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My child cries over Chinese homework

  1. #1
    Newbie_hk is offline Registered User
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    My child cries over Chinese homework

    How can I make Chinese writing homework fun & interesting for a 4 year old? She has 2 pages a week & we go through tears making her finish one page. I don't want her to be traumatised by homework. She's in an international kindy but the only non-local there.

  2. #2
    lesliefu is offline Registered User
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    Do you spread the two page over the week, so that she sits down for 10mins per day to do a little or are you having her complete one full page each time and so complete the homework in two sittings? Surely you aren't asking her to complete all the homework in ONe sitting are you? By starting with little bits to do she will become better and gain more confidence in doing it, that it will no longer be a challenge (which it appears to be) and no longer be traumatized by doing it...bar in mind though that this could take a whole to train and requires consistency in your part.

    I personally believe it is all in the training and that nice kids get the hang of it, it will be OK.

    Another question...what time of day is she doing the homework? Is she too tired, too hungry? Perhaps a bit if incentive initially, and then slowly remove the reward when the work is no longer a challenge for her. Are you erasing a lot of the characters that dont look "right"? Try to minimize if you are...perhaps you can get them to pint out which they feel is the best character and to choose one that they feel should be erased and rewritten....this will help them to learn how to critique ttheir own work which is equally important skill to have.

  3. #3
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    My son has a lot more Chinese homework now too. He's also 4-years-old. He goes to a local kindergarten, though. He is a "mixed" kid.

    Not only does he have to do his work pages (he has one Chinese workpage/night usually and it is required to be done that night and returned the next day) his grandfather (my husband's father) requires him to do a full page of writing practice for each character he is learning in addition to the homework--he does this extra practice on the weekends.

    He seems to be coping pretty well with it although I know it's not his favorite thing in the world to do. I sat with him last weekend and helped him work on the extra practice and we went through and he got to self-evaluate what he had written. For the characters he thought he had done well I let him tell me what type of special animal or picture he wanted me to draw next to the character to show it had been done well. He had me draw things like fish or pandas or lions. Then for the ones he didn't do so well we put a cross in the top of the box and ones that were done so-so we put a tick.

    Keep in mind that this is extra practice in addition to what he's already doing for homework but it has meant that his homework is more well-done and therefore he doesn't have to erase or re-do much of it which I think builds his confidence.

    Maybe find out why your daughter is crying. Has she been made fun of or singled out because she is a non-local student? Has it had some relation to her Chinese ability? At this point, learning a new language should be fun and not daunting. I would think that an international school would also have a less "rote" approach than many of the local schools as well. I can't imagine that they are disciplining the students harshly for not writing perfect characters. Are they? My guess that there is more to this than her just not enjoying Chinese. Is the teacher a perfectionist? Does she feel isolated? Does it have something to do with her personality? Is she being too hard on herself? Is she afraid to take risks and fail? I think it's really important to ask these questions and others to determine what exactly is going on.

    I mean, my son goes to Mandarin lessons at his school for an after-school activity and he doesn't particularly love learning Mandarin but I know the teachers' approach is to make it fun--through games and songs. Same thing with English--my son will walk around chanting the different sounds of the alphabet he has been learning. Why should Chinese be any different?
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    Newbie_hk is offline Registered User
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    Thanks Thanka2 & Lesliefu for your replies.

    Lesliefu, you read me like a book. I will hold my hand up & admit that I do make her finish the entire page in one sitting (she only does one page a day) and I do erase the mistakes. Your suggestions are great & a friend of mine also suggested that I photocopy her homework so I have a sheet of my own & we can do it together. We tried it & it worked a treat just the other day. We also try to imagine shapes, animals or things out of the characters to make it interesting (can you draw me the two arms & the tail?)

    Thanka2, she's ok in school. It's really just the homework that brings her to tears. Hopefully with a new approach, things will get better.

  5. #5
    lesliefu is offline Registered User
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    Nice to hear I'm on the right track! :). Another suggestion I'd have to practice writing characters is to take the character and put it in another context so that it appears different AND fun at the same time. E.g. Flash cards used as a game of memory ( not rote learning- though if not used frequently can also be a good teaching tool)...use paint to write the character and do drawings of it's meaning...could use shaving cream in a baking tray (spread the shaving cream flat) and have them trace characters in the tray....fun a bit messy though ;). Kids love it! Good luck!

  6. #6
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    when we've done it with my two kids, we've bought an extra copy book....MUMMY does the writing, too! that way we do it together. it becomes bit of a game. we always start the character at the same time and then see who can finish first.... mummy sometimes pretends that she doesn't know what she's doing, so child then teaches mummy.

    we even did this when grandma and grandpa were visiting. grandma learned how to write the words and then they both taught grandpa. homework was done in record time that day!

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