It’s a shame that I’m a yellow banana and every time Alycia or Sherilyn asks me “mummy, what Chinese word is this?”, I feel ashamed to tell them “mummy’s not sure” or “wait, let me check out the dictionary“. Alycia and Sherilyn’s pre-school emphasizes on Mandarin a lot and the standard of Mandarin taught to pre-schoolers is high as the school is working towards preparing the pre-schoolers for primary school. The pre-school even sets Ting Xie or spelling in Mandarin for 6 year olds every week and Alycia will have to memorize writing her Mandarin characters starting from next week onwards. On top of Ting Xie, she also has English spelling and Ejaan (spelling in Malay) every week and I’ve started to drill her with spelling this week. It’s really putting the stress on me… and she’s only in kindergarten!!
Right now, I’m already very lost when it comes to coaching the gals in their Mandarin homework. I’d asked the gals’ koo por (the hubs’ aunt) to help me buy a Chinese-English dictionary so that I can refer to it for help. While the dictionary helps to explain the meaning of a word, it doesn’t help much with the pronounciation and sounding of each word (though there is hanyi pinyi).
Alycia can write her Mandarin characters pretty well but most of the time, I think she does not know what she’s writing coz when I asked her what word she’s writing, she tells me that she doesn’t know. Sometimes her teacher writes the meaning of the word in hanyi pinyi but sometimes, she doesn’t.
I can foresee Alycia will have a hard time coping in a Chinese school primary school next year when she enters Primary 1. I will definitely send her for Mandarin tuition classes.
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