Hello friends! Wow, it’s been six months since I last blogged. 😛 Life has been pretty good, all things considered. Like many other families, we experienced some positive side effects of pandemic aka INCREASED CHINESE TIME! 😉
To be honest I have been getting lazier with Chinese as my child gets older (entering 2nd grade). Here are the list of things I used to do but no longer do. Oops.
- Fun, crafty things
- Read aloud to him
- Have him read aloud to me daily
- Practice Chinese character writing
On the bright side, here are some things that I do do.
- Large group of Chinese-speaking friends (I have never spoke so much Chinese in my life! My FB Messenger is 90% Chinese text messages – a pretty crazy development for me since I’ve avoided Chinese for most of my life)
- Provide a steady supply of Chinese books through my own acquisition and exchanging with above mentioned friends
- Randomly ask him to read aloud some pages to ensure that he can read well in Simplified and Traditional. Which thankfully he does.
- Play audio CDs in the car (which is what this post is about)
- Speak mostly Chinese to him
This summer Little Man fell in love with Kang Xuan magazines. He listened to 1-2 a day, every day, and we went through them really fast. Good thing I had them stockpiled!
From my parent point of view, the best thing about this magazine are:
- READ ALOUD AUDIO CD. Yay! No need for me to read aloud in my non-fluent, choppy Chinese (I really struggle to read non-fiction).
- Large variety of topics – More info below.
- Blend of cute and realistic illustrations
- Exposes kids to age-appropriate news and current affairs, such as wearing masks, wildfires in Australia, seasonal holidays like Chinese New Year, Dragon Boat festival etc. The monthly magazines are themed appropriately for the current season/holidays.
- Relevant and interesting articles for the target age group. This saves a parent soooo much time, not having to research whether there is inappropriate content. Since my son is entering 2nd grade, we have the magazine for 1st-3rd grade. There’s also a Preschool version and 4th-6th grade version.
You get TWO issues monthly for the 1st-3rd grade version. Each issue comes with the magazine itself (about 50 pages), an audio CD, a workbook, a parent guide and sometimes additional materials like comic book, craft, etc.
Each magazine is laid out pretty similarly.
It starts with several themed articles, usually one about animals/plants, one about the theme of the month, one about culture/history (spotlight on a different country each issue), one on health/medicine. Very diverse!
I love the exposure to current affairs and news in a kid-friendly way:
Following that, there is a Math, Science, or Famous Person comic:
Following that, a short story of 8-10 pages. The story is usually Fiction or about a famous person:
Following that, they have a classical Chinese poem or explain the origin of an idiom:
And finally, my son’s favorite part, THE COMIC! The comic features Red Bean, Green Bean characters and Professor Why, and usually teaches a moral such as being punctual, completing your homework on time, etc:
For U.S. subscribers, click these links to subscribe from C-Stems:
- Preschool version (12 issues/year)
- 1st-3rd grade version (24 issues/year)
- 4th-6th grade version (24 issues/year)
You can use my coupon code ‘handsonchinesefun’ to receive an additional welcome gift.
Note that you can also buy from Kang Xuan or 博客來 in Taiwan, however it does not come with CDs. Instead you scan the QR code to listen. I have tried this option and found the QR code very choppy, cutting off frequently. EXTREMELY frustrating. Which is why I’m back to subscribing from C-Stems. This is my honest opinion and I’m not being paid to say this!
Here is my video reviewing the different elementary magazines on the market (Kang Xuan, Ciaohu, Future Children):
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