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Everything posted by Tattarrattat

  1. I second Martin Gardner too. We like this one: http://www.amazon.com/Colossal-Book-Short-Puzzles-Problems/dp/0393061140/ Also, Moscow Puzzles is nice to have. DS learned some Trig from doing Khan problems and watching his videos. I borrowed Lial's Trigonometry from the library when he was really interested in Trig this summer. He didn't read much though(I probably read it more than he did) But if your library has trig textbooks, maybe your son might like to read one of them? A traditional textbook may be a good way to relax and learn? We bought The Cryptoclub when DS was younger, but it may be a little easy for your DS now. Maybe he will like Harold Jacobs' Mathematics--A Human Endeavor too? We also have bunch of old Dell logic puzzle magazines that they sell cheap on their website. Just some ideas. HTH.
  2. She sounds like a very mathy kid to me :001_smile: Another way to check on her progress --According to our experience, the Alcumus problems self-adjust their difficulty levels depending on whether the previous answers were correct or not. So if you see the problems she gets on certain topics are consistently above level 20 (20-25) and she gets them correct, then she very likely has indeed mastered those topics.
  3. We bought the graph composition book from Staples too during back to school sale. I also make an Excel graph sheet so that I can print out one when I don't have a graph paper on hand.
  4. :thumbup: Thanks for the update. Sounds great! Happy for her! My DS also loves AoPS and Alcumus too, though currently he's doing another AoPS book.
  5. The first skip moved him from being one of the oldest kids to being one of the youngest, so it was not a big concern about social. He was new to the school at the time and the school didn't know him much either. When they later accelerated him in his favorite subject and then further skipped him again, the principal had already had plenty of time to observe him and felt comfortable enough with his maturity level. The teachers didn't have direct input in our case. I agree with others who mentioned about one skip may not be enough. I still think though, if the child needs to be in school, one skip at a time is better than no skip at all even if both grades are easy for the child. Pace is another issue. It's easier to move faster by homeschooling. But if homeschool is not an option, then it's necessary to re-evaluate the child's needs from time to time. It's not once-for-all settlement. Instead, it' more of an ongoing process. It'd be nice to have a cooperative school in this case.
  6. Here's our past experience. DS was grade skipped and subject accelerated when he was in ps. At the time we didn't use IOWA Acceleration Scale. We successfully advocated several times by providing samples, private testing scores(IQ/Achievement), SCAT scores etc. at various times. These made school realize that this kid indeed needed some acceleration. Though his scores were very high, the school still administered their own testing on reading and math each time which I think was reasonable. I think it was these in-house testings that really let them make the decision. Of course the social aspect also played a role in their decision. They wanted to make sure he was mature enough to be with older kids. HTH.
  7. Depending where you you move to, if the living expenses in that country are lower in general, maybe the lab kit will cost less there too. Is there a way to do a web search on stores selling lab kits in that country?
  8. Thank you for the Brightstorm link. It's good to have more resources available. We'll check it out.
  9. MBM, thank you for posting this. Sounds like an interesting book to read from Amazon's review. I just purchased it from Walmart.com with store pickup. Total after tax for me is around $9.50. Amazon sells it only a little bit more with free shipping if your order is over $25.
  10. These are free Chinese textbooks that are used a lot by overseas Chinese schools(Simplified Chinese). But they are all in Chinese (no English explanation): http://www.hwjyw.com/textbooks/ For example, here's grade one textbook from one of the series: http://www.hwjyw.com/fj/jcxz/zhongwen/1/all.pdf Here's the matching exercise A: http://www.hwjyw.com/fj/jcxz/zwlxca/1/all.pdf
  11. It's so nice to read up others' stories regarding Chinese teaching. We speak Cantonese, Mandarin and English at home. I have been teaching the kids Mandarin, but haven't done enough. They used to go to Chinese school on weekends, but we are currently taking a break from it. We plan to enroll them again for next year though. Glad to "see" everyone here! Thanks for this thread!
  12. I remember last year the test center info didn't show up until it approached registration time which was toward the end of the year. Here's the calendar for next year: http://www.act.org/explore/ests/calendar.html I heard that if you register through certain talent search and if you are able to find a school teacher willing to administer the test for your kid, then the talent search organization can contact the teacher directly to make arrangement. So even if your state doesn't have Explore test site, you can still do it without traveling long distance. I've never tried it though.
  13. If you submit via Portfolio, I heard that videos of your child doing some unique above-level activities (explaining book, math, building something etc.) would be very convincing.
  14. ACT gives you the option to register the one without writing portion and it's cheaper. SAT doesn't have the option. But since writing doesn't count for Davidson purpose, I guess it's okay to sit through the whole section without writing on it.
