Da Bao is on school holidays at the moment, which means more time for Chinese learning! During term time, we spend a minimum of 30 minutes of what I term “concentrated Chinese learning.” Please do not mistake concentrated learning with hardcore vocabulary drills and writing practises, we learn through play, games, apps, videos and stories. During that concentrated Chinese learning, I am teaching him one-on-one, without the distractions of my other 2 children, focusing only on a few key words that day and teaching him the Chinese characters, the strokes, the related Chinese words etc.
For the last 3 weeks, we have slightly increased his daily Chinese learning time, and I have also been getting him to try and read different Chinese readers. Boy oh boy, someone got mad and got into a temper tantrum with me about it! I honestly didn’t see that coming. Which led me to think, am I really pushing him too hard?
I was sad. And mad. And sorry. All I want is for my son to love the language I grew up with, the language that we call our Mother tongue, so he can speak it with his grandparents when we go back to Singapore, so he can read Chinese books and order Chinese dim sum on his own when he is 18 years old. Now I see I might want too much for him too fast.
I decided to change my tactics a little, and grant some Chinese tv time, to take the pressure off a little bit. We found this channel Little Fox on YouTube and he loves Journey to the West 西游记. If you don’t know this classic tale. It’s a fantastical adventure stiry about a mischievous Monkey God Sun Wukong who becomes the disciple of monk Tang Sanzang and aids him on his journey to the west to obtain sacred Buddhist scriptures. Along the way he is joined by Zhu Bajie and Sha Wujing, and learnt some important life lessons while battling evil demons and spirits. Every child who is learning Chinese should learn about this story at some point!!
Anyway, after our little diversion, Da Bao seems to have calmed down a bit now, and is ready to take on his daily Chinese learnings again. Phew. He has taken to using Chinese mainly to express his displeasure about his family members in public, “our secret language”. Haha. 真爱打小报告！
How is your Mandarin homeschooling going? Have you ever hit a rough patch like me? Have faith. We can do it!!
Happy Mandarin teaching my friend.