The many faces of 破音字 (homographs)

When teaching children how to read Chinese, it is inevitable we run into the concept of 破音字, aka多音字.

They are similar to homographs in English, when  a character is pronounced differently in different situations. Examples in English are:

  • "read" - as /riːd/ (present tense) or /red/(past tense)
  • "bow" - as /baʊ/ (verb) or /bəʊ/ (noun, as in "bow and arrows")

In Chinese, a character changes its pronunciation for  2 main reasons :

  • change of sound, but not the meaning, to accommodate the pronunciation of the following character - such as [] in 對 / duì/, 行 / xíng/;or change to 輕聲 such as 說好 /shuō de hǎo/, 一個 /yí gè ge/
  • change of sound and the meaning, in which case those characters are referred to as 破音字.

While some of the 破音字 have gradually been dropped in everyday use and only appear in classical literature, a lot of them are still being used in modern Chinese. Some common examples are:

漢字的其中一個特色是 破音字 :同一個漢字由於用法和意思的變化,讀音也產生變化。

破音字和一般的語音變化有所不同。
在日常應用中,同一個漢字的發音會因為隨後的那個字的發音而需要作出改變,例如:普通話的第三音,當隨後的那個字也是第三音時,前面的字就轉為第二音:水 / shuǐ/ – 水桶 /shuí tǒng/
一些其他的例子有:不對 /bú duì/, 不行 /bù xíng/
也有些字在應用時轉為輕聲:說得好 /shuō de hǎo/, 一個個 /yí gè ge/

有些破音字已不常用,只出現在成語或古典文學中。但現在常用的破音字為數仍不少,例如以下這些:

漢字 發音1 發音2
好孩子 (/hǎo háizi/ good) 喜好 (/xǐ hào/ to like)
長短 (cháng duǎn/ length) 長大 (/zhǎng dà/ to grow)
快樂 (/kuài lè/ happy) 音樂 (/yīn yuè/ music)
還好 (/hái hǎo/ [still] okay) 歸還 (/guī huán/ to return)
重要 (/zhòng yào/ important) 重複 (/chóng fù/ to repeat)
菜種 (/cài zhǒng/ type of, seed) 種菜 (/zhòng cài/ to plant)

There are 30 commonly used 破音字 in the Basic Chinese 500 course. We have created a study sheet, in case you are interested to learn them all. You can also use the study sheet as a source of reference for the games below.

A good understanding of 破音字 is important when your child starts to write in Chinese. It helps them to avoid falling into the trap of using a homophone which has a different meaning. For example: mistakes in  writing () instead of 經 in Putonghua, or () instead of 複  in Cantonese.

在基礎漢字500課程中有30個常用的破音字。我們製作了相關的練習紙供免費下載,可作綜合練習,也可作為以下遊戲活動的參考。
孩子對破音字的掌握可以減低寫白字的錯誤,尤其是將同音字混淆的情況。例如:普通話的「經常」誤寫成「經長」/ 廣東話的「重複」誤寫成「從複」等。

You might also be interested in our video: How would you read 長, which explains in more detail about this particular character – its history and various pronunciations.
歡迎觀看我們製作的短片:「長字怎麼唸」介紹「長」字的演變歷史、多種讀法、和文字遊戲。

Below are some activities to help your children to grasp the concept of 破音字.
以下活動以遊戲方式,引導孩子認識破音字的概念。

ACTIVITIES OF THE WEEK

Most of these activities are geared towards teaching your kids some common 破音字 so they have them in their vocabulary and can recognize when to use them in the correct context.

以下的遊戲主要是讓孩子認識甚麼是破音字,同時開始識別一些常用破音字在不同場合的意思和讀音。


破音字 Phrase Matching Activity 組詞練習 (age 3+, single or multiple players)

 WHAT YOU NEED 道具 
  • Sheets of paper 紙 (裁成大紙卡)
  • Pen/Pencil 筆
 HOW TO PREPARE 事前準備 
  • Using examples, write the 破音字 on some cards and characters that make phrases with the different pronunciations on another card (eg: 好 on one card and 奇 and 吃 on other cards)
  • 參考例子,將破音字寫在一張紙卡上,將不同的可配成詞語的字寫在另一張紙卡上。例如:「好」字寫在一張卡上,「奇」和「吃」在另兩張卡上
 HOW TO PLAY 玩法 

