Chinese Homeschool teaching resources

I have always been looking for Chinese homeschool teaching resources that I could use to teach my children and here are some that I’ve found and hope you will find them useful as well.

For Preschool-Kindergarten level:

1. Chinese For Kids (Link)
– includes lesson plans, downloadable reading materials and activities worksheets.

2. Early Learning – Chinese (Link)
– I like their printable Animals, Numbers and bilingual Alphabets coloring page.

3. Free Chinese flash cards (Link)

4. Chinese-tools.com (Link)
– Online lessons with audio, including reading, vocabulary, examples and exercises.

For elementary level:

1. Overseas Chinese Language and Culture Education Online (Link)
– Learn Chinese from this interactive site. Includes online textbook, additional reading materials, exercises.

2. EduMall from MOE Sg (Link)
– Learn Chinese from this interactive site. Includes online textbook, additional reading materials, exercises.

3. Interactive Pinyin (Link)
– Recommended for Pinyin Practice.

4. Activity Builder: Practical Chinese Reader Vocabulary (Link)
-Grab and match pinyin/characters with characters on the bottom.

Others – Chinese tools:
English to Chinese (Pinyin) Dictionary (Link)

Chinese Pronunciation tool (Link)
– Paste a chinese text and get the pinyin pronounciation of all the characters.

Pinyin Editor (Link)

Actually there are more, but I guess this list will do for now.
If I have the time, I may also share the Chinese iPad/iPhone apps that we like.
Ok… Got to get back to my spring cleaning! ๐Ÿ™‚

ABCๅฎๅฎๅญฆไธญๆ–‡(2) – ๅฃ, ๅคด, ็‰™, ๆ‰‹, ไบบ

Oops… It has been a long while since I updated about the boy’s Chinese learning progress. I guess i better start updating them again.

Not sure if it is a boy’s thing, the boy is still not showing any interest in learning the Chinese language. Initially, it wasn’t my plan to start teaching the boy to recognize Chinese characters so early. But after exhausting all the possible methods that I can think of to get him to speak more Chinese to me, I decided to go the “boring” route – i.e. force feed him with Chinese characters! We are progressing very slowly but it seems to work a little better.

For the human parts characters (ๅฃ, ๅคด, ็‰™, ๆ‰‹, ไบบ), I worked with him to make a set of ่ฏ†ๅญ—ๅก. He drew the pictures, and I made the Chinese characters.

Chinese Homeschool activity

He was to use his pictures to match the Chinese characters when we do our revisions.
Chinese Homeschool activity

Chinese Homeschool activity

I’m happy to say that this method worked for these lessons.
By the end of the week, he was able to recognize all 5 characters. ๐Ÿ™‚

Chinese New Year video clips

Here are some good video clips that tell that stories of the lunar new year. Check them out if you have the time. ๐Ÿ™‚

่Š‚ๅบ†ไผ ่ฏด-ๅนดๅ…ฝ

ๆ–ฐๅนด็š„ๅ‚ณ่ชช

ๆผขๅญ—ๅ‹•็•ซ ๅไบŒ็”Ÿ่‚– 12 Chinese Zodiac Animals
– Amazing animation. Animals are created using Chinese characters.

The Zodiac Race
– Modernized and very funny animation.

Taoshu’s 12 Zodiac Animals

Chinese New Year storybooks that we love

1. My First Chinese New Year by Karen Katz

This is a wonderful book to introduce children (and even the adults) to the traditions and customs of the Chinese New Year. What I love about this book is that the story contains all the essential festive elements, e.g. cleaning the house to make way for good luck, getting new haircuts and shoes, cooking the big banquet for family reunion, getting the red packets and finally going out to see the Chinese New Year parade.

This is usually my first choice of Chinese New Year story to read to the children whenever I am invited to do a special storytime at our local library or the kids’ school. ๐Ÿ™‚

2. Bringing in the New Year by Grace Lin

This is another personal favorite. The book is beautifully illustrated and the story also contains all the essential festive elements too.

Easy to read, we love it. ๐Ÿ™‚

3. Happy Chinese New Year, Kai-lan!

This story is based on the popular Nickelodeon cartoon series. It introduces children to the Chinese New Year. If your child likes Kai-Lan, this is a good book to read with her.


4. Sam and the Lucky Money by Karen Chinn

What I love about this book is its good moral message about giving and appreciation. This story is about a boy, named Sam, who received four red envelopes and he accompanied his mother thru Chinatown and had every intention to spend his 4 dollars. His anticipation on how to spend the money diminished when he accidentally stepped on the foot of a homeless man who is buried in a pile of red paper. In the end, he decided that his dollars would be best spent on the barefoot stranger. ๐Ÿ™‚ In my opinion, this is such a good book to read to the children, even if it isn’t Chinese New Year.

Do check these books out if you have the chance. If you know of any other good Chinese New Year books, please share with me. ๐Ÿ™‚

Tuesday craft: snowmen!

By the boy:
P1020062

I showed the boy how to create the snowman (right) and he did a similar one (left) by himself. As you can see, his cutting skill is getting better each day! The elements of snowman on the left were cut entirely by him, without any help! I’m so proud of him. ๐Ÿ™‚

By the girl:
P1020065

Love the details she drew on the snowman!
snowman2

Her snowman has a pair of twinkling eyes and eyebrows too!! So cute!!:)

Other related posts:

Christmas Crafts See our other Christmas Craft here.

