Chinese Character was my biggest enemy in the past in school. I listen to English songs, read English words, but never Chinese Character. I had a hard time learning how to write my Chinese name, especially when my middle name’s Chinese Character has so many strokes in it. *faint*

To grow up in a completely non-Mandarin Speaking family, it is a miracle that I did not fail the Chinese subject. My style of learning Chinese was creating stories around the Chinese Character. Now that Keatkeat is school, I used the same method on my son, hoping that the same medicine, which worked for his Mommy would work on him too.

Yesterday was Keatkeat’s Chinese Final Year examination paper. To me, he did shockingly well for his Chinese Mid Year examination paper (see term 2 results). Seriously, for him to get good grades is already a bonus. *smile*

I was feeling really lethargic on the night before yesterday, so Allan took over the baton and started going through my notes.

Chinese Character memorising was the greatest test I had to go through and goes the same for Keatkeat. I went through every page of his Primary one Chinese textbooks and copied down every Chinese Character, which was stated in the book that he had to….

(1) Know how to write every Chinese Character below,


(2) Know how to read every Chinese Character below, and….


(3) Know by heart every Chinese Character listed below.


While I laid awake in bed, I heard something special from Allan. He was trying to help Keatkeat remember the Chinese Character ‘buy’ and the Chinese Character ‘sell’. Since both word’s hanyu pinyin is the same but said in different tone, it was confusing to my 6 years old.

Allan started to tell a story too!

Allan: “Imagine you have $10. You wanted to buy a $10 toy in the shop. After buying, do you still have the $10 cash with you?”

Keatkeat: “No.”


Allan: “Right! So the Chinese Character ‘buy’ does NOT have the ‘shi’ (‘ten’ in Chinese) on top.”

Keatkeat: “Ohhhh….”


Allan: “And if you are the owner of the shop who sells that $10 toy. You would have collected the $10 from your customer, right?”

Keatkeat: “Yes.”

Allan: “So the Chinese Character ‘sell’ has the ‘shi’ on top.”

Keatkeat: “I see….”


With this simple story, Keatkeat cleared his confusion completely. To me, a good story teller is a good teacher. So thumbs up for Keatkeat’s Papa! *smile*

Keatkeat told me that he did something really smart during his Chinese paper yesterday.

He said, “Mommy, there was a word I did not know how to write and because of that, I cannot form a sentence under the sentence construction section (‘Zao Ju’ section). Then I went to the comprehension section and found another word that can be used to replace the word which I did not know how to write. (his eyes sparkled) And I quickly went back to change that sentence.”

Me: “OMG! You are sooooooooooooooooo smart!!!” And I pat him on his head and his shoulders several times.

And he smiled back….


How do you teach your child Chinese Character?