  15. JoAnn, I think if you go to SAT/ACT's Contact Us page, you can send them a message stating your child is under 12 and needs a paper registration form, and leave them your mailing address. They will send you the form pretty quickly. Since the last testing date is in June, it may be a good idea to wait for the 2011-2012 registration packet. Hope this helps!
  16. Yesterday was the Chinese New Year. I watched the Spring Festival (Chinese New Year) show broadcasted from China. One specific program prompted me to think. 6 or 7 people aged from young to old, all from different countries, but none of them ethnic Chinese. They wore traditional Chinese clothes, talked in very impressive Chinese, quoted ancient Chinese poems, sang Chinese songs, even joked in Chinese. That kind of encouraged me to think maybe I should put more effort in teaching my kids Chinese. If they can overcome the difficulties to master a foreign language so well, then others can do the same thing, especially those whose parents already speak that language. Well, I'm guessing some of those people on the show problably studied or worked in China for a period of time, but still their Chinese is very impressive. By the way Happy Chinese New Year to all the Chinese on this board and to all the people who are interested in Chinese or other Asian cultures or languages!
  17. I have to refresh my memory by doing a quick search, because I’d rather not to provide some incorrect information. Of course there are always different opinions when it comes to history. First, regarding the difference between written language(here I mean writing style, not about the character strokes) and conversational language . in another word, how people put on paper vs. how people speak in their daily life. Chinese writing first became possible about 3000 years ago when characters were created. In the early stage, people wrote the same way as they talked. This lasted from Chin and Han dynasty etc. until Tang dynasty. Tang(618-907 AD) and Song(960-1276 AD) dynasties (especially Tang) were when literature and economy prospered. So many famous masterpieces were from that time. Meanwhile, oral language went through more dramatic changes. Conversation style changed (think of slang, but of course quite different from what we call slang), but written style was preserved and stayed the same. People had no difficulties understanding written language yet talked in a more relaxed way. There were some very famous literature works using conversational style. For example, what we call “Four Famous Chinese classics (Dream of the Red Chamber, Outlaws of the Marsh, Journey to the West, The Romance of the Three Kingdoms) were actually written in a easier-to-understand language instead of formal written language back then. But still the most accepted writing style is still the same as ancient times (to them). It was until the late beginning of last century( around 1919), that some famous intellectuals started New Culture Movement, which promoted language reform. They went to the extreme to criticize Classic Chinese writing styles and promoted modern conversational writing (modern vernacular Chinese). Ironically, These very people were the ones who had mastered the classical method the best. Regardless of their initial intention, Modern Chinese writing style has been more accepted and since that movement and has become the dominant style to date. I have to say that, people tried to put language evolvement into different stages. But in history, it usually has been a gradual process, unless of course some dramatic movement like mentioned above which would make the process more noticeable. As for the evolvement of characters themselves, it was also a gradual process in ancient times. Characters have always gone through changes (usually simplifications). These were reflected in different calligraphy styles. Today what we call traditional Chinese characters are definitely different from the characters used when they were first created. But none of such changes were as dramatic and intentional as what Mao did in 1950s and 1960s. Looking back, there were so many drawbacks in the decision. Then again, that was history. What Mao did was basically to have simplified the radicals or combined homophones. Chinese characters are pictographic or ideographic (unlike many languages that are sound-based). So the strokes represented the meaning of the words. Simplification to some degree has damaged the connection between the character and its meaning. For example, homophones that used to have different characters representing different meanings now are combined and simplified into one character. People wouldn’t be able to grasp the meaning from the characters themselves. Regardless of Mao’s intentions back then, simplified Chinese has gained more ground in the past half century and well accepted. I think some overseas countries that have large Chinese population like Malaysia and Singapore also adopted simplified Chinese. I grew up learning simplified Chinese and later on taught myself traditional characters (reading, understanding but rarely writing them myself). As for my kids, I debated whether to teach them traditional or simplified Chinese characters (DH learned Traditional Chinese when he was little) and decided to go with simplified Chinese. I felt it’d be easier for me to teach them since I’m more familiar with it. Also, it’s easier for them to learn. Without proper language environment, it’s quite challenging for kids to learn a language even if it’s their parent’s native language. Of course, given the global importance of mainland China, understanding simplified Chinese should be enough for the kids to communicate with Chinese people if there is such need in the future. Though I’m familiar with those Chinese terms regarding Chinese language history, I’m not quite familiar with the agreed English translation of those terms. But I think Classical Chinese is used when people describe classical writing style, Modern Chinese or Modern Vernacular Chinese is used for the modern writing style. Of course, Traditional Chinese means the characters used before Mao and are still used by a lot of Chinese outside mainland China (Taiwan, Hong Kong etc.) , Simplified Chinese means the Characters used in mainland China and some other Chinese communities.
