你好! Nǐ hǎo!
I’m Betty, and I’m so happy that you’re here. CHALK Academy is just me and my kids – and any family that wants their kids to enjoy learning Chinese!
About CHALK Academy
CHALK stands for Child-Led, Hands-on, Active Learning for Kids. Inspired by the educator Dr. Maria Montessori, our teaching philosophy incorporates sensory activities and movement for interest-based learning. While CHALK Academy began as an outlet for reflection on our family’s language journey, it has grown into a resource and community for multicultural families worldwide. Here, you will find guidance and inspiration for creating a nurturing multilingual learning environment!
How to teach kids Chinese
The website is organized into 5 main categories:
- Quick, easy, fun, and educational activities
- Free, interactive multilingual printables
- Resources such as our favorite books, videos, music, apps, and toys/games
- Our family’s journey – reflections about raising a trilingual family; updates about my children’s progress and challenges
- Teaching tips
I’m a second-generation Chinese-American mom of a 5-year-old girl (老大 / lǎo dà) and 2-year-old boy (老二 / lǎo èr). Trained as a pediatrician, I currently work in the e-learning industry. I’m married to my best friend, a Korean-American guy, and we are raising our kids trilingual in a small town in California.
Neither of us are fluent in our parents’ languages (regretfully we didn’t really care much when we were younger), but we are hoping to pass on some language and culture to our children. We are attempting the one parent/caregiver one language (OPOL) approach (me – Chinese, nanny – Korean, dad/family language – English).
When my daughter was 2 years old, we began to learn Chinese together. My parents passed away in my 20s, and I had forgotten almost all Chinese that I had learned as a child. The first year was extremely difficult without community support (all of our friends speak English). I also had trouble finding Chinese resources that engaged my child.
When our daughter was 3 years old, we began to implement Montessori principles at home. Creating a prepared environment has a made a huge impact on Chinese learning among everything else in daily life! Now, both of my kids love to speak and sing Chinese. My 5-year-old daughter has been reading Chinese since age 3, currently knows over 1000 Chinese characters, and it’s her favorite language for reading!
Let’s raise multilingual kids together!
If this is your first time here, I recommend reading through these guides on how to teach kids a second language at home:
- Tips on creating a multilingual learning environment
- Teach Your Child a Second Language at Home with 5 Key Steps
- 10+ Ways to Find a Foreign Language Teacher for Your Child
- Raising Multilingual Children as a Non-Fluent Parent: 7 Lessons Learned in 2018
- How To Get Your Child To Speak the Minority Language
- Encourage A Child to Love and Speak the Minority Language with 5 Strategies
- How To Learn Chinese as a Busy Parent: 10+ Strategies (This post focuses on how I am learning Chinese)
- Teach kids how to read Chinese
For an overview of fun Chinese activities for kids, please review our How-To Guide!
In addition, check out the FAQs!
Community and encouragement
If you’d like to get in touch, feel free to leave a message in the comments section or email firstname.lastname@example.org! Please me know if there are any printables, activities, or other advice you need. I’ll try my best to find a solution for you!
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Bilingual Facebook Groups
For families interested in Chinese learning in a Montessori-friendly environment, please join our Facebook group! Montessori-inspired Kids Learning Chinese is a global community of parents who are excited to share quality Montessori teaching tips, child-led activities, Chinese book recommendations, and other learning resources!
Christian families are also welcome to join our Facebook group, Christian Parents Raising Bilingual Children in English and Chinese who are looking for community support as well as Christian resources for kids!
Together, we can make Chinese language and culture a positive part of family life!
谢谢 (Xièxiè / THANK YOU)
Thank you, Jesus, for my encouraging family and friends! Special shout out to:
- My brother-in-law, Ray, for helping me build this website with Easy Cloud Solutions
- My sister, Jennie, to whom I am grateful for her advice and content contributions
- The amazing members of these wonderful Facebook groups: