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September 14, 2005


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tough decision. i would love to give my children the gift of a second language. i feel it's very important to know more than one. you know the old joke, "what do you call someone who speaks two languages? bilingual. what do you call someone who speaks one language? american." the best i can do on my own is un poquito espanol, and with a bad gringo accent at that. spanish is more important a language in florida, but i agree that globally mandarin, along with hindi, japanese, german and russian, may be more helpful depending on what field of study they pursue.

but two hours of homework by grade one? industrious, yes, but shouldn't children enjoy going to school? and who will help them with their homework if it is in chinese? is there seperate language instruction available? would seb's school perhaps give preferential treatment to siblings if you want to move them over? a lot of questions with no easy answers. i'm sure which ever school you choose the trio will flourish.

Louise M

I guess you will have to wait until the trio are a bit older to see how well they grasp the English language. I vote in favour of Chinese school, have always felt that french is the wrong second language here on the west coast (BC), as we have such a high percentage of asian people (makes sense to learn french in eastern Canada, but not here) As a south paw, I am very glad that I dindn't experience the "hand tied behind my back, forced to use my right" situation. I grew up at the end of the era that was doing that, when I was learning to write (cursive) I had an awesome teacher who showed me how to turn the paper, etc. I have wonderful handwriting skills (alas, a dying art in todays world of computers). I am sure you and MC will weigh the pros and cons. BTW, home schooling isn't as bad as it seems. I have a friend who HS three daughters, another friend has one teenager at home. The nice thing about it is your child's day is more flexible, if your child is enjoying the subject, there is nothing wrong with spending three hours on it and skipping it for the next day or two, as opposed to changing every hour at school, same subjects every day monotony. I didn't HS because I worked full time outside the home, but think about it... We as parents, are our children's first teachers. We have them at home for four /five years, teaching them everything, then send them off to be educated by someone else, who we have no control over, who may or may not do a great job. Scary when you think about it.


As a lefty, I didn't know that people still did the "tie their hand behind their back" trick. But, then again, I've never been out of the United States, so traveling to a different country would be culture shock in so many ways.

Sounds like you have a difficult decision ahead of you. At what age do they enter school? How long do you have to decide?


So you're staying in HK forever, then?
Go for the Mandarin. Don't home school - kids need the interaction, and if you feel they aren't learning you can always teach them more. But homework before first grade? That's horrid! They're kids - they should be having fun!


Chinese culture is very different, they emphasize a lot on homework and studying, very little outside activities. I should know, I'm one and I went to a Chinese school for 16 yrs. I think it's great that you want your kids to learn a second language, but I think it will be hard on him with all the homework, especailly switching from an English school.
We live in the US, my son also goes to kindergarten, I enroll him for Mandarin class on Sat morning. Do they have something simliar like that in HK?

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