kirchara: Orchideous, orchid bloom (Orchideous)
xiǎo bái tù, bái yòu bái

liǎng zhī ěrduǒ shù qǐlái

ài chī luóbo ài chī cài

bèng bèng tiào tiào zhēn kě’ài!

Line 3 Variation:

ài chī luóbo hé qīngcài

Song movements here on YouTube.

Here's a non-literal translation I found of this song.

I plan to teach M this song because he thinks bunnies are the cutest animal.

It has been a long time since I updated this blog. Good news is, J and M have finally started weekly semi-private Mandarin lessons =) They have had four lessons so far.
kirchara: Kirchara orchid by me (Kirchara)
Yi shan yi shan liang jing jing

Man tian dou shi xiao xing xing

Gua zai tian shang fang guang ming

Hao xiang xu duo xiao yan jing

Yi shan Yi shan liang jing jing

Man tian dou shi xiao xing xing

M goes to Chinese preschool two mornings out of the week, and he wanted to learn "Twinkle Twinkle Little Stars" in Mandarin. His Chinese teacher said his Chinese is getting better, and if nothing else, I'm glad this preschool has sparked his interest in the language.
kirchara: Kirchara orchid by me (Kirchara)
Even though they're 4.5 years apart, I have been teaching J and M Mandarin at the same time. Ideally, I should have had M learn Mandarin the moment he turned four, but I started teaching him reading (in English) instead.

We use Better Chinese's My First Chinese Words because they are targeted to non-Mandarin speakers. In contrast, SageBooks (Hong Kong publisher) require the students to be Mandarin/Chinese speakers. (SageBooks are like BOB books in that they teach children how to read).

I try to do Mandarin two, three times a week. I read one sentence and each child repeat after me. We do two 8-page picture books each session. M usually has the attention span for one picture book but not two.

So far we have done six sessions. In between sessions, I have J independently listen and repeat after the included CD.

M often acts silly and intentionally gives the wrong answers (e.g. "This is my grandfather" instead of "This is my father.") Usually I end up focusing on J when M has the sillies.

As expected, M's pronunciation is just beautiful. Being older, J has a harder time with pronunciation. (When J was four, his Mandarin accent was practically perfect too. Once he started kindergarten, we got busy with reading/writing/spelling/poetry/etc. and stopped doing Mandarin).

I was afraid that J, who just turned nine, would find the books boring because they’re a bit childish, but he has been motivated so far. Earlier today, he asked me to do Mandarin.

06/50 learning moment ☆ 06/100 moments in multiples of 50 words

There are 36 books in total; the following is my tentative lesson plan (also on Excel). If we do this three times a week, we should be done in a year; two times a week, a year and a half.

Read more... )

kirchara: Fingers on page (Fingers on page)
Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis

Caspian, Edmund, Lucy and Eustace have found all the elderly seven lords. In order to break the enchantment on the sleeping three lods, they have to sail to World's End and leave one member of their party behind. Instead of eating, they are drinking sweet water that fills them up. The sweet water is the same as the prophecy that Reepicheep heard as a little mouseling. Caspian, who is the current King of Narnia, wants to go to World's End/Aslan's Country, but Aslan told him not to go. If Narnia has no ruler, then there would be war. Caspian feels angry and then sad about this ("It's horrible"). Reepicheep sails to Aslan's Country. Edmund, Lucy and Eustace hesitantly head back to their world; they cannot stay in Narnia because their family is back in their world.

And that was his last mini-book report for the Dawn Treader. We'll do Who Was Abraham Lincoln? or The Hobbit next.

I wish Disney would make more Narnia movies (although Dawn Treader was the least enjoyable out of all three). The actors playing the Pevensies (22-30 years old) are in the right age to star in The Horse and His Boy.
kirchara: Fingers on page (Fingers on page)
Last week M sang the vowels "a" and "o" in the middle of a reading lesson. "They're vowels," he said. "Can we sing 't'? T - t - t. No, 't' is not a vowel. It's a consonant," he concluded.

We have been going through Denise Eide's Foundations Level A since M turned four last December. Almost every day we do read aloud time and then a reading/writing lesson for 6-10 minutes, or more. Nearly three months later, we are on lesson 17 and he has learned 9 phonograms.

