Thursday, October 22, 2009

Our Daughter Aces her First Test and Places in a Competition

Our five year old daughter took her very first test in a Chinese class. I very proud to report that she received a grade of 100%. In addition, she placed second in a poem reciting contest. This was particularly exciting since neither of us speak or read Mandarin, while many of the other parents are native speakers.

In the week preceding the test, I remarked that the grade would determine her college options in the future and that passing was very important :-) Of course I wasn't serious, but my spouse and daughter did work hard studying for the test and practicing for the poem recital. Here are the elements that led to our daughter's success.
  • Preparation - In the week prior to the test, the teacher reviewed the material and provided a sample test for the children to practice. My spouse and our daughter spent three sessions reviewing and taking the practice test. As it turned out, the teacher used the same test at the practice test. Since my daughter has a very good memory, she answered all the questions, which were written Chinese, correctly.

    For the poem, we used one that she had learned in an earlier class and practiced several times so that she remembered all the lines.

  • Desire - The teacher opened the poem recital contest by saying there would be a prize for the top three students. The prize was a spinning light, which is our daughter's favorite toy. Her eyes lit up immediately and she said, " I want to win one."

  • Execution - In the past, our daughter would sometimes shy away from speaking up in a group. However, this time she eagerly volunteered to do her poem. She stood in front of about 25 people (about 15 students and 10 parents) and recited her poem in a clearly and slowly with a voice that everyone could hear.
  • While the test was graded by the teacher, the poem recital was graded by the parents on a scale of 0 to 100. Our daughter received an average score of 95, which was just slightly below the first place child at 97 and just ahead of third place at 94. She was so excited to win second place and get a prize. I'm hoping this taste of success will cause her to want more and lead to developing the skills and habits to consistently be successful.

    For more on Crossing Generations, check back every Thursday for a new segment.

    This is not financial or parenting advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

    Copyright © 2009 Achievement Catalyst, LLC


    Anonymous said...

    My want to teach my son to speak and read Chinese too. He will be one next Tuesday. Any tips on how to start? I am talking to him in Chinese, but since my husband is American and don't speak Chinese, it is kind of hard for me to involve my husband in the conversation as well. So I can only limit Chinese to when I am alone with my son, which doesn't give me much opportunity considering he is spending his daytime hours in a care center away from me. Thanks so much!

    Super Saver said...


    In our area, the Chinese community has started a Chinese school that include classes for pre-school children. For us, this has been an effective way to help our daughter learn Chinese. However, it is still hard for her to practice since neither I nor my spouse speak Mandarin or write Chinese.