Why we LOVE the iHuman 洪恩识字 Chinese Learning App
At Mandarin Homeschool we have tried many Chinese learning apps for children and iHuman is one of our favourites. It is comprehensive, reasonably priced, fun and actually does help my children to learn Chinese without my constant supervision. Read the full review in this post.
Another reason why I am such a big fan of the iHuman Chinese app is because of the following extra learning resources which many subscribers may not even know of!
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Additional Chinese Learning resources available for paid subscribers
If you are a paid subscriber, you probably know about the Chinese readers, and the daily Chinese word lessons. But did you know that the iHuman Chinese also comes with some really cool extra teaching resources?
You can get
- 1300 Chinese characters worksheets (yap, you get writing worksheets for every single Chinese word in the app!)
- Chinese Stroke Practise
- Chinese radical video lessons 部首偏旁
- Chinese Language Tips
iHuman Chinese 洪恩识字 Extra Feature 1:1300 Chinese characters worksheets
Yes! As a paid subscriber, you get all 1300 Chinese character writing sheets. All you have to do is to download the PDFs and print them out.
*Top tip: print the worksheets out in colour, as the stroke orders do not show properly if you economise and use grayscale printing.
It is a great way to tie in with what they are learning on the app itself. I used them primarily with my eldest Da Bao (7YO) and Er Bao (5YO) as they are showing an interest in writing Chinese characters, and can follow simple stroke orders.
That said, do note that many children can be resistant to doing Chinese writing. Every child is different, and writing is highly dependent on your child’s motor skill development. There can be many strokes to one single character, which can be off putting for some children. In this case, my personal philosophy is “Less is Best”. I started off just having my children write 2 or 3 of the Chinese characters every day.
For very young children, I suggest holding off on proper Chinese characters, and instead work on strokes (there is a Chinese stroke lesson in the iHuman Chinese 洪恩识字 app which I explain very soon in this post), and prewriting skills. Once they are more confident with their pencil grip and prewriting, move on to the simpler Chinese words such as 一，二，三，十，人，上，下. In which case, the following Chinese writing worksheets may better serve your needs.
I created some Chinese writing worksheets that correspond to the Chinese readers we were reading. I placed the worksheets in clear dry erase plastic sleeves, so we can use and reused the worksheets with fine tip whiteboard makers to work on their writing. Alternatively a really fun way was to use play dough to construct the words!
How to access the iHuman Chinese 洪恩识字 Extra Feature: Writing Worksheets
First, you’ll have to click on “字库” . This will then take you to all the Chinese words your child has learnt thus far.
Next, click on “打印字库” on the top right hand corner. This will open up an inner pop up screen, where you can select the series of Chinese words you would like.
Finally, this takes you to an external site where you can download the worksheets (in pdf format).
iHuman Chinese 洪恩识字 Extra Feature 2: Chinese Strokes Practise
So, not only do you get 1300 Chinese characters to practise writing. There is also an extra section where younger children can work on the more basic Chinese strokes 笔画知识.
This lovely extra feature starts with the most basic strokes and work up to more complex stroke combinations.
Stroke order and precision is very important in Chinese writing. If your line is too long, it can make a different character all together! Hence, I always start off with basic strokes and super simple Chinese words before tackling difficult ones. Even if your child can read, he/she can still find it hard to write the common Chinese characters (such as 我，妹，喝）.
It would be great if you can print these out too! Alas, you can only practise within the app. Oh well.
As you can see in the image above, once you click on the stroke, the image expands to reveal the actual stroke, and three Chinese characters that contain that stroke.
For instance, the Chinese stroke 点, your child will also practise on 雨，下 and 火.
An example of another Chinese strokes order. This one is a combination of three 横斜钩.
For this stroke combination, your child will write 风，气 and 热. Getting a bit trickier now!!
See what I mean about the precision of your writing becomes very important when you advance in your Chinese writing?
A good way to practise these basic stroke orders is to use these Chinese grid worksheets to illustrate placement and size.
iHuman Chinese 洪恩识字 Extra Features 3: Radical Video Lessons
In total, there are 60 Chinese radical lessons on the app. Here is a step by step video on how to access it, and what a typical lesson looks like.
The video is cute and catchy. There are two learning games 玩一玩，练一练 which makes for good and immediate practise after watching the video. No passive learning there!
How I use the Chinese Radical videos to teach
Personally, this is how I use the videos to frame my Chinese Radicals lesson.
- I taught my children three radicals at a time. After learning about the radical, we have a little discussion on what the radical means.
- Using this set of Chinese radical worksheets (which you can grab on the Mandarin Homeschool freebie page). As you can see from the images, we do a quick sorting of the words in the correct column.
- The children then glue the Chinese words on the worksheet.
- Optional: colour in the picture related to the Chinese radical
- We place the finished worksheet on the wall for revision.
- On the second day, we read out the Chinese radical, and the corresponding words.
- The children have to get a Chinese book and try to find Chinese words for those Chinese radicals.
I made a second version of the Chinese radicals worksheets and wrote the words on stickers instead for Er Bao, as I wanted to work on her fine motor pincer grip skills instead.
You can also use this second version as a writing activity for your child to search, find and write down Chinese words with that radical.
You will find both versions of the worksheets on the Mandarin Homeschool freebie page.
Yes, I would like to receive the Chinese Radical Learning Pack!
Click the link below to sign up as a member and gain access to this learning pack and more Chinese teaching resources.
Additional teaching ideas to help your child understand Chinese radicals
Once your child has learnt to recognise the Chinese radicals, you should move on to writing the Chinese Radicals.
Write Mandarin has Chinese radical worksheets for sale on its site. You can download the first 10 Chinese radicals to try out.
Since the radicals tend to be more simple, I personally use a blank writing worksheet (you can download it on the Mandarin Homeschool Freebie page) and have my children copy.
Feel free to grab the blank writing worksheet on the Freebie page!
This set of Simplified Chinese puzzle cards are nicely made, and great for time-pressed parents who won’t have time to make Chinese Radical materials.
Be warned though, that there are lots of cards and it can get very overwhelming with the amount of cards. I suggest you pick and choose ~20 cards and teach instead of using the full pack.
If you have magnetic tiles such as Connectix or MagnaTiles, you can also write the radicals on the tiles and stack them up to create different Chinese characters. I find this method to be far easier than using Chinese radicals puzzle cards. There are simply too many in one pack and can prove challenging to organise a lesson around them.
iHuman Chinese 洪恩识字 Extra Feature 4: Language Tips Video
At the time of writing, there were only 3 videos in this segment:
- One on Chinese characters that has different pronunciations (heteronyms)多音字
- Two on Opposites 反义词
Hopefully they will add more videos for this segment in the future!
If you’ve read this far, I assume you are either a subscriber or interested in subscribing to the iHuman Chinese app.
Seriously, give it a try, you can get the first 20 lessons for free.
To understand why we love this app so much, read our full review.
Need help with the Chinese password? No worries, the key to unlocking it is in this blog post.