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Author Topic: A few questions for parents in China...  (Read 8566 times)

psd4fan

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Re: A few questions for parents in China...
« Reply #15 on: June 30, 2012, 01:44:36 AM »
Mostly English. Shouldn't be a big problem.

CaseyOrourke

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Re: A few questions for parents in China...
« Reply #16 on: September 18, 2012, 01:55:16 PM »
Our daughter is on the way....
I'm not sure on the insurance, it depends on the cost, but when you have family and friends who are doctors, you get a lot of medical care for free

Mrs. Casey already has cloth diapers, but I'm going to see if she will go for the huggies at night.  We are both on agreement on the split pants and that answer is HELL NO!!!!!.  

We are are planning on spending about 5 years here so she can learn English at home (the wife and I communicate only in English) and she can learn Chinese from the family.  Now the only time the wife speaks Chinese is when she is talking to family, friends and when we go shopping.  After 5 years we are going to move back to the states she she can go to school in the US.  The wife just does not care for the Chinese system for rote memorization, plus she wants her to have the chance to play in organized sports in school.

Mr Nobody

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Re: A few questions for parents in China...
« Reply #17 on: December 08, 2012, 11:02:42 AM »
Ok, I'll answer this from a viewpoint of 6 years further on.

Little Miss N just turned six.

We didn't have insurance.

We used neither the split pants nor nappies/pampers except while travelling. Split pants got the big veto, as did shitting in public (although urination was tolerated but not encouraged)
Toilet trained by about a year. She turned one in Australia, and I distinctly remember she only needed nappies on the trip itself, and long distances. Nappies etc NAPPY train the kid to shit themselves and get used to it. We preferred to teach her to go to the toilet. Never any issues in this direction at all. Of course, used a Nanny here which helped a lot.

English zone at home, enforced pretty rigidly, Chinese anywhere else. English zone applies to any and all people with English skills. My other job where she comes regularly is an English zone while she is there too. And I try to encourage others to do so, but they keep being fascinated for some reason she can speak perfectly good Chinese. They think the English is normal, but it's the hard thing, since I am the only native speaker she speaks to. It's a struggle.

She is native speaker up to standard in Putonghua and English, with false spanish learning(dora the explorer - counting, colours a few words) and some Cantonese/baihua which will be her next language, I would say.

Falling behind with her writing a bit since she is in a good school here, but they won't let me take her home at lunchtime to teach her as I have been doing with the preschool stuff. Homework after school leaves insufficient time for working on what she needs. WOrking on that in holidays, weekends, and she is catching up again. Luckily the holidays are long and I get them too.

We plan on staying  in China until she can get the basics of Chinese writing (school teaches both modified and traditional) and her maths goes well enough. Maybe two more years. Then back to Oz for a couple of years, then maybe Germany for end of primary/early high school.

Memorization has definite advantages, and is not to be despised. Engineers and scientists apparently are 25% less efficient since now they calculate all the time on computers and  such instead of in their heads, so discussions keep halting for them to stop dicking around with machines and lose track, instead of just saying, yeah, obviously... etc. Maths education here is apparently world class, right up in front. Rote learning works for some things better than other methods. Overdone in China, underdone in most of the west. At school I remember thinking, why am I remembering this when I could look it up? But knowing it is so much more efficient. Imagine learning a language where you had to look up each word first. The plot would be lost.

Other aspects of Chinese edjamakashun are distasteful, so doing what I can. The school is pretty modern (expensive) for China, lots of Dr, profs, rich bastard, etc kids, and seems fine mostly, although I get irritated a lot by minor crap that could be improved (probably would get irritated by minor crap that could be improved back home too, but probably different crap).

Maths, other skills, and that kind of thing she is up to about 2nd class or so for most things, according to some US testing software, but not that I trust that much. When we go back to Oz my school teacher rellies hassle her and make sure I am getting it about right.