  18. From what was described in OP, I would guess by saying "Classical Chinese", she meant the written Chinese language used in at least more than a hundred years ago that are still learned among native Chinese speakers as a way to understand and study classical literature and history from hundreds or thousands of years ago because those are important part of Chinese heritage, though people no longer wrote that way since Modern Chinese was promoted was promoted . Majority of the characters may still be the same between classical and modern, but the meaning could be totally different. Even for native Chinese speakers, this is challenging, not to say for non-native Chinese speakers. If this is what you meant, then I applaud your effort to study such a challenging language. When people differentiate Simplified Chinese from Traditional Chinese, it just means the different ways to write the some of the characters, the meaning of the these characters and the way people speak and write is still the same (or similar). This was due to the characters reformation in 1950s after Mao took over mainland China to make writing and reading of Chinese characters more simplified. This is totally different from the classification of Classical vs. Modern. Chinese from mainland China and from overseas can both study classical Chinese literature in characters of their choice (Simplified or Traditional), though neither writes the same way as when Classical Chinese was used in writing hundreds years ago). Though it is possible that OP simply meant "Traditional Chinese characters" in her post. By the way, I am Chinese myself though it's been a long time ago when I studied Chinese classics. I did love those classics so much back then.
  19. Having access to a native Chinese speaker as a tutor would definitely really helpful in learning the language. Face-to-face tutoring is definitely better. But if it's too hard to find one, another option might be to have your son's Chinese friends or another native speaker that you trust do online tutoring via MSN or Skype etc. (better with video). Chinese government promotes a set of textbooks for overseas Chinese. It's free for download, but this is more for kids who have Chinese parents or other native speakers available to help the kids. Since it's free, you might like to take a look. Here's the first grade book: textbook: http://www.hwjyw.com/fj/jcxz/zhongwen/1/all.pdf Exercise Book A: http://www.hwjyw.com/fj/jcxz/zwlxca/1/all.pdf Exercise B: http://www.hwjyw.com/fj/jcxz/zwlxcb/1/all.pdf They also have a set for preschoolers: first book: http://www.hwjyw.com/fj/jcxz/youerhanyu/1/all.pdf If your son's Chinese friends could help out, maybe these materials might work.
  20. Journey to the West was actually based on Tang Dynasty around AD 629,(one of the most prosperous dynasties in China's history). The auther himself Wu Cheng En lived about 900 years after in Ming dynasty(around 1500s). West referred to where India is today. It's nice to know translated English version of the book is available.
  21. If you're interested in Jouney to the West, here is a link to Youtube video called Havoc in Heaven (Uproar in Heaven) which was part of Journey to the West stories) Classical animation produced in 1960s, this was many people's first animation movie for those who grew up in China 30-40 years ago). This one has English subtitle. If you'd like to watch more episodes, make sure to watch the ones posted by the same person since others' might not have the subtitle. First episode: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ec9cFekSAME They now have newly produced movies and TV series, but this classical one is still many people's favorite. Some extra thoughts: As for Three Kingdoms period, It might not be as important as Han or Tang, but it was very famous, partly because of the famous classical novel called San Guo Yan Yi (The Romance of the Three Kingdoms--though I wonder why they used the word Romance, it was not exactly the same meaning as the Chinese title). Certain stories from that book are well known almost among all Chinese families. Jin and Southern/Northern dynasties were not actually considered to be part of the Three Kingdoms. In Chinese, they usually memorize this period as "Three Kingdoms, Two Jins, Sourthern and Northern Dynasties". Of course it sounds more smoothly in Chinese than in English. As for Song and Yuan, Han group people under Ghengis Khan(Yuan)'s ruling viewed Yuan as intruders so they never liked his ruling during then. Yuan put Han people under the third cast (four levels altogether) after the take-over. One important credit to Yuan dynasty was that Yuan ended the long-time divisions, unified China again, and ruled over the largest area in China's history. I understand it's hard for people from other cutural background to memorize all the details unless it's someone who really studies Chinese history. However, there are so many exellent stories, idioms, literature, culture etc. that came out of those details. All these were interwined with history. Knowing more details seems to bring history to life. But again, you are right, that may not be realistic. For me, I grew up reading all the interesting historic stories first which brought my deep interest in the five thousand years of history later. I'm so glad that you and many others are so interested in learning and studying China's history. I hold China's history, culture and literature dear to my heart.
  22. Qin and Jin are Pinyin which is the standard used by mainland China, Where Chin and Ch'in are used by Taiwan and certain other areas outside mainland China.
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