Last year, I bought a whole bunch of books from Greenfield. That’s the company that makes the books you can use after Sagebooks. I didn’t buy that set of readers, but rather a bunch of other stuff: several first grade chapter books, Let’s Play Writing, and High Efficiency Reading. They arrived in November, too late for us to use in the Fall semester.
I finally dusted them off and added them into our work plan this semester. Though we’ve only done 4 chapters, I am loving this curriculum.
Let’s Play Writing is actually a set of 3 books, from Taiwan. It’s out of print in Taiwan for some reason. So the only place I can buy it is Greenfield. I’d been trying to figure out how to teach writing for at least 6 months, asking any Chinese teacher I know, looking at textbooks, even talking to my ESL Teacher Sister. In the meantime, I started on an English writing curriculum called Writing with Ease.
When I talked to ESL Teacher Sister, she said that some important education dude thinks children learn how to write by writing a lot. This is a bit different from the Writing with Ease curriculum which says that you learn narration and dictation first for 2-3 years and learn the mechanics of writing, before you start writing.
Though I have plans to do a Sagebook-like thing after 500 characters, I’m currently researching Greenfield to see what books they have and put together a group order. Unfortunately, their website is super hard to navigate. So here I am writing a summary so it makes sense to me.
Greenfield has a “system” for learning Chinese for overseas students, based on the whole language system. Makes sense since Chinese is all sight words. They break it down into 5 steps; and I added 2 more after you learn how to read.
*K = Kindergarten (K1=3, K2=4, K3=5yr), P = Elementary, M = Middle School, H = High school
- 兒歌 Nursery Songs – 0-5 years old
- 全語文閱讀 Whole language reading – 3-7 years old / K1-P1
- 構字規律 Character composition rules – 6-8 years old
- 心裡詞彙 – Building vocabulary – 6-8 years old
- 分享研討 – Reading Comprehension – 6-14 years old / P1-M1
- Reading for Fun
- Writing Series
What helped me understand the system was also looking at their catalogue, which gives you the grade level.
The Quick Summary
After Sagebooks, look to the I Can Read Series for young kids. Maybe the Reading Rainbow Series for older kids. Other sets are available as more reading material. But these two series are graded so probably a good series to use as a curriculum. I’m also planning to get their writing books.
兒歌 Nursery Songs
I won’t go into it here because this is not the stage I’m in. The basic premise is that you start learning a language through songs. Makes sense. Research has shown that. Here is the link to their explanation and even if you don’t read Chinese, you can see the 2 links on the website which shows you images of the books. But, there’s no pinyin with the books. So not useful for non-Chinese speakers.
These are for your 0-5 year olds. Or for heritage parents, maybe 0-3?