Although my 5-year-old daughter began to write English and Korean before age 3, we have been taking it slow and steady with Chinese writing.
Chinese characters have several important rules for stroke order and balance, which can be overwhelming for young learners.
Now, my daughter has a solid foundation; she can copy almost any word that she wants and write some from memory, too!
Copywork has been her low-stress idea of practicing Chinese writing!
This child-led approach has improved my daughter’s writing motivation, skills, and stamina!
Child-led Chinese writing practice
Since my daughter is only 5-years-old, we currently don’t have a strict writing schedule.
Currently, a child-led approach has been efficient and effective, and she finds inspiration in copying song lyrics!
Chinese music has been one of the most fun ways to learn the language, and she enjoys copying while singing her favorite songs.
Sometimes, she wants to write pages of new words. Other times, she’ll go for days or weeks without writing anything new, because she’s learning other things in life (eg, mastering the monkey bars, playing new piano songs).
You’ve probably noticed the same with your kids – that their development and interest might come in waves. We experience that all the time, too! 🙂
However, after seeing her learning patterns over the past few years, I trust that she will learn the necessary skills more efficiently if I can be flexible about encouraging self-motivation by acknowledging her interests.
Benefits of copywork
Copywork has been a common learning strategy for centuries. Copying down works of other writers allows the writer to connect with the piece without the pressure of generating new ideas.
Instead, the writer can focus on each Chinese stroke and radical component, remembering Chinese characters, and creating healthy writing habits.
What works to copy
Currently, my daughter has chosen 讚美之泉 Stream of Praise Chinese Christian Music for her copywork. In addition to music, children can copy favorite stories!
Copywork on worksheets, mini-books, and greeting cards
Since my daughter loves to make greeting cards and little booklets for our family, we currently are not using writing grids. As she matures, I will encourage her to practice using traditional Chinese worksheets.
Copywork can also be collected in personal journals and diaries.
Where to find printable Chinese lyrics
- CHALK Academy – printable Chinese song lyrics in simplified and traditional Chinese
- Spot of Sunshine – printable Chinese song lyrics in simplified and traditional Chinese
I’d love to hear your thoughts about teaching reading and writing at home and how it’s been going for your family.
Feel free to leave a comment with any concerns or thoughts about your family’s learning journey, and I’ll try my best to find a solution for you.
In the meantime, I hope the following articles can be helpful!
Teach kids how to read Chinese
- When and How to Introduce Chinese Characters to Kids?
- 5 Basic Tips for Memorizing Chinese Characters
- 10 Ways to Encourage Your Child to Read
- Create a Print-Rich Environment with Labels that Promote Literacy
- How I Taught My Child 1000+ Chinese Characters as a Non-Fluent Speaker
- When Should My Child Learn Hanyu Pinyin?
Teach kids how to write Chinese
- Montessori Chinese Stroke Order Sandpaper Cards 汉字笔画砂纸板
- Montessori Salt Writing Tray – Fun Sensory Learning for Kids!
- Magic Water Writing Cloth and 地书 for Chinese Calligraphy Practice
- Chinese Writing Worksheets – Simplified and Traditional Chinese
- Handmade Cards for Reading and Writing Practice (English, Chinese, and Korean)
- How to Teach Chinese with Montessori Sandpaper Characters
Bilingual English and Chinese Facebook Parent Support Groups
If you’re in need of community support, join a bilingual Facebook group!
- Montessori-inspired Kids Learning Chinese and English
- Christian Parents Raising Bilingual Children in English & Chinese
- Raising Bilingual Children in Chinese & English
- Raising Bilingual Children in English & Korean