Unlike 100 Easy Lessons, Foundations spend a long time laying down the foundation (pun intended) before tackling reading words. Students learn the "magic C" alphabets/phonograms first, because those are the easiest to write (a, c, d, g, o, qu). Compare this to learning 'm, s, p, a' first, where students will be able to read 'am, map, Pam, Sam' immediately.

In this program, reading words come at level 21 (after Review #4), and it is reading through spelling/writing. Foundations is more daunting compared to 100 EL and All About Reading. Then again, three months ago I would never imagine M sorting vowels and consonants by applying the singing test on them.

P.S. 'How to Develop Phonological Awareness' at All About Learning.

05/50 learning moment ☆ 05/100 moments in multiples of 50 words
kirchara: An orange peeling. "I'm burlesque." (Burlesque orange)
A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare

Oberon, who is furious at Titania, wants the Indian boy to work for him as a squire. Titania replies, "No, this is the son of a beloved friend." Oberon angrily takes revenge by making Titania fall in love with the first thing she sees, a man with a donkey's head. Puck mistakenly puts the flower's juice on the wrong person's eyes. Instead of making Demetrius fall in love with Helena, he ends up making Lysander fall in love with Helena. Since Titania is in love with Nick Bottom and isn't thinking right, Oberon successfully takes away the Indian boy. After he has the boy, Oberon reverses the enchantment on Titania.

Boxcar Children: The Mystery Cruise

The amazing Alden children, who are happily on vacation, meet Max on a cruise ship headed to Miami. Max wants to inherit his grandmother's house filled with antiques so he can open it as a museum, but someone is sabotaging him so he won't be able to get there in time to inherit. Tom/Thomas, who is in disguise, sabotages the trip by yelling "Man overboard!" and throwing something into the water. He tries to hide in the cabin during the passenger count, but the Alden children catch him. Tom also messes with the radio connections. The Alden children overhear Tom talking about 'C.' C turns out to be Carla, Max's cousin. The Alden children trick Tom into thinking the ship is arriving late. Max arrives on time, and Tom gets arrested.

J has learned and read passages from MND (and Twelfth Night) but not the entire play. I also read Charles & Mary Lamb's Tales from Shakespeare to him, so he knows the overarching plot of the play.

When he's a bit older I'll let him watch the 1999 movie (I didn't realize they're making another one). But I'd like to first finish reading Dawn Treader together so we can watch that movie together.
kirchara: Fingers on page (Fingers on page)
Who Was George Washington? by Roberta Edwards

The Treaty of Paris ensured peace between the United States and Britain. After the Revolutionary War, George Washington longed to retire and live a happy, restful life with his wife and stepchildren. However, everyone wanted him to be president. John Adams, who later became the second president of the United States, had the second most votes so he became vice president. Back then each state had two votes to decide who would be president. After serving two terms as president, George Washington retired. He thoughtfully decided that two terms were long enough for presidents. He passed away two years later.

I've let J's reading logs slide because of the holidays (December) and preparations for his school spelling bee (Feb 3). We're getting back on track starting this week =)
I might ask him to do "Who Is Barack Obama?" next. (He has read the book but hasn't written a report on it.)
kirchara: Kirchara orchid by me (Kirchara)
I told J that in Shakespeare, comedies mean happy endings, and therefore there’s always a wedding in Act V. I gave him the example of Theseus and Hippolyta's wedding in A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Me: "How about Twelfth Night? Who do you think get married in Act V?"

J: "Olivia and Cesario."

Olivia/Cesario's Willow Cabin speech must have made quite an impact on him ;-)

I have been using Ken Ludwig’s How To Teach Your Children Shakespeare with J since summer 2015 (he was seven). He has learned passages from MND and Twelfth Night (Orsino's "If music be the food of love," Viola's "Conceal me what I am," and the willow cabin speech.) The book also provides summarized plot of the plays for context.

J did memorize several poems before we dove into Shakespeare. Both of us knew that he was perfectly capable of memorizing entire poems, including long ones.