  1. Lay down the 破音字 face up
  2. Give your child the other half of the phrases
  3. Have your child match their half with the face up cards
  1. 將所有破音字排在孩子面前,字面向上
  2. 將另一半的字卡給孩子
  3. 由孩子將兩部分的字卡配對,組成正確的詞語
 ALTERNATIVE WAYS TO PLAY 玩法變化 

Depending on the age of your child, you can increase or decrease the difficulty level of the activity by:

  1. To make it more difficult, you can include multiple phrases (as well as unequal amounts of phrases per 破音字).
  2. To make it easier, write the full phrase on each card and have your child match the full phrases (eg: matching 好奇 to 好奇)
  3. To make it more difficult, you can also have the full 破音字 on one card and the MEANING/definition on the other card.
  4. To make it easier, you can also have the full 破音字 on one card and a picture of the meaning on the other card.
  1. 當孩子掌握了一個破音字的一個組詞後,可以增加同一個破音字的組詞。以「好」字為例,可以增加:好看、好像、好朋友...
  2. 當孩子掌握了同一個破音字的幾個組詞後,可以請孩子將同音的破音字詞語放在一組。例如:長短、長路、長時間是一組;長大、班長、校長、長者是另一組

破音字 Pronunciation Matching Activity 發音配對遊戲 (age 4+, single or multi players)

 WHAT YOU NEED 道具 
  • Sheets of paper 紙
  • Pen/Pencil 筆
 HOW TO PREPARE 事前準備 
  • Write each character of the 破音字 on individual cards 將破音字分別寫在一組字卡上
  • Write the pinyin (and/or zhuyin) on other cards 將每個破音字不同的拼音寫在另一組字卡上
 HOW TO PLAY 玩法 

  1. Take all the 多音字 and lay them face up
  2. Give all the zhuyin/pinyin cards to your child
  3. Have them match the zhuyin/pinyin to the 多音字
  1. 將所有破音字排在孩子面前,字面向上
  2. 將拼音卡交給孩子
  3. 由孩子將拼音卡與不同的字卡配對
 ALTERNATIVE WAYS TO PLAY 玩法變化 
  1. To make the activity harder, you can mix up both 破音字 and zhuyin/pinyin cards together and have your child match them.
  2. To make the activity easier, you can include the zhuyin/pinyin on the 破音字
  3. To make the activity harder, you can also have both zhuyin and pinyin cards for your child to match.

 

  1. 要增加難度,將所有字卡和拼音卡都交給孩子,請孩子配對
  2. 要是開始時孩子感到困難,可以在字卡上加上拼音,作為輔導

破音字 Pronunciation Matching Activity 2 發音配對遊戲2 (age 4+, multi players)

 WHAT YOU NEED 道具 
  • Sheets of paper 紙
  • Pen/Pencil 筆
 HOW TO PREPARE 事前準備 
  • Write each character of the 破音字 on individual cards 將破音字分別寫在一組字卡上
 HOW TO PLAY 玩法 
  1. Take all the 破音字 and shuffle them
  2. Split the children into teams
  3. One by one, flip over a 破音字 card and ask the children to name some of the pronunciations
  4. Whoever raises their hand first can name one or all the pronunciations. If one child only says one pronunciation, the other team has a chance to earn another point by saying the additional pronunciation.
  5. 將所有破音字卡洗亂
  6. 將孩子分組
  7. 將破音字卡逐一揭開,請孩子說出不同的發音
  8. 由最先舉手的孩子開始,說出一個或所有的發音。要是孩子只能說出一個發音,就輪到另一組說出其他發音。正確說出發音的都可以得一分。
 ALTERNATIVE WAYS TO PLAY 玩法變化 
  1. To make the activity harder, you can also require the child to make a phrase using the word with the correct pronunciation.
  2. To make the activity harder, you can also require the child to name ALL the pronunciations in order to win a point.
  3. To make the activity easier, you can let the team come up with an answer collectively vs. making each child answer on behalf of their team.
  1. 要增加難度, 孩子在說出讀音後必須組出一句含有那個詞語的正確句子。
  2. 要增加難度,也可以要求孩子說出同一個字的所有發音才可以得分。
  3. 要減低難度,可以讓每組的孩子合力回答,而不是單一人作答。

We would love to hear your comments and see pictures of your kids doing the activities. Make sure you join our Sagebooks HK Parent Support Facebook Group and share with us!

TIP OF THE WEEK

Don’t reinvent the wheel.

