Summer fun! Back to Spanish and more!

Summer is here!  School is out!!  Hurrah!!

Guess what!  The girls will not be making their 4-6 weeks trip to Taiwan this summer, as we just moved last summer and started our new jobs a few months ago.

Instead, it is back to homeschool, with lots of fun added in of course 😀!!  (I can almost hear my DDs cringing in the background! 😂)

DD#1 “Charlotte”, who just finished 9th grade, will have her hands full with online Chinese IV (to get it out of the way for some Spanish), some science and SAT prep, guitar-band, babysitting, and tennis league games.  She is also working on two summer projects, writing and illustrating her own Chinese-English children’s books, and preparing a speech in Chinese on her own bilingual upbringing.  She will be going to a creative writing camp also.

Charlotte loves art and here is her first summer sketch.  She imagines herself to be the fox and her taller friend (a girl) in real life, the smaller owl, touring Italy on a scooter! 😄


DD#2 “Georgia” (funny, since we moved to the state of Georgia last summer) who just finished 6th grade taking either 7th grade courses or gifted courses, have her hands full also.  We talked about her taking 8th grade math over the summer so that she can just move onto Algrebra I/part of Geometry sequence next year, as she has done some pre-algebra already.  But, what’s the hurry?  According to that sequence in this state, she will finish Calculus B/C in 10th grade and will take two years of college math afterwards.  But, she “only” wants to follow our footsteps and, really, few physicians need that much math background – ever.  I know, since I majored in Chemical Engineering as an undergrad and took much more math than I ever needed later and nobody cared!!!

Instead, Georgia will have a broader summer experience.  Yes, she will do some math, but not as much.  She is jumping back to where we left off five years ago with our Spanish program.  At that time, they read Spanish with our Colombian au pair and later a few South American babysitters.  So, we took out those same books and she is now reading them with their part time summer Colombian “babysitter”.



Georgia loves to learn more cooking and baking.  So, the “babysitter” is showing her how to cook Colombian and Dominican cuisine and bake as well.  Two days a week, an Indian American college student will come show her how to cook Indian food also, plus checking on their academic progress.

Here is Georgia preparing ingredients under the babysitter’s supervision.  You can see that she loves reading her Doraemon comics still!



arroz con pollo…..img_0469.jpg

…. and cooking some Chinese food under my supervision when I have the time.img_0460-e1527741038329.jpg

So, this summer, lunch and dinner are on DD#2 Georgia!  Hurrah!  She wants to learn how to cook and we need to eat!  ¡Perfecto!

At the mean time, Georgia will continue her Saturday Chinese classes as well in extra-summer sessions, focusing more on cultural topics, I think.  She continues taking guitar classes and will try out voice lessons as well, for her role as a lead singer in our band!  Then, there are the tennis practices and time for the pool!

At the mean time, both girls will read and discuss Chinese novels and cultural and contemporary topics with a tutor at home twice a week.

Lastly, we try to practice as a band every night.  Here, Charlotte recorded her part for the song we are working on, so that I can practice bass without her.  Can you guess what Chinese song we are working on?  Hint: it is one of 蘇慧倫’s all time hits, a cover of a song by a German band!

So, that’s that for our summer plan, so far!  I hope you are having a blast oversea or in the US!  Travel on!


Chinese-Spanish-English immersion

A fellow parent’s child rearing experience points out an interesting concept on raising children to be trilingual in Chinese, Spanish (or other category 1 language), and English.  This probably applies best to Chinese speaking household where English is not used much.

  1. Have the child attend Spanish-English immersion school starting kindergarten or earlier.  There is a good chance English will start to be introduced around 2-3rd grade.  Spanish is easier to learn even compared to English, and the child can read chapter books fairly early in early elementary school.
  2. Do lots of Chinese homeschooling with CLE (Chinese language ecosystem) at home as discussed before.  Get reading level up quickly as described before.
  3. Minimal or no English at home.  Since the child has not formally learned English at school and does not get to speak English at home, he only gets a little of English exposure and won’t be as comfortable playing with and interacting with non-school individuals in English.  The goal is for the child to prefer Chinese outside of school.  At school, it is mainly Spanish.
  4. When English is introduced and taught more and more at school, the child can learn English fairly readily, due to its similarity with Spanish and with all the English ecosystem outside of school and home.  After a few years of learning, the child’s English may get close to that of monolingual kids.
  5. The overall “scheme” is to for the child to learn an easier (but closely related to English) minority language at school and a difficult minority language at home.  Then, add English, the community / majority language, at ~ third grade.  Of course, time constraint will, as always, be the main factor in determining the proficiency of the various languages.  There is still no getting around needing to cut back on other commitments if the child is to have equivalent proficiency in English and Chinese compared to other children (matched for age and intelligence) learning just English and Chinese but not Spanish.  But, when the other children start putting time into learning Spanish (or other category 1 language such as French) in middle school or high school, things can even out, with better Spanish accent to boot.