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Showing posts from August, 2014

Swimming with GoPro

Summer is coming to an end.
In just one week we will be celebrating Mid-Autumn Festival 中秋節.
Our community swimming pool is going to close very soon.
To remember the good times we've had at the pool Zosia has made a really cool video - please take a look:



Do you want to go swimming?







Alphabet book by Ania

Continuing with teaching letters to preschooler - putting it all together.
After finishing all the exercises for a particular letter I would give Ania a box of cut out letters from magazines (small and capital, all in different fonts) and ask her to look for that letter.

Next step was to glue these letter to the big sheet of paper together with the letters from other exercises.






And now time for ... stickers! Out of a box of stickers and a sticker book we chose the ones which pictures begin with the letter Ania is learning.



After Ania placed them on the page I wrote the names of the objects. It looked like this:





After all this work Ania's letter page was finished!





And after a few months all the letters had their pages and it was time to put them all together  into a big alphabet book:



Ania had lots of fun doing all the letter exercises and she is very proud of her big alphabet book. Although she already knows all her letters, she still likes to look through it from time to time.

Making a rainstick

Few weeks ago Ania had to prepare an instrument for her music class (Mama Mia 親子館). The instrument was supposed to imitate the sound of rain, wind or thunder. I figured that it would be nice to make an instument first "invented" by Aztecs - the rainstick (or something that would resemble it).
The big brother, Jaś, was a great help.

What is needed to make a rainstick:
a tube (we used one for storing pictures)nailsbeans/peas or other small grainscolored tape + stickers to decorate hammer











When the tube has been decorated, remember to seel one end well.
Now your rain stick is ready to be filled - pour some small grains in and after closing the other end, move your rainstick slowly in the upright position - up and down - and listen to the rain.



Missing snow (video)

At the end of April Zosia was taking part in filming of one episode for a popular Public TV children's program 下課花路米.

It was her idea to make an episode about skiing in Taiwan (as you know it does not snow on this island, except for a few cm high up in the mountains). She wrote a proposal to the program producer and her idea was accepted!

Now you can enjoy a short film from behind the scenes:



Websites for teaching Chinese

In my last post I shared with you how we teach Chinese at home. To all the materials mentioned there I would like to add some Internet resources. Some of the websites have on-line games, others have some printable worksheets while on others you can order books and materials for teaching at home.
Check them out, maybe you are going to find something interesting and suitable for your children.
Also ... if you know of any other interesting on-line resources, please let me know by leaving a comment. Thank you!

http://eword.ntpc.edu.tw/ - (in Chinese) 新北市政府教育局 - characters teaching website, where you can create a printable worksheet for practicing writing characters.
http://media.huayuworld.org/home_en.htm# - (in English) Global Chinese Language and Culture Center 全球華文網路教育中心 - choose 'Chinese' and appropriate level for language activities.
http://edu.ocac.gov.tw/biweekly/ - 中華民國僑務委員會 - Short texts in Chinese (published biweekly) about Taiwan and Chinese cultureplus some on-line lang…

Teaching Chinese at home

Quite often I am asked how do we teach Chinese at home, what materials do we use.

At first I would like to mention that we are a trilingual family using OPOL (One Parent One Language) approach when it comes to speaking to kids (me - Polish, my husband - Mandarin Chinese, English is spoken between me and my husband), but I am the main teacher of all 3 languages. In this post I will present how the teaching of Chinese written language is done at our homeschool.

To tell you the truth ... it's not easy, although we've been living in a (Mandarin) Chinese speaking country for the past 12 years and although the kids are surrounded by this language, they don't really like learning to read and write Chinese characters. English and Polish seem much easier to them. All three kids speak fluent Chinese, but both older ones, Zosia and Jaś prefer reading and writing in Polish and in English.

Over the years we've tried many different ways of teaching Chinese. With all the kids we sta…

Talking to kids about Poland

I don't like giving presentations or interviews, but from time to time I am asked to do so. If the person asks nicely then I can not decline and I end up getting all stressed and worried that I won't do it well and I won't be understood (remember I have to give presentations in Chinese).

Yesterday was one of those days that I had to stand in front of a group of kids and adults and talk. The audience were the kids attending a 5-day media workshop at one of the universities in Taipei 世新大學. My presentation was about ... Poland.

How to make an interesting presentation about a country? That was a task for Zosia! She is the expert in using Prezi to make presentations. Look what she has made:




The presentation went well. Most kids were interested and afterwards had many questions. Some of the questions that I was asked were:
What do people in Poland eat?What are the interesting things to see in Poland?Are all people in Poland tall?Do children in Poland have homework?Are there exam…

Getting ready for new school year

I don't know about you, but every summer I like to go over the books and school materials and get everything ready for the coming school year.

I don't necessary take everything down from the shelves and out of cabinets every year, but this year I've decided to go through everything thoroughly.

It took me two and a half days and now the classroom is ready for the kids and another year of homeschooling. This year is also first time in many years that I am not ordering any new homeschool curricula. I decided to teach with whatever materials we have plus the things that I can find on the Internet. And besides we already have 8 years of Sonlight curriculum!

While going through all the books, papers, materials, games, I found some things to give away. There are a few books that my kids have never even opened (most of them in Chinese).

How about you? How often do you go through all the homeschool (or school) books and materials?

Below you can see how our classroom looks like aft…

Teaching letters VI - String letters

To make yet another kind of letters we need the following materials:
cardstock with letter written in pencil gluestring/wool scissors
First we need to ask the child to cut strings to the right length for the letter that she is supposed to make"


Next she needs to put some glue on the lines of the letter and stick the string/wool to it.


Remember to press it so it will stay in place.


And the letter is ready (we made capital and small letters):


Now the letters are ready to work with - ask your child to trace the letter with his/her finger while saying the letter sound: