Category Archives: Chinese Schools

Free Books About China

A couple of years ago I wrote a few ebooks about Chinese life and culture with my son Nathaniel. We wrote about Chinese snacks, going to a Chinese kindergarten and celebrating the Chinese New Year. The stories are short and simple (I was working with a four year old at the time!) and we included some pictures and then I published on Amazon’s Kindle platform. They sell for $2.99 each or are free if you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited.

 

 

I consistently sell a lot of these books around Chinese New Year and, over all, they have been downloaded by thousands of people. But few people take time to leave reviews…and I’m hoping you can help.

 

Through Tuesday, January 10 the following titles will be free for download:
I hope you’ll take a few minutes to download and read one or more of them and then leave a review to help boost the rankings.

Win A Copy of

Knocked Up Abroad Again

For each review that you leave on my books, (one per book, of course) I’ll enter you to win a copy of Knocked Up Abroad Again, an anthology of 26 stories of women who’ve been pregnant, given birth or raised kids in countries other than their passport one. If you have it already, another book can be substituted.

 

Bonus: If you buy/read/review MaoMao and the Nian Monster by Anna Zech, I’ll give you another entry. Anna’s become an online friend over the last year, and I purchased her book a few years ago when it first came out. A great introduction to Chinese New Year with beautiful illustrations.

 

After you write your reviews, please email me at Charlotte Edwards Zhang (at) gmail (dot) com (remove the spaces and format it correctly…I just don’t want a lot of spam after posting this) with the title of the book you reviewed and your Amazon user name. I’ll also give extra entires for sharing on social media. Again, just send an email with the link to your post and I’ll give you another entry.

 

Reviews should be left before January 26, 2017 and I’ll choose a winner and post it while I watch the annual Spring Festival Gala.

Thanks so much and all the best for a wonderful Year of the Rooster.

 

Children’s Day In China

 

China has quite a few holidays that aren’t celebrated in many, if any, other countries. One that falls into the “not celebrated in many countries” is International Children’s Day which is on June 1 each year. Interestingly, it’s celebrated in 47 countries and on the second Sunday in June in the USA. I never knew that until I just looked it up.

 

Until this year, I found the holiday to be frivolous. In a country where most children are only-children, and their parents and grandparents’ lives revolve around them, it seems that every day is children’s day. But this year I had a new perspective on the holiday.

 

With my son in the local public school, I realized that this was the one day, of the whole 10 months, that there was no homework. On weekends he gets homework for every day. During the Chinese New Year, he had homework every day. There’s never been a day on which he hasn’t had at least some homework to finish. But on Children’s Day, there was no homework.

 

It was wonderful!

 

Of course, the day wasn’t without it’s annoyances. He had to be at school, in makeup, at 6:30 a.m. to prepare for the program. He’d volunteered to be in the first grade performance. About 20 kids from the three classes sang a song. Other grades, and even groups of kids, had skits, songs and dances. The program started at 7:30 and lasted until 9:00. Then he got to go home for the rest of the day.
We bought ice cream.
We played with Legos.
We all took a noon nap.
We read books.
We even watched a movie, something we hadn’t done in months!

 

I could really get used to this “no homework for a day” thing and am eagerly anticipating Children’s Day 2016!

“Happy Winter Vacation” Homework

To me, it’s an oxymoron to use the words happy, vacation and homework in the same sentence, but in China it’s the norm. Every holiday kids get even more homework than usual to complete. For this winter vacation, which should be about 25 days or so (we still don’t know when they have to go back to school), my first grade son has two workbooks with 54 pages in each. One is Chinese and the other is Math.
But wait! There’s more…
This morning we had a parent’s meeting to listen to the teacher brag on the top-scoring students and criticize the ones who got the lowest scores. Then they gave us a paper which outlined the rest of the homework, on top of the 108 pages that we started.
He has to
  • memorize the first two stories in his new Chinese book
  • learn to read and write the words from the first four units
  • memorize the math facts up to 100
  • memorize half of a famous book about morals
  • read at least 2 books every day
  • write six “big” pages of Chinese words
  • do a page of 20 math problems every day
I know I’m forgetting some of it and there’s one thing that I don’t exactly understand.
So it looks like we’ll be having “school” time in the mornings, broken up by bits of play, reading and flashcards.