Sometimes, we’re so worried about repeating activities that we forget children love to repeat things. Do your kids love matching games? Great! They can match cards, shapes, colors, pictures, whatever you can think of! They all teach your children vocabulary and character recognition (if you tape the card to the shapes, etc.).

Do your kids love to find things? Hide character cards in easter eggs, under bowls, in boxes, or whatever you want! These are all similar concepts to our activities – but they can be endlessly recycled and adapted.

If it works, use it until your kids beg for something different. We have provided many iterations to our activities so you have plenty to choose from!

很多家長都已是我們 Facebook 群組【講媽 · 講爸園地】 的成員。歡迎你也加入我們,一起互相鼓勵和支持,共同為孩子的學習而努力。

加入【講媽 · 講爸園地】

期待與你在群組內會面~

 

兩款學習遊戲

當孩子剛學了一些生字,那些字就能在孩子的生活四周到處出現,讓他能時刻接觸到,成為生活的一部分,那真的能提高他的學習成效、增進他對生字的記憶!閱讀練習卡靈活性大,體積輕便小巧,忽然間,生字就可以跟在孩子身邊,隨處出現,於是很快就由生變熟,孩子記牢了!

你還可以利用認閱讀練習卡設計小遊戲,讓孩子集中練習他感到困難、或容易混淆的字。我們之前已經介紹過的家庭遊戲活動接龍釣魚遊戲豆袋遊戲⋯等,都是利用練習卡來讓孩子的學習變得更有趣、更生動。當孩子手中拿着字卡,將字卡搬弄,他和文字之間的距離也接近了。文字,已是可以觸摸得到了。

然而,「針無兩頭利」,認讀練習卡有利也有弊。

使用閱讀練習卡的三大忌

🚫 不要以練習卡作為認字的第一步。必須先透過文句和故事讓孩子弄懂了每個字的意思,然後才利用練習卡增加熟練。
🚫 不要一味用練習卡反覆操練,讓認讀成為枯燥乏味的功課任務。
🚫 不要單純地用練習卡來考驗孩子,以免孩子因爲缺乏內容的提示而認不出時感到挫敗沮喪。

閱讀練習卡幫助你和孩子

🆘 孩子對個別生字記不牢?
將字卡挑出來,集中練習(請留意我們陸續會發佈的多種遊戲方法喔)

🆘 孩子對文字感到抽象陌生?
將字卡挑出來,讓孩子握在手中,感覺着實了。平日還可以放在口袋裏,隨時拿出來,增加親切熟悉感。

🆘 整套書攜帶太重了?
就帶一盒卡吧。輕便地帶去旅遊、上餐廳…,等候的時間,隨時隨地可以個別重溫。

🆘 單純讀書有點單調呢。

下面就特別為你介紹幾個好玩的遊戲。

哪裏錯了?

👧: 書上的句子我早就會背了,不用認字了。
👩: 那我來造些句子,你來為我指出錯處好嗎?

趁着孩子充滿自信時,與他練習鞏固一下。

這個遊戲除了讓孩子練習仔細閱讀,還能大大增強他的自信心喔~因為他成為老師了呢!
(小提示:遊戲的目的是讓他做你的老師,來為你改錯。盡量要避免出難題讓他產生挫敗喔)

 道具 
  • 閱讀練習卡 (也可以自製字卡) – 按你心中所設句子所需
 玩法 
  1. 你想好一句句子,利用字卡排在孩子面前。
  2. 刻意將其中兩個字的位置對調。
  3. 請孩子找出錯處並為你更正
 溫韾提示 
視乎孩子現在學習的級別,可選用所有他已學過的字。例如:如他現在學躍進級第3冊,那就可以用啟蒙級、萌芽級、和躍進級前40張字卡,合共240張字卡進行遊戲。
當孩子能力提升了,可以逐步增加對調的字卡。

文字旅行

👦: 天天只坐着看書真有點單調耶⋯我喜歡能動來動去。
👨: 那我們來帶字去旅行好嗎?

