One of my 2019 new years resolutions is to help my daughter learn more Chinese.
She started going to Chinese school back in September of 2018 and it was a really rough go for her. Above is the picture I took of her first day at Chinese school. She struggled going to class because she didn’t understand what was being said to her. We got through that by asking the teacher to translate in English for her and by having me teach her one week in advance the words she is going to learn in class.
Having gone to Chinese school myself as a child, I knew Chinese school isn’t fun. No child wants to be challenged to learn another language and have their precious Saturday mornings taken up with going to school. However, I know she will benefit in the future by knowing two languages. In order to make learning Chinese a little bit more fun, I created three different activities or un-fun games (as my spouse calls it) for my daughter. She hasn’t yet complained about the level of fun but is learning and retaining more Chinese.
MATCHING NUMBER GAME
This DIY only requires pieces of card stock paper and a sharpie (ideally in two colors). I had some leftover business card sized paper and used these for the matching game. I wrote 1-10 in Chinese and English and voila, a matching game has come to life. I get my daughter to match up the numbers a couple of times a week.
WORD RECOGNITION GAME
My initial vision for this game was way more complicated. I wanted to look up the Chinese words on the internet and print off corresponding clip art. I was so frustrated with finding the perfect images that it ended up taking too long to implement. (Time is of the essence since she is learning new words each week.) I ended up using some leftover card stock and wrote/drew the pictures by hand. They weren’t perfect but they did the job of helping her recognize the words.
Every Saturday, my daughter comes home with homework for the week. It is not cumbersome but we definitely don’t enjoy it. The solution I came up with is to print my own homework and put them into sheet protectors for her to write on with erasable markers. Somehow writing in a pink marker is easier than pencil. Also, there are rewards associated with each page that is completed well.
The next thing I need to teach her is better pronunciation of her Cantonese words. I haven’t quite figured this one out yet. If you have any suggestions for us, please send them my way!!