This week’s Parent Spotlight is Vickie W and she works at least 50 hours a week and didn’t teach her daughter Chinese until she was 4 years old. The fact that her daughter learned Chinese at a later age and is still doing well with Sagebooks is very encouraging!
FAMILY BACKGROUND (In her own words)
Vickie W: I would say I am a native Taiwanese and Mandarin speaker. I was born in Taiwan and grew up there until age 9 (3rd grade) and moved to Saudi Arabia with my parents. Then I came to the US for high school and have stayed here in the US since. When I was in Saudi Arabia, I went to Chinese school once a week, which followed the Mandarin curriculum in Taiwan, and I completed that through 9th grade. My Mandarin was kept up mainly because we spoke only mandarin at home, and we spent 2 months during summer vacation every year in Taiwan until I was half way through college, and my love for reading Chinese novels.
My husband: 3rd generation Mexican American. English is his first language and he probably knows 5 words in Chinese and random words he repeats after my daughter. He learned Spanish throughout high school and college, and is fluent but does not speak Spanish to our daughter.
Both my husband and I work full time about 50 hours per week out of the house, and then some more from home at times. We have a full time nanny who speaks Spanish to the kids.
My daughter is 5.5 now. I first start really making an effort with teaching Chinese when she was 1.5 years old. Before that she probably spoke more Spanish because of the nanny. I am pretty sure her first words were: mas agua. My initial goal was just creating a habit of bedtime reading together so every night we would read together one chinese story book. I also had her watch Qiaohu. We did this for about a year, then I started teaching her some Chinese characters. She went to an immersion preschool from age 2.5 to 4.5 which was ok, the teacher spoke too much English for my liking.
But around age 4 was when she started talking a lot more in Mandarin, and I started making an effort to speak as much Mandarin with her as possible. We also switched to a different immersion school for TK, and the Mandarin education was much better than the previous school. Currently our Mandarin exposure at home consists of bedtime reading, watching Qiaohu, watching cartoons in Mandarin, and Mandarin conversation with me.
My son is 10 months old and doesn't speak.
IN HER OWN WORDS
1. Why did you choose Sagebooks?
2. What was your experience with going through Sagebooks? What did your typical lesson look like? Did you do additional activities?
3. What did you like about Sagebooks? Was there anything you didn't?
4. If you have more than one child, would you do it again?
5. Any advice for parents who are just starting?