This post was sponsored by Sagebooks. All opinions are mine and mine alone.
Folks, it’s the second to last week of 2018. You know what this means. My brain is officially mush and we’re going to do what everyone does on their websites and direct you to my personal Top 5 Chinese Articles of the year.
Why do we do this? Because we like the holidays and want to spend them with our families. (That is patently false. I like the holidays and want to spend it watching BTS content. What? Like that’s a surprise.)
Besides, as much as I’d like to think that you hang onto my every word (and, ahem. Why aren’t you??), you might have missed a post or two or you had every good intention to read an article and left it open in your web browser but then the app crashed or you had to restart your phone and it was all gone.
And thus, because I love you and want you to succeed (but mostly, I WANT YOU TO LISTEN TO ME BECAUSE I AM RIGHT), here are my personal Top 5 Chinese Posts of 2018.
1) The Key to Success with Sagebooks
Truthfully, this should be re-titled to the key to success with ANYTHING. This piece is the foundation for all my general advice about Chinese. Without this piece, all other advice is nice to hear but non-transformative.
You want your children to be fluent and/or literate in Chinese? Read this article.
Also, I think this is when I began to use more and more absurd examples. So, I’m also very funny. (Ok, that’s a given. Only my husband doesn’t find me funny – which I find astounding. It’s a good thing he has other excellent qualities.)
2) How a T-Rex and Accountability Will Help You Teach Your Kids Chinese
Honestly, I’m a little salty that more people did not seem to read this piece. It’s excellent advice – plus I talk about T-Rexes and everyone knows that T-Rexes make everything better. (It’s true. Don’t agree? YOU’RE WRONG.)
I talk about how surrounding yourself with people who have the common goal of teaching their kids Chinese is super helpful and needful. There will be times when you want to throw away anything remotely resembling Chinese and your companions will keep you on the path (or let you go, if need be).
3) My Secret to Teaching Kids Chinese: Outsource It
Personally, I think everyone would be happier if they outsourced more stuff but that’s just because I am a very lazy person. (But happy-ish!) In this article, I make the argument that you’re already outsourcing lots of stuff in life and there’s no shame in doing that for Chinese, too.
The reality is that you have limited time, desire, resources, and ability. And if all those intersect at the Chinese stuff, then why not outsource this if you can? I can and I DO ENJOY IT.
4) Sometimes, There Just Is No Substitute for Time Served
You guys, I worked in a Shawshank Redemption reference in this article. I feel as if I should get all the awards just for that alone. That reference even earned me a begrudging laugh from my husband. DO YOU KNOW HOW DIFFICULT THAT IS?!?
On top of that, I confess my ongoing personal fantasies about BTS (no, not those kind of fantasies, you filthy, filthy human). But it all relates in genius fashion to helping your children with Chinese fluency because my metaphors are excellent and thorough.
5) Trust the Process
To round out my list, I give you my brag post about my older two children and their Chinese thus far (the thus far is important because there is never a terminal point). Also, I sum up my entire philosophy about teaching kids Chinese in a super short, handy 6 point list. (But you should read the rest of the article, too. Because it took a lot of effort to get to the point where I could actually write it in terms of sweat equity.)
In my experience, there is a lot of advice on how to teach the pre-K set how to speak and read Chinese. Then, the advice drops off a sharp cliff and you will find a few posts for the ages 5-8. When you hit 9+, there is almost no advice unless it’s for a Mandarin Immersion school or for studying the AP exam.
That’s why I’m so grateful for Oliver Tu and Guavarama because their kids are older than mine and I can follow in their footsteps. My desire is for these posts to also light your way and give you hope that Chinese fluency and literacy are possible.
You are not alone in your desires and suffering (and rampant book buying).
And because I love you and am a giver, here’s a bonus post wherein I give you permission to give up. Because Chinese is hard and sometimes, you just can’t Chinese anymore.
Lastly, I’m so grateful to Sagebooks and their sponsorship of my Chinese posts this year. Without them, I would have given in to my inner laggard and likely not generated such quality contents. Their Basic Chinese 500 Sets are a huge reason my older children are almost literate in Chinese.
Thank you for trusting me in this Chinese fluency journey. I hope 2018 was a great year for you and wish you all the best for 2019.