 道具 

  • 閱讀練習卡 (也可以自製字卡) – 4 張字卡 (例如:高、個、家、手)
 玩法 
  1. 由你發出指示,讓孩子將指定的字卡帶到你說的地方。例:帶「高」字去飯桌吃大餐吧。
  2. 孩子按指示將字卡放到指定地方。例:將「高」字卡拿去放到飯桌上。
  3. 繼續下一個字,直到完成所有字卡。例:「家」字要上厠所去了。/ 「個」字要到書架高處去看風景。 / 「手」字要回酒店房間睡覺囉。
 其他玩法變化 
你還可以利用玩具、明信片等事先佈置一下,帶字卡去不同的旅程歷險:主題公園、熱帶雨林、太空漫遊⋯這樣輕易地就將語文環境豐富起來,還能讓學習的樂趣全面提高。

The Fun of 疊詞

疊詞/Reduplication is a unique yet important feature in Chinese. It is the "doubling" of a character in a word. Some examples are:
疊詞是漢語的一個特色。以下是一些例子:

綠油油
紅彤彤
慢吞吞
靜悄悄
亮晶晶
笑哈哈
依依不捨

The structure of 疊詞 can have many combinations. Some common patterns are:
疊詞有很多不同的型式。以下是一些常用的型式:

ABAB 學習學習
AABB 家家戶戶
ABCB 前看後看
AAB 排排坐
ABB 亮晶晶

The use of 疊詞 makes the language more colourful, whether in writing or in speaking. It also adds a certain rhythm, and sometimes subtle nuance. For example, when we compare:
無論是書寫抑或日常對話,疊詞都能使本來平舖直敘的語句變得更生動,亦能加強語調節奏,甚至增添一些含蓄的語意。試比較以下兩句話:

a. 一片綠色的草地
b. 一片綠油油的草地

(b) depicts the grass as younger, fresher, more vibrant and more in abundance.
我們會感到 (b) 句的草地顯得更嫩、更鮮、更亮澤、更欣榮。

A lot of names in Chinese are 疊詞:

爸爸/媽媽/哥哥/妹妹/叔叔/伯伯/舅舅/太太

It's a common practice to double up a name in baby talks, such as: 吃果果、穿鞋鞋、肚子痛痛、玩球球. It is not used among adults.

在現代漢語中,很多稱謂都演化成了疊詞 (如上面的例子)。
我們跟小孩子說話,也會經常用到疊詞,但成人之間就不會這樣說話喔。

Subtle changes in meanings

When some 量詞 are doubled up, they mean "every single one". For example:
當一些量詞重疊使用時,往往代表了「每個」。例如:

件件衣服都好看
家家的窗口都亮起來了
個個小孩都上學
本本書我都看過了

When some verbs are doubled up, they become a suggestions, or are changed to a polite form. Some examples as below:
當我們表示禮貌或婉轉時,很自然會將動詞重疊使用。

請您看看。
我來拍拍照。
給花加加水。
在這裏坐坐。

Some verbs can be doubled up to signify little pauses in some continuous actions. For example:
有些動詞重疊了,我們就感到在一段時間內做的一件事中間有些間歇。

走走看看 / 進進出出 / 說說笑笑

疊詞, similar to 成語 (Idioms), has evolved throughout history. New ones are also being constantly added through our everyday use. The most effective way to learn them is by reading extensively, talking with people, and finding opportunities to use them.
If you are interested in more examples of 疊詞, please read our article 漢語的「疊詞」 (in Chinese).

疊詞,就像成語一樣,經歷了長時間的積聚,同時又因我們日常的使用不斷增新,因此越來越豐富。孩子要學好運用的方法,必須透過廣泛的閱讀和使用。
我們另一篇文章 漢語的「疊詞」 有更多的參考舉例,歡迎你參閱。

ACTIVITIES OF THE WEEK

Most of these activities are geared towards teaching children some common 疊詞 to help them start building their vocabulary.


疊詞 Matching Activity (age 3+, single or multiple players)

 WHAT YOU NEED 道具 
  • Sheets of paper 紙 (裁成大紙卡)
  • Pen/Pencil 筆
 HOW TO PREPARE 事前準備 
  • Using the examples (or your own), write the two parts of 疊詞 on multiple cards (eg: 綠on one card and 油油 on another)
  • 準備一組幾個疊詞,將每個疊詞拆開兩組,重疉的部分寫在一張卡上,另一部份寫在另一張卡上。例如:綠油油 - 「綠」寫在一張卡上,「油油」在另一張卡上
 HOW TO PLAY 玩法 

  1. Lay down one half of the 疊詞 face up
  2. Give your child the other half of the 疊詞
  3. Have your child match their half with the face up cards
  1. 將所有疊詞前一半的字卡排在孩子面前
  2. 將另一半的字卡給孩子
  3. 由孩子將兩部分的字卡配對,組成正確的疊詞
 ALTERNATIVE WAYS TO PLAY 玩法變化 