I only wish she had more time to play with other kids. School is 8am to 5pm, and she gets home for about half an hour before dinner, where I give her English stuff. Only gets about an hour a day play at home, but school does a lot apparently. An hour's homework, until time for bed. Sigh.

Mixed blood kids are going to be apart their whole lives to some extent, one way or the other. Being native speaker removes one more barrier.

She is having fun, not badgered into learning. Right now she is doing Chinese reading, and laughing. Earlier today we were going through reading at about 8 yo standard english thing on sloths and how they live. She likes learning especially animals and although she needs help in reading at that level, she enjoys it more, and it stretches her.

Dr Seuss once said that kids have a vocab in words about 5 times that of what they can read, and a mind that's in front of that. I use that to get her moving ahead.

She wants to learn music, but I don't want to overburden her.

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dragonsaver

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Re: A few questions for parents in China...
« Reply #18 on: December 08, 2012, 01:29:28 PM »
Wow, you are doing a fantastic job   bfbfbfbfbf agagagagag agagagagag

Your daughter sounds like a real treasure   akakakakak akakakakak
Be kind to dragons for thou are crunchy when roasted and taste good with brie.

Mr Nobody

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Re: A few questions for parents in China...
« Reply #19 on: December 08, 2012, 02:26:04 PM »
Thanks. DS. Being the father of a little girl, naturally I think she is a treasure. Her chinese name apparently means Family Treasure in one interpretation ababababab.

I am trying, but it's a struggle since few people around here including Mrs N really understand the issues of bilingual households and the difficulties of becoming a native speaker of a foreign language in a foreign country. llllllllll

Australia has a lot of people who are bilingual, but mostly they are insufficiently able at their family's language, and often not up to native speaker in English either, depending on their age of arrival. I read a few studies, drew a few conclusions and appear to have been correct, at least so far, and with a sample of one.  bfbfbfbfbf

Native speaker in 3 languages is the goal, but I will settle for English. Putonghua and Cantonese can fend for themselves. Don't tell Mrs N I said that.

And Maths ability would be really cool. That way she has both Mrs N's language and hopefully my maths/science. She seems to like maths, and can do it in both languages (yeah, its the same, it was supposed to be funny....). I should say arithmetic. They haven't covered multiplication or division yet at school, only addition and subtraction, and she can handle most of that without her fingers, using some tricks I have taught her. Going to start on the brainetics tricks later to help her out. (google it, then pirate the stuff. Hyped up tricks, but still, anything to make it easier.)

Learning to read Chinese is supposed to enhance memory and maths ability, not sure why the latter.

She does enjoy all the standard kiddy science projects and I am putting together a small lab, so show her some stuff there for fun. Grows tadpoles, watches bugs eat, feeds the turtles, grows plants from seeds. helps with cooking, etc. KNows a fair bit about the planets and how day and night are made, pretty cool for a young'un. Used a globe and a laser light, and she got it. Having daddy in different countries skyping her in different time zones probably helped. Geography fair, can point at Oz, China, UK, Germany, africa madagaskar (movie interests) and a few other places where visiting students come from. Knows the compass. I am following what is supposed to be the standard stuff for NSW school curriculum, but I suspect that mostly they are dreaming that most kids can do it to the level they say they want, but mostly we have it covered, except the reading (which she can do but won't do alone) and the writing, which she doesnt like doing. I suspect that's mostly because I  think she doesn't like not being able to write well enough to describe what she can think of. Hence the Dr Seuss observation in previous post.

Working on reading and writing, but she isn't enjoying it unless we do it together. Not that I mind, but I want her to enjoy it for herself. It seems she thinks of reading as a group activity. I tend to think of it as solo. She does read Chinese by herself, but due to the complex nature, only reads signs, not stories yet. I am writing some reading "books" of about 8 pages, using (trying to use ananananan)  Dr Seuss's principles, and they are working to make it more interesting, but there are only so many hours in a day.

