Stumbling Block

Sometime back, I shared Xxm’s initial success with using the popular 四五快读 series to learn Chinese.

Initial? Yes, we have stopped using the program since lesson 4 and it has been a while since we have done any Chinese word recognition activities with Xxm.

Why have we stopped? Simply because Xxm had lost interest in learning Chinese. The reason: poor implementation.

Honestly, I did see it coming. There was an important facet of the book which the author did stress in her foreword as to how to engage the children in learning Chinese. Sadly, not everyone subscribes to her beliefs. As mentioned in my earlier post, I depend on MIL to teach Xxm Chinese during the day while I reinforced with activities at night. There is a major problem with this arrangement which I foresaw. I know that Xxm enjoys learning Chinese firstly because he is developmentally ready hence I started to expose him to word recognition. More importantly, he likes Chinese for the fun and interaction that I had with him. With me the only one engaging him, the problem surfaces when my hectic schedule cannot keep up with his needs. There was thus a lapse on my part to engage him.

Seeing this could happen, I tried to impress upon MIL to read the first 30 pages of 四五快读 book 1 to learn how she could make the language alive for Xxm. I tried several times, shoving the book in front of her and telling her how crucial it is. However, at that time, she was experiencing success with her rote learning methods and could not care less with what I was saying. So as not to strain our ties, I left things as it was and true enough, Xxm became very resistant to her teachings.

Now months later, she still had not regained his interest. MIL is now desperate and is throwing the baton back at me. She knows that Xxm is learning his abcs very well and is also concerned that the 2hr playgroup that I send Xxm to does not incorporate Chinese lessons. Now that Xxm has also started on Mindchamps, she became anxious that I am not doing enough for Xxm in learning Chinese.

Actually it has been a nagging thought for me to get Xxm interested in learning Chinese again. But there are a thousand and one things that I wished to do with my boys that somehow learning Chinese has taken a backseat. Moreover, it is not that Xxm is adverse to the language. He still converses with my MIL in Chinese, enjoys reading Chinese books and does the occasional rhyme and finger play that I taught him.

Perhaps I need to refocus. I used to place more emphasis on English with my boys because I thought I was the only one in the household who could manage this language. The boys are exposed to the Chinese language daily, from their interactions with my MIL and her friends and grandchildren. I felt it was important for me to converse in English with my boys since that is going to be the working language for them in future. Anyway, I need to shift my piorities again. Now that I have somewhat regained my energy after suffering from a major fatigue syndrome from my recent pregnancy, I am trying to give some thought to this issue. If you have any tips, do share with me too!

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