese Multiplication will provide your kids experience with singing in Chinese.

 

All Chinese people know about it

You will gain cultural experience by learning how the Chinese learn multiplication. You can easily talk to any Chinese person about it and start a conversation with them.

 

 

Can Non-Native Chinese Parents use the Chinese Multiplication Table to Teach their Kids?

Yes definitely.

Kids love music and songs. And you can treat it like a nursery song that helps your kids do any single-digit multiplication in their head quickly and easily.

You can simply teach them the Multiplication Table in Chinese only and use your native language to do the rest of the math problem.

That’s how my kids do their math in English and Chinese. They use English to do all the math, but knowing Chinese is great to gain more understanding of some terms from a Chinese perspective. So they would flip from English to Chinese whenever they need to solve the multiplication problem quickly.

Also, it is important for them to know the basic vocabulary for communication.

Therefore, I created a set of printables for you to learn so you can teach your kids the Chinese Multiplication Table.

 

 

Videos: Chinese Multiplication Table Songs

 

English

Mandarin

Cantonese

Chinese Multiplication Table Printable

 

In the Chinese Multiplication Table Printable, It includes over 20+ pages of : 

  • 1-9 Multiplication Poster (Colors only)
  • 1-9 Multiplication Mini-cards (Colors and Black & White)
  • 1-9 Multiplication Bookmarks (Colors and Black & White)

 

Four language versions are included.

Even non-Chinese speakers can pick the pinyin one and understand know to pronounce it and use it.

How the Chinese Multiplication Table printables work?

 

  1. Hang up the Posters
  2. Cut and Laminate the mini-cards. Punch a hole on the left corners of all the cards and put a ringlet on. Turn it into a mini Chinese multiplication table flip-book.
  3. Use the bookmark when they are reading whatever they like.
  4. Use any of the black and white printable as coloring pages for my kids to color on their own or as a family.
  5. They will receive a coloring page after they finish each section.

 

Do you have any more ideas? Feel free to leave your ideas in the comments below.

Freebies: Chinese Multiplication Table Posters

 

In the freebies, you are going to receive:

  • 1’s, 2’s, 3’s Chinese Multiplication Table Posters
  • Traditional Chinese & Simplified Chinese

You Might be Interested:

 

You Are Not Doing it Alone

Join my Facebook support group to meet and get connections with parents and educators with the same goals.

身为职业妈妈的我,常常牺牲睡眠来自作教材。版主全方位学习的新年教材真让我省下不少宝贵的时间找资料。四岁的女儿对中文学习有点抗拒。我们善用版主提供的迷你故事书和生字卡来增强她对语文的认识。版主的中文单词棋盘游戏更让女儿投入学习, 因为她想赢嘛!版主的教材可让小孩边玩边学, 太棒了。

Grace

两个小孩的职业妈妈

This is the second 5-Day Challenge that we have done with Fortune Cookie Mom. Both have been very beneficial to our family. I am a homeschool mom of three little kids. We are not Chinese and do not speak any Chinese. With the help of Fortune Cookie Mom, we are slowly learning! The challenges have given me fun activities to do at home with the kids. Each one has reignited my kid's interest in learning. It has been a fun experience for everybody!

Nicolette

Homeschooling Mom of Three

The post 5 Steps to Help Kids Memorize the Chinese Multiplication Table appeared first on Fortune Cookie Mom.

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10 Tips from the Experienced Bilingual Moms (Bonus Post!) https://fortunecookiemom.com/tips-from-experienced-bilingual-moms/ https://fortunecookiemom.com/tips-from-experienced-bilingual-moms/#respond Wed, 05 Feb 2020 12:03:24 +0000 https://fortunecookiemom.com/?p=6567 The post 10 Tips from the Experienced Bilingual Moms (Bonus Post!) appeared first on Fortune Cookie Mom.

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Bilingual Homeschooling Series

Before we start, just a friendly reminder that this is a SERIES of How to Write a Year-Long Bilingual Homeschooling Plan, if you would like to go back and forth to read others’ posts, here are the links for you. Enjoy!!

 

  1. How to Write a Year-Long Bilingual Homeschooling Plan
  2. 5 Steps to Set Better Goals for Bilingual Homeschooling
  3. Create a Bilingual Homeschooling Calendar for Multiple Children
  4. Decide on a Bilingual Teaching Approach
  5. Create a Routine with Appropriate Activities
  6. Bonus Post (This one!)

 

* Please scroll down to download a Freebie.

You are a Bilingual Mom/ Dad

Having a solid plan is very important, and now we have it. (If you didn’t have one yet, feel free to click here and learn more.)

What else can help us to be more successful in teaching our children both Chinese and English at home?

Mentors and experienced parents.