04/50 learning moment ☆ 04/100 moments in multiples of 50 words
kirchara: Orchideous, orchid bloom (Orchideous)
Below is the planned Christmas advent list. The flip motion books are from last year =)

Useful resources:

- Mr. P's advent paper strips, for writing out "Read Bible story" instructions.
- The Toymaker's movie tickets printable: Golden "tickets" printed on yellow paper/cardstock, then cut with wavy line scissors.
- Tiny advent boxes from Mr. Printables' Christmas Advent Calendar Street
- The Toymaker's Christmas crafts, including a Christmas pencil box. Here's her other pencil boxes.

Inside the advent boxes )
kirchara: "Tell me what you see." "I think it's called a map." -- The Demon Lexicon ("I think it's called a map.")
Who Was George Washington? by Roberta Edwards

American colonists did not want taxes on their tea, which was a very popular drink, because they were not represented in British parliament. They longed for freedom from the British government. General George Washington led the Continental Army against the British. Even though the army didn't have enough food and equipment, they eventually won against the British soldiers because they were fighting on home turf. More importantly, they wanted independence so badly that they were willing to die for it.

Boxcar Children: A Horse Named Dragon

The awesome Alden children catches a horse thief at Old Ranch trying to steal a bunch of horses. The horse thieves disguise the horses with hoof polish so people won't recognize the horses. The Alden children put together facts to solve the mystery. The thief steals a trailer covered with stickers to bring back two horses. One of the thieves, Vet, is arrested. Slim, who was making someone look bad, is given a second chance because he was the owner's best friend.

Extra that J typed on notepad (re: current U.S. spending on the military):

[Half a page of "!!!"]
The Americans are unbeatable since they pay A LOT for...defenses!
[Half a page of "!!!"]

It's night and day from the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War.
kirchara: Fingers on page (Fingers on page)
Who Was George Washington? by Roberta Edwards

George Washington, who was the first president of the United States, had two older brothers. When his oldest brother sadly died, he became an officer in the militia and fought for the British colonies. After the French and Indian War, he was tired of war and decided to quit, get married and live a happy life at Mount Vernon. He was a farmer with a lot of slaves. His wife's daughter and lazy son later sadly died.

Boxcar Children: The Seattle Puzzle

The Alden children are on vacation in Seattle, and they find random notes/riddles appearing at random places. They think up answers to each riddle, and the answer is the next place that they need to go to. The last riddle is "Where it all began, in the heart of the city, where there are fans." They proceed to the Hungry Heart Diner, where the mystery began. Waiting at the diner are their fans: their family and friends, the people that they're visiting, the hotel manager, etc. Someone has made sure that they followed the riddles to the diner, the store, the Space Needle, the troll bridge then back to the diner.
kirchara: Kirchara orchid by me (Kirchara)
Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis

Lucy, Edmund and Caspian are on an island called World's End. Three sleeping bearded lords, who have been sleeping for seven years at Aslan's Table, are under an enchantment after one of them stupidly touched a knife that the White Witch used to kill Aslan. They need to break the enchantment. The girl they met on the island says her father can teach Caspian how to do that.

Boxcar Children: The Mystery of the Soccer Snitch

At the Alden children's soccer practice, a girl named Kayla receives a mean message that says she should not be an international mascot because she isn't a team player, she is a show-off, etc. The Alden children investigates and find out who wrote the mean message and who broke the window (extreme temperature difference). Kayla intentionally did those things and sent the letter to herself because she didn't want to be a mascot and she doesn't like soccer. Her parents let her quit soccer and sign up for an art program instead. She likes drawing and being an artist.

I was going to teach J quality adjectives (IEW), when I realized that he seldom uses adjectives in both his daily speech and writing. So for now I’m focusing on having him add one extra adjective to his writing.

I gave him the cue "The girl they met on the island," thinking that he would go with the predictable "beautiful girl" or "pretty girl." Instead, he went for "bearded."

He is an eight-year-old boy after all *g*
kirchara: An orange peeling. "I'm burlesque." (Burlesque orange)
Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis

The Dawn Treader crew frightfully sails into darkness because Reepicheep, who is a talking mouse, wants to venture into it for honor. They hear someone yells for help, and they help him get on board. It turns out the man they save is Lord Rhoop, who is one of the seven lords they are looking for. After Lord Rhoop warns them of the land where dreams (and nightmares) come true, the Narnians on board except for Reepicheep start to fear the land. After they escape the darkness, the whole place thankfully disappears, and there is only the bright shining sun.