Tuesday Craft : The Hungry Caterpillar mini-book

One of our all-time favorite children’s books is The Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. The boy and I were trying to find a book to “reproduce”. So, we picked this title for our first mini-book craft. ๐Ÿ™‚

Materials used :
construction papers
fruits stickers
markers
glue and scissors

As you can see from the below picture, it is a pretty simple craft project.
We just decorated the pages with the paper cutouts and fruit stickers.
For the fruits, I let the boy chose what he wanted the caterpillar to eat. It was fun to count and select the correct number of fruits to stick on the corresponding number of days. ๐Ÿ™‚

bento

End product:
P1010585

The boy was so proud and pleased with the book that he made another one the next day! ๐Ÿ™‚
I will share his new book soon.

Tuesday Craft : Simple animals paper craft

P1010262

This is a simple paper craft that I did with the boy last week. He requested to make an elephant and a lion. So, I helped him to trace the parts of the animals on the construction paper and he tried to cut them out and glue them on the green construction paper by himself.

I think this artwork looks really cute. As for the boy, he was so proud of his work that he even brought it to school for his show & tell for the very first time! ๐Ÿ™‚ Seeing how he really enjoyed doing the craft projects now, I think I should stop being so lazy and do more often with him. ๐Ÿ™‚

Preschool Maths : Counting & Quantity

The other day when the boy refused to nap and I had to work with the girl on her ‘Hanyu Pinyin’ studies, I decided to give him a simple Maths lesson so that he could work on it while we do our work.

I knew the boy had learned some of his numbers from his favorite ‘Thomas & His Friends’ tank engines, but I didn’t know exactly how much he knows. So, I tested him out using homemade number cards that I made out of DH’s old name cards. It turns out that he could recognize the numbers 1-8, but has problem identifying 9 & 10.

Anyway, for his first Maths lesson, I wanted to do something simple and engaging. I want him to associate numbers with their proper quantities. So, I gave him a box of craft pom poms and the number cards #1 to #6.(Initially I only wanted number #1-#5 cards, but since he insisted of having #6 card too, so I just added it in.)

First, I worked through the numbers with him. I pointed to a number (say ‘1’) and then asked him what number is that. Upon receiving his reply as ‘1’, I asked him to put one pom pom on the card. Then we moved on to the next number till we are done with the last number (i.e. 6).

Once we are done with the work, I encouraged him to try it himself. He still makes mistakes sometimes, but that is ok. I’m just happy that he enjoys learning and is able to sit through at least 15mins to do his work.

I will continue to work with him on this number work, that is if he still has interest in doing it next week. And if we do work on it again, I must remember to introduce him the number ‘0’ and the concept of zero.

Summer activities – Visit the Zoo

Most kids would enjoy a trip to the zoo.

Because the winter here is quite long and harsh. I find the best time to visit a zoo is no doubt during the summer. Most special and seasonal exhibits are opened from mid-June through mid September and so you will get to see more animals during this period than you normal would in other months.

Visiting a zoo can be fun and educational. The children can learn about animals, have fun watching them, and sometimes even feed and pat some animals.

Here are some things/tips you can do to make your trip to the zoo more enjoyable.

1. Most zoos will have some educational activities for the kids so check the Zoo website for daily schedules, exhibition guides, educational programs and special events prior to the trip. This will help you decide which exhibit to go and avoid wasting time upon arrival.

2. For older children, you may want to print out some zoo-related activity sheets for them to bring along, give them some papers to jot down the things they learn about the animals or even a scrapebook to draw.

Here’s what the girl did during our recent trip to the zoo. She made her own journal and drew pictures of the animals she saw at the zoo. ๐Ÿ™‚

3. Speak with a Zookeeper, whenever possible.
I find that children learn more when they get a chance to speak to someone who know best about the animals. So, do encourage your kids to ask questions and talk to the zookeeper.

4. Take some time to read the fact sheets of the animals with the children. That’s another way they can learn more about the animals.

5. Allow some play time at the playground for young children. This will make them happy. ๐Ÿ™‚

6. Bring lunch and snack from home.
You know how picky young children are. The food selection at the park cafes are usually limited and the only way you can be sure that the kids would enjoy their food, is to pack your own food. The children would love the idea of picnicking. If possible, pack some special treats for them to make the picnicking exprience even better.


My children enjoying a cup of homemade strawberry yogurt ice and fresh strawberries for snack.

7. Zoo admission fee can be quite expensive. So, check out your local library for free or discounted Zoo/Museum passes. You can save a lot by planning and reserving your pass ahead of time.

8. Lastly, but most importantly – Slow down and take your time to enjoy your time at the zoo. There’s always something happening at the zoo. It is only when you slow down that you can see and appreciate the beautiful park and the animals.

Summer activities – Farm Visit

Our 3-months long summer vacation has just started about 2 weeks ago. To keep both children busy and happy, I have to do something hopefully fun and educational with them.

One of the things we love to do during summer is to visit local farms and pick our own fruits. So far, we have already went a few times to pick strawberries, cherries and raspberries. The blueberries season is here, we will probably go and pick them next week.

Cherry Picking Trip
These are the pictures I took during our cherry picking trip. ๐Ÿ™‚

What I love about farm visits is that it is an outdoor activity. The children get to run around, enjoy the sun and fresh air, and learn about the fruits/vegetables they pick. They could see, touch, pick and even taste the fresh fruits. Most kids today have never even seen what a fruit or vegetable plant looks like. I want my children to know where their food come from and appreciate the food they eat.


Pictures from strawberry picking trip. See how the boy enjoyed the fresh and juicy strawberry! ๐Ÿ™‚

There are other fun things to do besides picking fruits at the farm too.
Like petting and feeding the farm animals.

Rediscover the nature and enjoy the beautiful wild flowers, bugs and more.

Farm visit is really a fun and educational activity that the whole family can enjoy. If you are looking for something to do with your kids this summer, I highly recommend you to check out your local farm. ๐Ÿ™‚