I have invited some experienced homeschooling moms who were/ are homeschooling or teaching both Chinese and English to their kids. They are going to share some tips for us.

All of them are bloggers or influencers, like me, and they all have a great educational blog or social media with amazing content and products to help us. Free feel to check out their blogs and get to know them more.

I know they are all super busy from being a mom, teaching their children, managing their home, blogging, etc., so we are very thankful for all of them to spend some of their time to share their experience, tips, and advice to us.

 

Question and Tips for Bilingual Homeschooling

Mia 

from PragmaticMom

“I don’t speak Mandarin Chinese so I hired a tutor for my children to learn at home. My three kids are each two years apart, but it turns out that they don’t learn very well as a group even though they are basically at the same level. It worked much better to have them each meet with the tutor for a shorter time than longer as a group.

It was even more successful when my kids had a friend during their time slot who also wanted to learn Chinese. In terms of keeping them exposed to Chinese, I found that songs were particularly effective in getting the language to stick so it’s nice to play CDs or music of children’s songs in the car in Chinese. I also would play language DVDs. We liked the Follow Jade! series.

Finally, I would suggest that the emphasis is on fun rather than fluency if you are not able to speak Chinese at home. I just wanted my kids exposed to Chinese so that they would pick up the sounds and pronounce the language with a decent accent.

It’s interesting that only my middle child is still continuing with the Chinese. She has the least natural ability out of my three kids for languages but she has the most interest.”

 

Lin 

from WenJunior

“Raising English and Chinese bilingual children is my goal. I am very happy to have a chance to share my tips with other parents.

To help my children’s English, I did three things.
1. Read a lot of English storybooks.
2. Sent my children to English speaking preschools.
3. Have children watch English speaking videos.

Since my children were born and grow up in the US, speaking English is not an issue for them when they are around 5 years old, however, having them speak Chinese is a challenge some times.

To help my children speak Chinese, I did 5 things.
1. Speak Chinese only to them most of the time.
2. Send them to a local Chinese weekend school.
3. Create Chinese learning materials to teach them at home.
4. Hang out with other Chinese speaking families.
5. Keep motivating and rewarding them for learning Chinese.

In my opinion, being bilingual is one of the best gifts we parents can give to our children. I am glad more and more parents realize the importance of being bilingual. Let’s work together to raise English and Chinese bilingual children.”

 

Meijie G 

from Hands-on Chinese Fun

“Since my son is in the beginning stage of acquiring Chinese, it is helpful for me to ask him a choice question instead of an open-ended question. For example, if I ask him “你想要什么口味?” (What flavor do you want?) he will respond in English. However, if I give him two choices, like “你想要香草还是巧克力?” (Do you want vanilla or chocolate?), he is more likely to respond in Chinese as he can imitate one of the words that I just said.”

 

Virginia 

from Mandarin Mama

“Truthfully, it is not difficult at all for my kids to speak English – that is definitely their preferred language of communication. So, that’s super easy to take care of. All I have to do is not remind them to speak Chinese.

As for Chinese, what I have found is that when I increase my children’s comprehension and vocabulary, they start to speak more Chinese because they now have the necessary language to express themselves. Thus, I play more Chinese audio-books (they learned a lot from the Mr. Men and Little Miss stories) and have them read more Chinese books – or even watch more Chinese videos. It takes a few weeks, but inevitably, the new vocabulary and phrases will creep into their Chinese conversations.”

 

Jodee 

from NihaoHello

“My best tip to encourage my kid to speak English is enrolling her in an international preschool. Her nursery teacher speaks to her in English and her classmates are able to interact and play with her in English. To me, the environment and the social circle’s ability to speak in the target language are very important.

As for Chinese, storytelling is the best. With an illustrative book, tell a story in Mandarin Chinese engages her almost readily. Exposing her to animated videos and YouTube children’s educational programs which are in Mandarin also helps a lot.

I personally feel as a Bilingual and also her mother, my influence on her is great. For example, if I am enjoying a movie/film or a TV program that is in Chinese, it impacts her too. When I am speaking or chatting in Mandarin to Asian or Chinese friends/mommies, she cultivates this curiosity about this language that I am versed in.

In addition, she learns that her mother is bilingual and therefore desires to master or learn more about this minority language too. Since she is only 5 years old, organizing playdates with kids who can speak in both English/Chinese will help too.

We didn’t have the luxury to engage a Chinese speaking babysitter, otherwise, I would think that could be one good strategy too.”