On the other hand she tells and draws complex stories about all sorts of things and easily differentiates between fantasy and reality, but prefers the latter. I think she is dissappointed that fairies aren't real. Mrs N going around zapping mosquitoes saying they are fairies tickled her fancy though. She can draw nearly as well as I can, but that's not exactly a stretch, even for a kid. oooooooooo
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dragonsaver

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Re: A few questions for parents in China...
« Reply #20 on: December 09, 2012, 01:50:00 AM »
There have been studies done on children learning chess and improved math ability.  bjbjbjbjbj

Maybe you should add that to your scheduled teaching during the spring festival break.   bjbjbjbjbj   agagagagag agagagagag
Be kind to dragons for thou are crunchy when roasted and taste good with brie.

Mr Nobody

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Re: A few questions for parents in China...
« Reply #21 on: December 09, 2012, 04:43:58 AM »
I heard this about chess too, and my father probably also heard this. I got hothoused as a child, beating out slide rules in the head, etc, and later calculators. Reading at 3, etc. Chess at about 8. I don't remember when I learned.

Father forced me to learn chess as a child. At high school, I used to trash the 'champions' of the school, when forced to play, even those much older. They felt I played irrationally, but I suspect they just couldn't see what I was doing to win. Stopped at about 15 when I discovered pot and rebellion. Didn't play chess again for nearly 20 years, until a uni champion challenged me while studying for my second degree in the early nineties or late eighties. Still won 3 out of 5 matches, although he did let me take one move back per game when I saw the consequences since I was so out of practice. He saw me play in a 'drunken chess' competition at uni where I did well, given teh rules involved lots of beer, so wanted to see how I played sober. Don't recall why I played then, except maybe the free beer sounded good. That was the last time I played. Don't plan on playing again.

I really don't like chess. Even the beer wasn't that much of an improvement.


Maybe Mrs N knows. probably wait until she is older, though. Mrs N or Miss N. Miss N can do logic puzzles on an iphone looking thing Mrs N has to occupy Miss N while travelling, and does it well, faster than Mrs N, so probably she would do ok at chess. Maybe I'll introduce her to chess software. I am sure there is plenty around.

It's a good idea, but personally,  aaaaaaaaaa
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fullricebowl

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Re: A few questions for parents in China...
« Reply #22 on: December 09, 2012, 10:37:53 AM »
We used neither the split pants nor nappies/pampers except while travelling. Split pants got the big veto, as did shitting in public (although urination was tolerated but not encouraged)

What is the other option? No pants at all? Potty trained by one year? I'm intrigued...

Mr Nobody

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Re: A few questions for parents in China...
« Reply #23 on: December 09, 2012, 01:30:21 PM »
When she needed the toilet, we rushed her to the potty, rather than either crap in her pants or do the crap where she was.

We used nappies only a little, disposable ones, and got her out of them instantly. She didn't really need them often.

My theory is that nappies should only be used for emergencies, because keeping kids in nappies only "nappy trains" them, rather than something useful like toilet training. It helped that the nanny was available for rapid deployment when we weren't but yes, she was potty trained by about 1 yo pretty reliably, except naturally nappies for long trips etc, and used chinese toilets about the same time as she was walking, and western toilets not long after, although we put a stool thing in place so she could get up on it.

It was a hell of a lot better than what I see other people trying, and it worked, that's all I can say, remembering sample group of one.

And I think I worked out the reading issue. She reads Chinese because there is Chinese everywhere to read. But English she only does with me because that is the only place it is, so naturally it's social. Not sure about a solution yet. Signs all around the house had no effect on this, although it helped with the general working out what letters sound like and English words for household stuff. Maybe need posters?
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Granny Mae

