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About Makita

  • Birthday 05/01/1972

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    Northern California
  • Interests
    Running, Digital Scrapbooking & Living History
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  1. We pay our Mandarin instructor $40 an hour. I was a little hesitant at first to pay this much but he is a trained teacher and a native speaker. We've come to realize that he is an excellent teacher and is well worth every bit.
  2. Lin - I am pleased that you resurrected this thread for I haven't been on the forums in years. My kiddos have been learning Mandarin for a while now (DD is in her 4th year? and my son is in his 2nd). We chose to go with simplified Chinese and use Better Chinese as our main curriculum. I have a Squidoo lens, Fun With Mandarin that highlights some of our favorite resources for teaching Mandarin ... I also blog about how we approach our language studies on the Better Chinese website. I look forward to being active again on the forums. :)
  3. I've posted this on the For Sale board for a while with no response so I thought it might be better suited here. 3 books (a few pages in one of the writing practice books have been used). Otherwise, all are in great condition. The writing practice books are traditional whereas the textbook is simplified. $10 (includes shipping) I would be willing to separate them as well. Make an offer if interested. :)
  4. We really like the Better Chinese curriculum. It is what we use at home. http://www.squidoo.com/better-chinese We also have an iPhone so there are several Mandarin language apps that we enjoy. http://www.squidoo.com/mandarin-language-iphone-apps :)
  5. How exciting for you and your family. My DD would be insanely jealous - she desperately wants to go to China. I created a Squidoo lens some time ago that pulls together the resources I've found for learning Mandarin. My daughter started learning Mandarin 2 yrs ago. http://www.squidoo.com/funwithmandarin You might find something useful there. :)
  6. I would agree with previous posters ... The Broadway musical is fine for younger audiences. The book is NOT.
  7. I like GEMS - they have a variety topics that integrate well into larger subjects (earth science, physical science, life science, etc.) I've used many of their units in the classroom, grades 4-6, with great success. I also write a science curriculum for the logic stage. There are free samples and I'd be more than happy to answer questions. Science Logic I've been teaching the units to local homeschool groups and my daughter (7 years) has sat in on many of the lessons. She understands the majority of the concepts but of course her output is different than the older students.
  8. I posted a review of the curriculum we use for Mandarin on Squidoo. Thought ya'll might like to take a peak. It outlines what we do each week to practice - I'd love to hear what you all do to provide opportunities to practice the 2nd language. Better Chinese :) Eva
  9. These are all great suggestions! Thank you so much everyone... I'll be certain to share what you've said with my SIL. My brother (the father) owns his own business and works a lot - his experience in school was very similar if I recall. Mom and Dad used to worry that he wouldn't even graduate. He is very successful now though in what he does (auto body paint specialist - predominately doing custom paint jobs on classic cars). :)
  10. My DD is learning Mandarin as well (I've basically given up on myself but I am picking up phrases here and there). We use Better Chinese as well (presently My First Chinese Reader volume 1). I've organized a list of resources on a Squidoo Lens - Fun With Mandarin. :)
  11. My SIL started homeschooling last year (this year would be her 2nd) after her boy was having trouble in school - particularly with bullying. After a shaky start, things seemed to be going well. Now not so much.... below is the content of a letter she recently sent me (she doesn't presently have a computer and thereby she doesn't have access to WTM). Can anyone help provide some insight or suggestions ?? "Anyhow- School here is not so great. I am trying to hang in there but I am getting so frustrated. DS is SO frustrating. He just does not care at all and I am at the end of my rope!" "My friend Shawna also homeschools and she offered to school DS and DD one day last week so I could work. So I took her up on it- left her with the kids's work, came back that night and I could tell she was worried - DS had gotten every math problem wrong and she was like "He doesn't know any of this" and she goes on to tell me about his writing problems." "The thing is HE DOES KNOW IT! He just honestly could care less so he just rushes through it in order to be done. He still can't comprehend the fact that he will have to sit there until he corrects it and that takes a lot longer. He will just sit there and pout- stare off in to outer space! His writing is awful- not because he can't- because he doesn't want to. He starts complaining the second we start and then just puts his head down... I don't know what to do! He doesn't care at all. He never has." "When he was in public school his teachers told me the same darn things I am seeing for myself now. I can not seem to find a way to motivate him. We have tried prize boxes, earning game time, "Fun Fridays" even earning "Easy Math Days" He would just rather sit and complain and not try I guess.... AHHHHH" Positive note - he does enjoy reading for leisure! Any words of wisdom would be appreciated! :)
  12. I figured I wasn't the only one. I'll definitely sort through and donate some ... it will be a slow process though. I'll keep those I know I want to the kids to read or those that are of particular importance to me. Thanks everyone!
  13. About a year ago, from PaperBackSwap, I ordered all the classic novels from the Well-Educated Mind suggested reading list. As a former elementary teacher, I also have a rather large collection of Newberry award winning novels and classic literature for kids. I also have all the Harry Potter novels (in hardback) as well as a number of other newer titles and many, many 'everybody books'. All of these books are quality, living-books. However, I don't have the space! I have two 6-shelved bookcases in the hallway, one 5-shelf bookcase in the den, and one 4-shelf bookcase in my daughters room. Still they are so full that book are stacked up 2 rows deep. I can't possibly keep all these books though I would like to. How can I keep my book collection under control? Any one have a system they can suggest to help? Drowning in books (I know - a good problem to have, really), Eva
  14. My DD has really only begun to read in earnest, independently, the past 5 or 6 months. She is devouring the fairies series by Daisy Meadows. Her best friend is a super reader and is reading the Warriors series. As a result my DD has picked up the first book in this series 'Into the Wild' and is plodding through it. She is presently on chap 2 though she started it nearly 2 weeks ago. Bear in mind she has also read a few chapters in other books. My question is how do you gauge the comprehension of your child's independent reading on books you haven't read yourself?
  15. I used GEMS units extensively in the classroom (4th - 6th) and they were always successful. The kids enjoyed them - frequently the GEMS units were their favorite - and they were easy to follow. As KarenAnne stated, some do require some footwork to gather materials. I love the idea of letting the kids do it! :D
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