Depending on the age of your child, you can increase or decrease the difficulty level of the activity by:

  1. Having your child match the FULL 疊詞 instead of each half. This will be easier for younger children.
  2. To make it easier, split the 疊詞 in half at the doubled word. (eg: 綠油 on one card and 油 on another)
  3. To make it more difficult, you can also have the full 疊詞 on one card and the MEANING/definition on the other card.
  1. 開始時可以將兩個重疊詞拆開 (例如: 「綠油」在一張卡上,「油」在另一張卡),會比較容易
  2. 要增加難度,將疊詞寫在一組卡上;另一組卡是可以配合使用的名詞、動詞、近義詞...

疊詞 Unscramble Activity (age 5+, single or multi players)

 WHAT YOU NEED 道具 
  • Sheets of paper 紙
  • Pen/Pencil 筆
 HOW TO PREPARE 事前準備 
  • Write each character of the 疊詞 on individual cards
  • 將疊詞所有的字都分別寫在獨立的字卡上
 HOW TO PLAY 玩法 

  1. Take all the character cards in a 疊詞 and mix them up.
  2. Give all the cards to your child and have them unscramble into the 疊詞
  1. 將所有字卡洗亂
  2. 由孩子將它們組合排成正確的疊詞
 ALTERNATIVE WAYS TO PLAY 玩法變化 
  1. To make the activity harder, you can mix up multiple 疊詞 cards together and have your child unscramble ALL of the 疊詞. The more 疊詞 you include, the more difficult.
  2. You can also make it a team activity. Either have the children unscramble 疊詞 together in a group, or have two separate teams of children and see who can unscramble the 疊詞

  1. 要增加難度,只要增加疊詞數量就可以了
  2. 也可以讓孩子之間計時比賽

We would love to hear your comments and see pictures of your kids doing the activities. Make sure you join our Sagebooks HK Parent Support Facebook Group and share with us!

TIP OF THE WEEK

Just because it was hard, doesn’t mean it will always be hard.

A few weeks ago, we mentioned that sometimes, teaching our children Chinese is just difficult. Whether the actual characters are hard or our children are having a tough time, sometimes, learning new things is exhausting.

We wanted to remind you that often, difficult or easy phases are temporary. You can take heart that a rough patch isn’t forever as well as not take for granted the easy moments. Children go through cycles and developmental phases and adults also go through seasons depending on life.

Don’t be too proud and don’t be too despondent.

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加入【講媽 · 講爸園地】

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重陽=重九…?

我們教導孩子數學,其中一個基本概念是單數、雙數。

其實,這並不是現代或西方傳來的數學概念。我們的先祖早就將單雙數分別歸類,只是當時的名稱和今天的不一樣。古時候,人們稱單數為「陽數」、雙數為「陰數」。早在我們最古老的「易經」之中已有記載。

 九重天 

在1-10之中所有的陽數 (單數) 之中,九最大,因此九也被稱為極數。天的最高處被稱為「九重天」。九月初九那天,日和月都是「九」,因此人們叫那天為「重九」(這裏的「重」是重複的意思),又因為九是陽數,因此又稱為「重陽」。

重陽前後的時間,是秋收的季節。每年的秋收季節,祭天地總是一件重要的事。因此,早在戰國時期屈原已有記載關於重陽的詩辭了。後來到了三國時期,重陽慢慢成為了一個節日:重陽節,一直流傳到今日。

 中國老人節 

由於「九」是極數,又和「久」的發音一樣,人們往往以「九」寓意長遠、恆久;就像老人家要長久地健康、長壽、幸福。1989年,中國政府正式將每年的農曆九月初九定為「中國老人節」,推崇愛老、敬老。

 天長地久 

「九」字一向以來都得到中國人的喜愛:喜慶日子,尤其是日生或婚禮,人們送禮的金額都會含有「九」字;而廣東傳統,新娘的開門利是最好 $999999..... 只要新郎負擔得起,越多越好,天長地久嘛...哈哈~

 「重」點學習 

值得一提的是,重陽的「重」字是破音字

粵語的發音有三種

(1) 音:/寵/,例如:重量、舉重
(2) 音:/仲/,例如:德高望重、重要
(3) 音:/蟲/,例如:重複、重新做人

普通話的發音分別有

(1) /chóng/:  重複、重出江湖
(2) /zhòng/: 笨重、頭重腳輕

適逢佳節,不如就讓小朋友也一起來遊戲學習一下吧。

 下載練習 

以下的2頁練習大部份都在基礎漢字500課程範圍以內的喔。

   繁體中文版下載

 

    簡體中文版下載

So you have heard about YIN (陰) and YANG (陽).

