Work is taking up more of my time this year, as one physician left the practice at the end of last year; so, I have not had the time to post recently. “Charlotte” and “Georgia” continue to work on their Chinese but have a little less time recently.
Charlotte, who is 12 and in 7th grade, has had projects after projects at school since school resumed after Christmas break, which have kept her very busy. When she has some time to spare, she continues to study Chinese using 6th grade first semester self-study textbook guide from Taiwan but is making slow progress. I continue to set aside time for her to read the kungfu novel 神雕俠侶 and she continues to reads parts of it aloud with the Chinese tutor on the weekend.
We recently got a fresh supply of workbook from Taiwan, which go over idioms and expressions. So, we are trying those too. Here is one such workbook:
At home, Charlotte continues to speak Chinese with me about 90% of the time and with her younger sister Georgia about 80% of the time. Just tonight, she gave a brief impromptu Power Point presentation in Chinese to the rest of the family on why I should drive them to the bus stop in the morning 5 minutes earlier. She typed up the slides in English but presented it in Chinese; so, my wife and I are happy about it. The thing is, I converse with the children in Chinese almost exclusively, except for certain expressions we find it more natural to say in English; so it actually would feel rather unnatural if Charlotte presents such topic to us in English.
As for “Georgia”, who is 9 and in 5th grade (skipped a grade), she has been spending a little more time on her English and math recently, trying to catch up to her peers who are mostly at least one and half year older than she is. Math word problem she has a little more problem with as usual. In any case, she is still studying Chinese using 4th grade first semester self-study textbook guide, reading Chinese cultural stories with the tutor on the weekend, and is learning more idioms through the new workbooks as well.
I set aside time for her to read novels/chapter books as well. She is reading the Chinese edition of the abridged version of Animal Farm at this point. This series is certainly much more challenging for her than the last few books of Magic Tree House, as the selections, though abridged, are of famous English literary works. So, the theme and the story lines are likely more suitable for middle schoolers.
Lastly, both of them learn to write one classic Chinese poem every 2 weeks or so this year.