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Re: A few questions for parents in China...
« Reply #24 on: December 09, 2012, 09:43:55 PM »
Mr Nobody, my son son is hearly 44 yrs old and he was reading a long time before he went to school. I taught him using Dr Seuss books. His father used to take him out fishing for the weekend, even before he could walk and later on taught him to shoot and used to take him hunting. I was the educator in one way and his Dad was in another way. Our son was also "potty trained" at a very young age which appeared to cause raised eyebrows at that time. The main thing that appeared to go wrong, was when he went to school. He was too far advanced and they didn't let him jump a class, (as I did) so he was VERY bored and turned off. Unfortunately,as he was growing up, I had to work long hours and his Dad had to go to another town to work. He wouldn't stay at school and drifted in and out of jobs because he got bored when there was nothing to learn. I think that it is only now that he is starting to realise what potential he had even though he is in a very well paid mining job. My son has also never recovered from the death of his father. He always talks about him and teaches his own sons what his Dad taught him. I could go on, but I'll stop now and say this. Mr Nobody, don't ever forget to make time for some really fun times with your little girl. I believe that she is a very lucky young lady to have you as her Dad. bfbfbfbfbf

Mr Nobody

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Re: A few questions for parents in China...
« Reply #25 on: December 09, 2012, 10:47:11 PM »
She reads Dr Seuss. She enjoys it, too. She just doesn't read alone. Not English anyway. She can read fine, but just doesn't. Chinese, yes, but she can't read enough to read a story. This is apparently normal, takes a couple of more years to read Chinese than English. I merely worry that she won't develop in her reading if she only reads with me. But we do that every day, and have for years.

My mother thinks that will change when we move back, and isn't worried.

But thank you for your kind words ....

Parenting is harder than it looks. HOw did the human race every get this far with mere humans as parents?

Oh, yeah, forgot to look out at the planet.
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opiate

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Re: A few questions for parents in China...
« Reply #26 on: December 15, 2012, 01:32:29 PM »
My little girl can barely manage anything except a cry at this point and I am already going crazy about the language issue. My wife and I simply can not communicate in a single language. We are both at fault. Her English is not good enough to communicate well and my Chinese is the same. We actually speak Chinglish and whatever the opposite of Chinglish is. For my wife and I it works well but native English speakers and native Chinese speakers find it difficult to understand....and quite often laughable.

The English I taught my wife was simply to help her express herself easily with me. She did the same for me in Chinese. I have not taught my wife anything close to correct English. My Chinese is a mix of Putonghua and Qingdaohua with a bunch of words I use incorrectly but are understood correctly by my wife. I have tried using English only when talking to my baby but fail miserably.

My little girl's head is going to explode one day from the way we treat our respective languages.  ananananan ananananan

Mr Nobody

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Re: A few questions for parents in China...
« Reply #27 on: December 15, 2012, 04:20:49 PM »
On further considering what Granny Mae said, I would say that we feel that homeschooling is going to be a major part of Little Miss N's education. I can understand what happened to your son, and to tell the truth, something similar happened to me. Anything done at school here or back home is going to be ... taken under advisement. We will take the good bits, as we do here, and deal with the bad bits. If she gets bored (I did, and I was young for my class so they couldn't advance me further) I'll pull her out and go with home schooling. You can get them into Uni at 16 if they pass the entrance test, but I am not sure I want to do that either. Plenty of time. Maybe world travel, if the next stage of my plan works, as this current one is going ok so far.

I am sure, for example, she will get a better idea of shakespear or whatever if she goes to the globe and stratford than learning about it in the class room. Same for Marathon or Trelleborg, the Rosetta stone. etc.

And if the plans don't work, then, well, uni entrance can be done at any age, simply by doing the Open Foundation anyway. Besides, she may not want uni.

For Opiate, I am not sure what I would do. I would be worrying too. Crash course perhaps? Panic doesn't work: I tried that. I would consider going home very soon, I think. That way at least English would be accomplished. Mrs N is an English senior lecturer (her title translates as that, or AssPro or something similar), and I worry constantly that she is not good enough at English for our household here in China to get native speaker English happening for Miss N.

All I can say is kids are very flexible. Her brain won't explode, but instead integrate them into their respective languages as long as she gets enough exposure to both. She will become native speaker Chinese by default, if you do not work on the English good and hard.
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