Wednesday 14 December 2011

Raising a Bicultural child...questions answered

 Giveaway Post is HERE 

I had a few questioned raised after this post, so I will try and answer them as best as I can...

I would love to know what workbooks if any you use with Ebi-kun for writing practice.
The answer is non. We do have some workbooks, some that I used to use in my teaching days and some that were were given, they are next to the book shelf and ebi-kun if free to get them out whenever he likes. Occasionally he will get one out and then do about 15 pages, it gets put away and collects dust for a while.

This doesn't mean that ebi-kun doesn't do any writing, he does plenty. For practising letter formation we have always gone the Montessori way used the sandpaper letters, sand tray and sound pouches. Using these helps the memory to map the formation of the letter without even picking up a pencil. One thing we do need to work on is getting the letters on the line, he often has the under hang of little g sitting on the line, that sort of thing. We also use the moveable alphabet, when he has spelt out the word he can then write it down. When he is interested in something I will make up (or google) pages for him to draw and label. For reading, I wrote a post here breaking down his reading journey.

He writes letters and postcards, the letter writing box has helped with that, I often get him to write the shopping list for me, I tell him what we need and he writes it down, he is also an avid 'to do' list maker (wonder where he gets that from) and he loves making little manuals and stories so I have to keep him supplied in mini books. We have been given quiz books or puzzle books where you have to write down the answers to questions, he quite likes doing those too. He also has a book that he keeps in the car where he is writing a story, it will have 10 chapters when it is finished and he only writes it when we are in the car. I have no idea what it is about because I'm not allowed to read it until it is finished. 
I can highly recommend Playful Learning and The Write Start as good books with great ideas on making learning fun, The Write Start book also follows the idea, like Montessori, that writing should come before reading.

Did Ebi-kun ever go through phases of refusing to speak Japanese? My 3 year will say i don't want to speak Japanese. I am worried about when she starts yochien.
No. We have never had any issues like that...yet! I imagine that once she is in yochien she will forget that she doesn't want to speak Japanese once she is absorbed in play. I think it is quite common for children whose 2nd language isn't so strong to be quiet when they first join school or kindy and I believe that in the most part, they just need time. I hate being in a situation where I am forced to speak Japanese (or English for that matter) in front of others so I am pretty sure some kids feel the same way. If anyone has any experience of this, please share!
Ebi-kun is a fairly confident kid and doesn't care about making mistakes, I have always tried to get him to understand that making mistakes is fine and in fact part of the learning process.

Does Ebi-kun favour one language over another?
I don't think so, he seems to know most of the time which language he should use and will switch languages if he knows someone is struggling. We have a neighbour who speaks quite good English but sometimes she doesn't understand something or doesn't know how to express what she wants in English so Ebi-kun will switch to Japanese alternatively he will have done something at yochien but doesn't know the English for it so she will help him out, as does daddy. I have noticed that when we are together as a family, Ebi-kun will ask what such-and-such means and daddy will just translate the word into Japanese, this doesn't always help though because he might not know what it is in Japanese either!

and now some questions directed at Ebi-kun....

Ebi-kun which language is easiest for you?
Japanese is easier to read and write (because it is phonic), it doesn't have strange spelling and silent letters like the k in knight like English does.

How about speaking?
Both the same.

What is your favourite book?
At the moment I am reading the Beast Quests books they are veeeeerrrrrry exciting, I really like my Dragonology book too, oh and the Picasso one and my favourite Japanese book is Monkey Magic.

What soccer position do you play?
Ermmm forward, I like scoring goals, I like being goal keeper sometimes too.

Shark Vs Train, who would win?
What a strange question, why would a shark be fighting a train? What kind of train? The shark, it would bite off the wheels.


  1. When you made the alphabet boards with the felt letters - where did you get the sticky back felt? Was it handy here?

  2. I got it at the craft store Tokai, don't know if you have them down there but I imagine any craft store will have it. The felt is all in one place in Tokai but you have to pull the sheets out and look at the backing, some in plain felt, some iron on and some stick on - maybe it tells you on a sign somewhere in Japanese! I have seen it in Daiso too but I don't know how good the sticky is on that, I made Ebi-kuns letters when he was 2 and they are still going strong.
    The wood I got from Tokyu hands because it was precut and sanded and I had no way to cut up wood.
    I have a feeling that the font I suggested on that post is no longer downloadable or the site closed or something.

  3. Awesome, awesome, thank you!

    My son's favourite book at the moment is Shark vs. Train, which is where the odd question came from!


Thank you!
I love hearing from you and if you haven't joined us in Moms That Rock, come on over!

Pin It button on image hover