Boxcar Children: The Clue in the Corn Maze

A corn maze at a big farm is vandalized. The vandal tries to scare the farm owner, Ken, and leaves a note that says, "Cancel the festival or you'll just have trouble." The Alden children finds clues to find out who the vandal is. At first they suspect Ken's brother and Ken's son David because of a phone conversation. They catch the vandal in the act when she is trying to take back the note (she realizes she has gone too far). Peggy, the vandal, wants to buy the farm because it was owned for three generations in her family.
kirchara: Orchideous, orchid bloom (Orchideous)
Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis

The Dawn Treader, which is a Narnian ship, sails to an island with a magician and a bunch of invisible beings. The chief of invisible beings orders Lucy to go read the magician's book so that they can be visible again. Lucy happily looks through the magician's book; she loves the pictures, reads a story she really loves, and says out loud the spell that makes everything invisible visible. Aslan appears.

Boxcar Children: The Pumpkin Head Mystery

Every night there's a haunted hay ride at Beckett farm. A spooky floating head keeps on scaring people. ("Is that part of the haunted hayride? I don't like it very much.") The Alden children find clues and discover that Jason, the tractor driver/mechanic is the one putting on a black cape and a pumpkin head. Jason doesn't want strangers to be at the Beckett Farm, and he doesn't want the farm to be sold to Mr. B, who wants to build houses on the land.
kirchara: Fingers on page (Fingers on page)
Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis

Eustace the dragon hunts animals to feed the group and becomes a heater. Thankfully, Eustace turns back into a boy after seeing Aslan. Aslan takes off his million layers of dragon skin so Eustace can bathe in the well. Eustace tells everyone his story. They board the ship and encounter a great sea serpent.

Voyage of the Dawn Treader, ctd.

Eustace, Lucy, Edmund and Caspian spot the great sea serpent, who is very dumb, and push it away to get the ship free. At Goldwater Island/Deathwater Island, Edmund tells them to step away from the water because the water turns the things that it touches into gold. Caspian doesn't want people to know about the island. They unfortunately come under a spell that makes them forget things, so they don't have much to tell Drinian.

Free-write (not IEW)
Boxcar Children: The Mystery of the Stolen Snowboard

A famous snowboarder's snowboard is stolen. The thief is Coach McNaught. The suspects are Mercedes, Mr. Fellows and 'The Yeti' (who is actually Coach McNaught). There were a bunch of cafes selling food with nothing healthy in them. Those cafes later on started selling healthy food.
kirchara: Kirchara orchid by me (Kirchara)
Boxcar Children: The Garden Thief

Someone vandalizes the garden plots, and someone also steals all the growing food. The boxcar children look for clues and find out who the garden thief is. The thief is Lucasta who hates purple so she definitely will not take the purple carrots. She steals food to feed her bunnies. The vandal is an adult. The one giving back food is Lucasta's brother.

Boxcar Children: Mystery of the Fallen Treasure

A pilot, whose name is Adelita, accidentally drops a backpack of jewelry, which lands in the forest. Jessie's dog Watch thankfully finds the backpack. The boxcar children try to find the pilot. They know people won't lie to a dog, so they think Adelita is telling the truth to Watch.

Not a Fish by Marie Rippel

Kaylee and Harper, two fish in a river, are friends who argue a lot. Kaylee wants to not be a fish because being a fish is boring; all you do is swim endlessly in the river. She pretends to be all sort of different animals. Her friend complains, "That's not what fish do!" She answers, "Yes, that's because I'm not a fish."

Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis

Eustace runs off and later on sees a dragon die. He is so greedy for treasure and acts like a dragon that he turns into a dragon himself. His arm gets swollen because he has shoved a bracelet past his elbow. He wants to not be a dragon anymore and return to his own world.
kirchara: Fingers on page (Fingers on page)
Warriors: The Lost Warrior by Erin Hunter

This happened after the twolegs cut down the beautiful forest that was the cats' home. The lost warrior Greystripes is now in a twolegs town and wants to go back to the forest. Greystripes wants to feel like a warrior again and he doesn't want to feel lonely. He meets Millie, who takes him to the edge of town. In the sequel he's going to try to find the forest and the Thunderclan.

