Learning should be fun.
Learning should be enjoyable.
Learning should be functional.
Learning should be progressive.
Learning should be differentiated.
This is my personal belief about a child’s learning of anything. There is nothing a child can’t learn if it is taught to their level, and taught skilfully.
Hence for my Mandarin Homeschool, I personally teach according to a monthly theme, instead of using workbooks and textbooks which is the traditional school approach. Why? You might ask. Because sitting down and learning all the time can be very BORING! I know because that was how I learnt in school. And now that I have a chance to teach my children at home, I would prefer to teach through games, activities, excursions and all that fun stuff.
Each month, I select a theme for my Mandarin homeschooling. (FYI my three children are currently 6, 4 and 2.5 years old.)
With each theme, I will select twenty Mandarin Chinese vocabulary words for them to learn. With my oldest, I will work on his reading, writing and labelling. With my youngest, I am happy for her to be able to match, copy, recognise and label those items.
Building around the monthly theme, I then create realistic picture flashcards, vocabulary workbooks and word building workbooks. All these materials focus on the same theme, and same twenty words, to optimise their learning.
Do check out my teacherspayteachers page if you would like to use them for your own teaching.
I also devise simple and fun boardgames suitable for each theme, and design cute puzzles for the children to learn through play. As my children are still young, it is hard to get them to sit and read or write for an extended amount of time. So I tend to conduct the learning activities through play, and sneak in 10 to 15 minutes of “academic” work per teaching session.
Believe it or not, there are a ton of free online stories and songs on Youtube, which I try to weave into my monthly lesson plans too. (I honestly hate paying for free stuff! Don’t you?)
And if I can manage it, I also plan an excursion to generalise their learning. For example, taking them to the supermarket to buy fruits when they are learning Chinese labels for fruits. I gave them a shopping list written down in Chinese which we read before we headed out.
I hope my teaching materials can help you in your own Mandarin teaching journey with your own children. Take a look at them here on teacherspayteachers. I also have free samples under my Freebie page too.
All the best in your learning journey. Do get in touch if you need a helping hand.