Monday, March 18, 2013

To market to buy some fruit

The twins' Chinese class seems intent on hot-housing. At K2, I have been told that the standard taught there is Primary 2. The twins seem relatively chill about it. It is I, the Mommy who stresses because I struggle to read the stuff that I need to go through with them.

I didn't really hate Chinese the way a lot of people did. But I do remember it being somewhat boring at times, what with the repetitive writing and memorising of paragraphs. Evan has already started complaining about the writing and I have no real heart to tell him that it goes downhill from this point on.

 While I am still able to, I try to make it as fun as I can.

Last week's lesson was on tropical fruit. To the twins, these were just words on a page with no real concept of what a mangosteen, longan or lychee were.

1. 榴莲 - durian (Durian they know but abhor with a passion much to our disappointment)
2. 山竹- mangosteen (We just don't buy them enough)
3. 芒果- mango (We tried giving them mango, but the sweetness was too intense and they shied away from it)
4. 木瓜 - papaya
5. 红毛丹 - rambutan (Jordan loves the stuff, Evan is freaked out by the hairs and Muffin the ants that come with the fruit)
6. 龙眼 - longan (Too heaty for them! Eat a little bit and a sore throat is guaranteed)
7. 荔枝 - lychee (Packrat doesn't like lychee and I'm not fond of it either)

The only way to show it to them was to bring them to market. Not the supermarket but the market itself. And that's what we did. 

First, the twins had to take down the fruit they had to buy. Evan complained loud enough for our entire level to hear. Granted the characters were difficult to write and Mommy didn't offer him any assistance except to tell him which radical came first.


The fun bit was seeing all the different fruit on display. Jordan sounded like a broken record as she asked repeatedly for the fruit on her list, refusing to take no for an answer but using that as an opportunity to re-ask the question again. She tailed the shopkeeper going "有insert relevant fruit name in Chinese?" (Do you have rambutans/lychee/mango etc?)

Some things they learnt. 
1. Mangoes cannot be thrown about. The stall keeper scolded them for it.
2. Mangosteen attract a lot of flies. 
3. Rambutans are not in season and neither are the lychee. 
4. Longans are dusty and dirty to the touch. 
5. Durians are only sold in the afternoon. 
6. Mangosteens have an imprint on the bottom that tell them how many segments there are in there.
7. Mangosteens stain their clothes purple.
8. Apples are cold when licked! (Contributed by Muffin who went about trying to lick apples that had just been taken out of refridgeration)

9. Fruit are heavy. Mommy made them carry their loot home.

Did they have fun? Apparently so. They told everyone including the school bus lady that they had gone to the market to buy 水果 (fruit) and showed her their shopping list which they very carefully brought to school and home. 

At the end of it, Jordan had tried some mangosteen (like), papaya (don't like) and was itching to try the mango (not allowed to yet because she was coughing). Evan didn't like anything (he is a purely apple and grape boy). Muffin was okay to eat the papaya but only the soft ripened flesh. And Mommy was $23 poorer just from buying fruit. 

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  1. I really disliked learning chinese growing up and have been making an effort to be positive and learn with my son. Incorporating it into everyday life and helping them see the relevance is certainly the best way to help them learn. Love that you took them on a fruit outing!

  2. That was a really fun and authentic learning activity! It's amazing how difficult the Chinese syllabus is at K2 these days!

  3. Dana's Mommy,
    I don't think K2 Chinese is necessarily that difficult. The school stuff is very doable. This is from Berries and Berries takes a lot of pride in preparing them ahead. So we just try to keep up.

    While I'm not keen on hot-housing, I don't mind that they are ahead in Chinese because if that way, school Chinese becomes doable and not a dread. On top of that, we don't speak the language much at home! :) Mommy is the best Chinese speaker at home and I speak it like a Caucasian!