Nancy Drew: the Disoriented Express

Nancy Drew, who is a girl detective, is on a train being hijacked by a crazy guy who's trying to destroy a tank. Nancy goes through a bathroom to a fire exit that leads to the top of the train to get into the control room. They wake up the train conductor, who stops the train. Then the police came.

Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis

Lucy, Edmund and Eustace are being sold as slaves at Narrowhaven. Caspian leads 50 warriors and uses ship signals to trick the governor into thinking there is a whole fleet of ships. The governor doesn't care about people. They throw the governor out, and Caspian makes his friend Lord Bern the Duke of Lone Islands.

Voyage of the Dawn Treader, ctd.

They are now somewhere at the ocean. Eustace writes in his journal that he tries to steal water because he's so thirsty. He feels like he gets less food than everyone else. Lucy wants to share some of her food with him, but Edmund stops her. They thankfully find some land before they run out of water, and they receive extra water rations that night.

Here's J's extra comment of the Nancy Drew book, because it made me laugh:

The woman in the bathroom says, "My dress is ruined, and I can't dry it" (because she dropped the hairdryer into the toilet.)
kirchara: "Tell me what you see." "I think it's called a map." -- The Demon Lexicon ("I think it's called a map.")
Geronimo Stilton: Mighty Mount Kilimanjaro

Geronimo Stilton, who works for the Rodents Gazette, journeys on an adventure to Mount Kilimanjaro because it is one of Bruce's deadly challenges. They buy a lot of stuff such as sleeping bags, camera, flashlight and extra woolen socks. Mount Kilimanjaro is 19,340 ft. above sea level.

A Picture book of Amelia Earhart by David A. Adler

Amelia Earhart lived in the U.S. in the early 1900s. She flew across both the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. She died while proving that women can fly planes and were up to the challenge in the air. She crashed somewhere in the Pacific Ocean.

Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis

Lucy, Edmund, Eustace and Prince Caspian are on a ship sailing in the middle of nowhere because Caspian wants to find his father's friends. Eustace starts writing in his little book, e.g. "E. [Edmund] is buttering up to C. [Caspian]."

Voyage of the Dawn Treader, ctd.

Caspian, Lucy, Edmund and Eustace are on Felimath Island. They're looking for one of the seven lords. Some people kidnap them to sell them as slaves. Lord Bern buys Prince Caspian because he reminds Lord Bern of King Caspian.
kirchara: Orchideous, orchid bloom (Default)
Matilda by Roald Dahl

Matilda wants to stay in the village instead of moving to Spain with her heartless parents, because she likes Miss Honey and wants to stay with her and help her out. She gets everything she wanted because her parents doesn't care one bit about her.

Curious George, various books/adventures

When Curious George explores the aquarium, he sees a bunch of sea creatures, climbs into a penguin tank, and accidentally lets the penguins out of the exhibit. Suddenly, a penguin chick loses its balance and almost drowns. George grabs a rope and dives in to save the penguin chick.

Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis

Lucy and Edmund talks about Narnia, which their cousin Eustace likes to bully them about. The three of them stare at a picture of a Narnian ship until they go inside it and arrive at Narnia.

Voyage of the Dawn Treader, ctd.

Edmund, Lucy and Eustace are on a ship sailing to the unexplored place beyond the Lone Islands. It's been more than one thousand years since Edmund and Lucy were King and Queen in Narnia. Eustace is seasick in bed and keeps insulting everyone. Lucy is going to use the cordial so Eustace will stop being seasick.
kirchara: Fingers on page (Fingers on page)
J is eight years old and have started third grade. His daily homework includes reading for 20-30 minutes and answering "What did you read about?"

I'm taking the opportunity to have him write mini book reports (2-3 sentences).

To help him organize his thoughts, we're using the story sequence chart from IEW*'s Teaching Writing: Structure and Style Unit III: Summarizing Narrative Stories.
I. Who?

II. What do they need or want?
What do they think?
What do they say and do?


III. How is the need resolved?

I ask him the questions and write down his answers. He has learned the “-ly” adverbs and the who-which clause dress-ups.

J just finished Roald Dahl's Matilda; his first mini book-report is about the book’s ending. We're taking a break from the Hobbit and picked up Narnia again with Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

* Institute of Excellence in Writing

03/50 learning moment ☆ 03/100 moments in multiples of 50 words


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