 

Ka Man

from wifekaman.com 卡門人

“We are seriously struggling because my daughter would mix all three languages (Cantonese, Mandarin, and English) in one sentence. I know she understands all three and she’s only 2.5 years old so it is pretty normal for her to mix up languages. We try to talk to her in our own native languages, which is Cantonese for me and Mandarin for my husband. When we are outside with English-speakers then we would speak English to show our respect. I read both English and Chinese books to her and we listen to songs in all three languages. I wish we have more friends here who speak Chinese so she can practice with people other than just us.”

 

Betty 

from Chalk Academy

“My children are learning English, Chinese, and Korean.  English is my kids’ main language since it’s the community language and the common language between my husband, nanny, and myself.  However, it takes a lot of conscious effort to be consistent with the minority languages, Chinese and Korean!

My main tip for encouraging my kids to speak minority languages is to make it FUN!  At home, our activities are primarily in Chinese and Korean, and learning involves arts & crafts, interactive printables, and outdoor play.  Therefore, our kids have a positive association with learning Chinese and Korean and naturally want to speak it inside and outside of the home.”

 

Sunny 

from Spot of Sunshine 好陽光

I try to take time to observe what my student and daughter are interested in. Then I try to find books, games, songs, anything in those areas of interest. Then we speak in Mandarin learning more and talk about things they enjoy. If there are words or phrases they don’t know in Mandarin or have trouble describing, I help them and then sometimes say it one more time to help them internalize it. I think developing relationships with my child, finding out who she is or who my student is as a person, has really helped me know how to cultivate a real interest in learning Mandarin Chinese.

 

Suzy 

from Xiao Panda Preschool

Speak the language yourself! That’s the most basic and important answer of all.

My kids don’t need any special encouragement to speak English because we live in America and everyone around us, including dad, only speaks English to them. Thus, by far the most important thing I can do for them speaks Chinese as much as possible. If you know what you want and commit from when they are a baby, they get used to you speaking in Chinese to them and it goes smoothly. That was the case for my younger child. However, I was working full-time when my older daughter was 0-3 and did not even think about speaking to her in Chinese. It wasn’t until I started thinking about doing a Chinese immersion preschool that I realized I should be speaking to her more. Because I started later with her, she was frustrated with a sudden full-immersion lifestyle, so I used Chinglish (and still do) with her, but I’ve implemented more and more Chinese into our daily conversations.

My tip for if your child is older or less interested is to start with certain times of day or topics that you can commit to using Chinese. For example, I started with mealtime: I would ask her if she wanted milk or water in Chinese and soon the phrase and vocabulary were not scary or frustrating for her, then we added more times of the day such as bedtime, brushing teeth, going to the bathroom, etc.

Now I try to speak Chinese fully if we go out to run errands together. She still gets frustrated at times, and I still use English at times because no one is perfect, but the most important thing to do is try!

 

Kristy 

from Love School At Home

When I start teaching the older daughter, it was 1 year ago (she was 5 yo) and we go through the books slowly, about 2 characters each day Mon-Thur, review on Fri or as needed.

1. Start with introducing names of what we have around the house first,(they can relate better since that is the environment they spend the most time with) then nature names, animal names, colors, etc.

2. Share stories about each Chinese character with them, how it transformed from drawing to Traditional and Simiplied Chinese now. I teach them to read in traditional Chinese and speak in Cantonese first (since they are my mother’s tongue).

3. Listen to songs in Chinese and help them focus on the sound without video (we are doing screen-free environment for them, no videos)

4. Provide interesting reading materials for kids

5. Be creative and use hands on activities to learn

6. * Celebrate Chinese festivals with the kids (my kids love special food we cook together for any festivals or celebration, introduce words related to the festivals, related reading material, games and cultural activities at home, if you found a local festival event it will be great! If not try out a special recipe as a family).

Although their dominant language is English, I didn’t want to give up teaching Chinese to them. There are days that the child doesn’t want to learn or not showing interest. Don’t stress out.

 

Do you have some tips want to share with us too? Free feel to share your tips and experience in the comments below.

 

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身为职业妈妈的我,常常牺牲睡眠来自作教材。版主全方位学习的新年教材真让我省下不少宝贵的时间找资料。四岁的女儿对中文学习有点抗拒。我们善用版主提供的迷你故事书和生字卡来增强她对语文的认识。版主的中文单词棋盘游戏更让女儿投入学习, 因为她想赢嘛!版主的教材可让小孩边玩边学, 太棒了。

Grace

两个小孩的职业妈妈

This is the second 5-Day Challenge that we have done with Fortune Cookie Mom. Both have been very beneficial to our family. I am a homeschool mom of three little kids. We are not Chinese and do not speak any Chinese. With the help of Fortune Cookie Mom, we are slowly learning! The challenges have given me fun activities to do at home with the kids. Each one has reignited my kid's interest in learning. It has been a fun experience for everybody!

Nicolette

Homeschooling Mom of Three

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