If you’ve ever tried to buy books or CD’s to help your kids learn Mandarin Chinese like me, you know there’s not much available and what is on the market is usually a little old-fashioned, lacks structure and sometimes the songs can be a bit corny and hard to understand. That’s why I was super excited to check out Go Boo Boo-a new learning system to help kids from age 12 months to 5 years learn Mandarin. It has been a lifesaver and the perfect way to incorporate Mandarin into our lives in a simple, fun way through music.
This system was founded by a Chinese-American mom who was struggling with the same issue and A Little Dynasty Chinese School, a leading Chinese School in Orange County, California. It features, books, CD’s, flashcards and more. Just what I have been waiting for!
What’s different about these books are they make it easy for everyone to learn because it features English translations and phonetic aids such as the Chinese Alphabet and Pinyin for non-chinese speaking parents. (Now my husband can learn with the books as well.) When it comes to learning Mandarin there are usually two schools of thought: using Zhuyin (Chinese Alphabet) or Pinyin (English Alphabet). Educational materials either feature one or the other, but Go Boo features both. Here’s more about the Chinese Alphabet Method and why it’s beneficial to incorporate both.
My kids really like it, after a few days they were walking around singing the songs, they even fight over the books and want to hear them in the car. Which is wonderful because eventhough I’ve been speaking Mandarin at home since they were babies, neither of them actually respond to me in Mandarin, so it’s great to actually hear them speak.
I’m at a transitional point right now when it comes to learning languages, my son is 4 and my daughter is 3 -I’ll probably send them to some sort of Chinese school soon (whether an afterschool program or a weekend program like the one I grew up with, but I’ll tackle that issue later). I already sense him being reluctant to speak so I want to make sure it’s something they enjoy, so they will want to continue learning. I speak Mandarin, but unfortunately even after years of Saturday Chinese School I can’t really say that I can read and write fluently, so for me it was hard to find the right books/CD’s to teach my kids. In just the few weeks I’ve been using the books I find my son more willing to repeat words and speak Mandarin.
We listened to Boo Boo’s Chinese Grooves for Kids (kids ages 4 and up) and Boo’s Chinese Grooves for Toddlers– the main difference is the songs for toddlers are a bit shorter to help keep their attention (12 songs on each.) I love how the CDs’ incorporate Mandarin into songs they already know, like “If You’re Happy And You Know It!” (Toddler) and also includes lessons about counting, shapes, manners, Chinese culture and festivals. Theres’s even a cool Chinese Rap song, “My Name is Boo Boo!” on the Kids CD.
My First Chinese Alphabet Book and CD is a great way to introduce the proper pronunciation of the Chinese Alphabet (Zhuyin). This has a great engaging song about the Chinese Alphabet and the book features colorful animal illustrations and sounds to go with each of the 37 letters. It’s designed for kids 3 and up.
30% OFF DISCOUNT CODE
GO BOO BOO is offering TZM readers a special discount code- Enter ZENMOM at checkout for 30% off your order. There’s also free shipping for orders over $25. Code valid thru 2/8/2013. Just in time for Chinese New Year. What a great deal!
WIN IT! One lucky TZM reader will win The Chinese Alphabet Book and Kids Sing Along Book. To enter just leave a comment below. Giveaway closes on Monday Feb 4th, 2013, midnight PST.
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