Welcome to my Mandarin Homeschool.
About Me and My Personal Language Journey
My name is Jean, and I am a mother of 3 young children, whom I am raising to be bilingual (English-Chinese) in Sydney Australia.
I was born and raised in sunny Singapore, where I grew up speaking Hakka (a Chinese dialect) with my grandparents, Chinese with my parents and English with my schoolmates. So technically my first language is Hakka! And by the age of 6 years old, I was already multilingual without even trying.
Under the (famous/infamous) Singapore rigorous school system, I was taught both English and Chinese at school. Along the way, I also picked up Japanese in university and Cantonese working in Hong Kong. You might gather by now that I love learning languages. So it was quite funny I ended up marrying an English speaking Englishman who only spoke one language! Try as he might, he still only has one tone for all the Chinese sounds…
Which is why, in 2019, when we moved to Sydney which is predominantly English speaking, we decided to adopt the one parent one language (OPOL) approach with our children, so they can pick up Chinese from me.
Immediately I was confronted with a lack of affordable Mandarin Chinese resources in a predominantly English speaking country. One workbook at the international bookstore cost $30! No way am I forking that amount of money that is basically practise worksheets. Not one to be daunted, I decided to draw on my expertise as a special needs educator and set out to create fun and easy to use language materials myself. I started creating flashcards, vocabulary workbooks, posters, games… anything that was relevant, fun and easy to prepare for my three children.
About my little Mandarin Chinese learners
I started this blog in October 2019 to record and share my Mandarin Chinese homeschool teaching journey with my three little ones. In this blog, I will refer to them as DaBao（大宝）, ErBao（二宝） and XiaoBao(小宝）.
We welcomed DaBao into the family in 2014, ErBao in 2016, and XiaoBao in 2017.
My Teaching Background
I should share with you that before we started a family, I had spent 10 years of my working career with primary school age children with varying disabilities, at a home setting, preschool, special school and regular primary school. So creating lesson plans, teaching materials was right up my (education) alley! If you like to read more about my teaching philosophy and approach, please click here.
That is how I came to create Mandarin Homeschool. Whether you are a homeschooler, a teacher or a student yourself, I hope that you will find some useful tips and tricks here.
See you next time! 下次再见！