Did you know that they also represent important maths ideas? One of such ideas is odd and even numbers.

 九重天 

Since ancient time, the Chinese called even numbers YIN (陰), and odd numbers YANG (陽). Among all the numbers from 1 to 10, 9 is the largest YANG number. The highest level of the sky was referred to as 九重天 (/jiŭ chóng tiān/).

Because of the significance of 9, the 9th day of the 9th month of the lunar calendar is also named as 重九 (/chóng jiŭ/) which means “double 9”. Furthermore, as 9 is a YANG number, people also called this day 重陽. The name 重陽 was mentioned as early as around 350 BCE, in poems written by Qu-Yuan. (Qū-Yuán is the scholar and politician that people remember during every year’s Dragon Boat Festival).

As 重陽 usually falls upon the harvest season when people practice thanksgiving rituals to the gods, it has historically been an important day of the year. However, it was not until the time of the Three Kingdoms (around 190 CE - 280 CE) that it officially became a festival and was called 重陽節. We still celebrate this day every year.

 Chinese Old People's Day 

In most Chinese dialects, the character 九 is pronounced the same as the character 久, which means “for a long, long time”. It is quite common for people to use this word to express wishes for their elders to live long, healthy and happy. In 1989, the Chinese government stipulated that 重陽節 will also be the “Old People’s Day” in China every year.

 Forever and ever 

Nine has always been a favourite number among the Chinese. Even nowadays, birthday or wedding presents often amounts to a number involving 9. In the Cantonese tradition, the groom has to pay Lai-See (利是) as a token for the bridesmaids to open the door so he can get to the bride. After rounds of negotiations, which involves the groom doing all kinds of tricks set out by the bridesmaids, it often amounts to $99999…. Depending on how much the groom can afford, the more 9 the merrier. After all, we all wish the couple stay together for a very long, long…. time.

 A study of 重 

Did you know that the character 重 is a homograph, meaning it has more than one pronunciation? 

The 3 pronunciations in Cantonese

(1) /cung5/,例如:重量、舉重
(2) /zung6/,例如:德高望重、重要
(3) /cung4/,例如:重複、重新做人

The 2 pronunciations in Putonghua

(1) /chóng/:  重複、重出江湖
(2) /zhòng/: 笨重、頭重腳輕

In celebrating the Chong Yang Festival, we have created some practice sheets. Please feel free to download the sheets for you and/or your kids to practice and learn.

 Free Download 

Most of the words included in the practice sheets are within the Basic Chinese 500 course.

   Download Traditional Chinese version click here

 

    Download Simplified Chinese version click here

Fleur’s Story – proper planning to make extreme tight schedule fit, TWICE

One of the most common excuses we hear about not doing Sagebooks involves the lack of time and parents being super busy. While we do not discount these real and legitimate issues, it can also be overcome with proper planning.

PARENT SPOTLIGHT

中文版請按此。

This week’s Parent Spotlight is Fleur and what she does not mention is that when she was teaching her oldest daughter, they had minimum 3 hour daily commutes with both parents working. With her second daughter, she was traveling alone with her three girls and a friend and their family for 3-4 months in multiple Asian countries.

In other words, if you want to go through Sagebooks, you’ll find a way.

 FAMILY BACKGROUND 

Fleur is a 2nd generation Taiwanese American and can speak and understand Mandarin semi-fluently. She learned Mandarin in college (although she had exposure to Chinese as a child from her parents). Her husband only speaks English but has learned some basic Chinese to speak with their three girls. They currently homeschool in Chinese and her children are stronger and more comfortable in Mandarin.

 CHILDREN 

- 9.5-year-old daughter (started: 5.5 years old; finished: ~7-8 months)
- 6.5 year old daughter (started: 5 and again at 6; finished: ~8-10 months)
- 4-year-old daughter (not applicable)

 IN HER OWN WORDS 

1) Why did you choose Sagebooks?

I choose Sagebooks because I heard about it from Guavarama and another friend and it sounded like a program I could execute 🙂

2) What was your experience with going through Sagebooks?

