Monday, February 20, 2012


Oh yeah. I have jumped onto the band wagon, i have joined the ranks of many moms. I bought myself a set of 四五快读. I have heard of it long ago but i never thought of owning it. So i don't know what came over me when i decided to order it- without knowing exactly what it was! But, no regrets.

四五快读 comes with a series of 7 books. It is meant to be a guidance for parents/teachers who's interested in teaching their children mandarin. The author promises that by the end of the series, the child would be able to read a typical Mandarin article comfortably. I am not going to go into details of the book since the bloggers at My did a great job- especially at translating the first 30 instructional pages of the book. But, what i will share is my personal review.

1) Some parents insist that only those who are comfortable in reading Mandarin should get this book because all of the instructions and guidelines are in Mandarin. Well, i guess if you want to follow all the author's instructions then, yes, you must be somewhat well-versed in Mandarin. But, if you are like me, you prefer your own way of teaching your kids, then it is not necessary to be that proficient. I never follow the way the author taught her daughter, i created my own to suit my son's learning style. Moreover, i feel that the author's methodology suits children who have been conversing in Mandarin or raised in Mandarin-speaking environment. Her suggested method will never work on my sonny. Yet at the same time, you must be familiar with Chinese words otherwise, erm, how are you suppose to teach your child?

2) I like how each lesson is carefully planned such that by the next lesson, the child would be able to read in short phrases and sentences and later in paragraphs. Each lesson is built on the previous. This way, it builts the child's confidence (and mine too)!

3) If you are not sure, i suggest that you purchase one book at a time rather than the whole set at one go. Sure, it is more costly this way, but it's better than buying the whole set only to find out that you don't have enough stamina to complete it! I only found out that the books are separately sold at Popular bookshops after i purchased mine. Otherwise, i would've bought one book at a time.
4) Some say that it is a MUST to read the first 30 pages of the book. So i made myself read my longest ever Mandarin related article, hoping to find treasures but i emerged none the wiser. I find what she wrote is strangely similar to that of Glenn Doman and Montessori books- i secretly think she is a follower too! So what she said about teaching the child with games and through play, that its important to stop while the child is still interested etc were nothing new to me. I also think it is not necessary to read through the pages. But if you need to read up in English, my did an awesome job.

Right now, i have completed the first book. Actually, sonshine recognises about 70% words in the first 2 books. But i am taking my time to make sure he knows the new words. I am taking a mighty long time because i want to be sure, doubly sure, triply sure and then sure that i am triply sure that he knows the words.

I don't use games to teach him the new words as the author suggested. I find it too consuming to create games after games so i take the easy way out. I usually select two words per day or per week, depending, and show sonshine the words first by reading it to him. I explain what the words mean. Then i get him to repeat after me and tell me the meaning of the words. Later in the day or the next day, i take the cards out again and ask him to read to me. I do this repeatedly until i am sure the words are well rooted in his memory! However, at the end of the book, i did create games for the boy just to revise the words. This- i will share in separate post.

I bought my copy from Happy Cottage if anyone's interested. 


  1. Thanks dear. Glad that you have found the books useful. We are doing the set at our own pace too =)

  2. Wow, how did you know I linked up your page? But thanks- love your teaching mandarin ideas by the way- hope to see more! :)

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  4. Heehee...saw it from my blog's "traffic sources".


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