With #1 (age 5.5, girl, ~7-8 months), it was a relatively smooth process. Every week a couple times during the week, we would go through lessons. I would just let #1 read as many lessons as she wanted to (typically 3-5 lessons, more in the first 2 sets).

With #2 (tried to start at 5, then restarted again at 6, girl, ~8-10 months) it was a much harder process. I wasn't as consistent (started & stopped many times due to traveling/school/wonky schedule). When we finally got into a more consistent pattern, #2 would read 2-3 lessons at a time.

3) What did your typical lesson look like? Did you do additional activities?

Typical lesson for #1 consisted of introducing new character & reading the lesson. Rinse & repeat. No additional activities.

Typical lesson for #2 was similar.

4) What did you like about Sagebooks? Was there anything you didn't?

I liked the repetition of characters for reinforcement.

5) If you have more than one child, would you do it again?

Yes.

6) Any advice for parents who are just starting?

Consistency is key. The goal shouldn't be to cram as many lessons/characters in 1 sitting, but to consistently go over a little bit every day (or as often as possible).

...

Thanks so much for your answers, Fleur! If Fleur could successfully finish Sagebooks TWICE during extremely tight schedules and less than ideal situations, likely you can, too.

SUPPORT FOR YOU
Many of our featured families are part of our Facebook Group so if you’d like to take advantage of the collective wisdom of your fellow parents, please

JOIN SUPPORT GROUP .

We’d love to hear from you.

Using salt to teach your child how to write

Thanks for following along with all these activities. We hope they’ve been fun for your children as well as given you some ideas of how to make learning a little more active.

 ACTIVITY OF THE WEEK 

This week, we’re focusing on writing characters. As you have probably experienced either yourself or seen it happen with your children, writing characters repeatedly on worksheets have a limited value and children often balk at the work.

Hopefully, your children will enjoy this activity a little bit more than just writing on worksheets.

Quick Tip: Your child may be tempted to just play with the salt/sand instead of write. That’s ok. Just let them play for a bit. Then try to have them write again.

 WHAT YOU NEED 

  • Big pan or tub/box
  • Salt/sand/flour
  • Chopstick or unsharpened pencil or stick

*Alternate materials: baking soda, vinegar, food coloring, dropper

 HOW TO MAKE 

  • Pour out just enough sand/salt/flour to cover the bottom of the pan
  • Choose 1-6 characters for your child to practice and lay them out on a white board, flash cards, or a sheet of paper where your child can see it.

   

 HOW TO PLAY 

Writing Characters in Salt/Sand (age 3+, single players)

1) Have your child practice writing in the sand/salt until they want to stop.
2) Repeat until you are done with all the characters you want to use.

Alternate ideas: Instead of a stick and sand/salt, you can use fingers. Or, you can get use a pan full of baking soda and color vinegar with food coloring and use the dropper to write the characters.

Quick Tip: If you do decide to go the baking soda and colored vinegar route, make sure you do it in an environment where you don’t mind getting messy. Actually, if you do any of this activity, make sure you’re ok with it getting messy!

   

We would love to hear your comments and see pictures of your kids doing the activities. Make sure you join our Sagebooks HK Parent Support Facebook Group and share with us!

TIP OF THE WEEK

Use context and visual cues to help your child remember characters.
Memory is a funny thing and can often be triggered by songs, pictures, and even smells. Use all the cues in the Sagebooks to help your child remember the characters. Have your children look at the engaging illustrations to guess what will happen or jog their memory. If your child is having difficulty recalling a character in a sentence, flip back to the chapter introducing the character. Often, seeing it in its original context or sentence will remind your child what the character is.

Join us in our Facebook Group and meet other parents who are teaching their kids Sagebooks Basic Chinese 500 at all different ages and levels.

Have a wonderful day and we’ll see you next week!

我們會經常為大家探討漢字和語文的課題。
要是你有特別的相關課題希望我們探討,歡迎您告訴我們。

We discuss Chinese language and culture related topics on a regular basis.
If you would like us to discuss certain topics about Chinese, please let us know.

我想提問 I have a request

更多教養支援 SUPPORT FOR YOU
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Many parents are already part of our Facebook Group. If you’d like to take advantage of the collective wisdom of your fellow parents, please join us.

JOIN SUPPORT GROUP (English)

加入【講媽 · 講爸園地】(中文)

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