Tomorrow is the first day of the new year at Chinese School, and we still can't decide if the boys are going to continue or not.
Learning a foreign language is easier when you're young, and this is especially true if you want to learn a difficult language like Mandarin.
They are already one year into it, so it would be a shame to waste that.
Exposure to the language patterns and sounds of Chinese at this age will make it easier to learn any Asian language as a serious, focused adult, even if they never really learn much now.
Knowing a bit of Chinese as a suburban white kid is cool and interesting.
The school is a great deal - only $95 for a semester, and I don't know of any comparably good deals on classes for other languages.
It's less than a mile from our house.
The Sunday afternoon time is conflict-free.
They love their teachers and enjoy going to class.
They're teachers frequently say they're "really smart" and "great students" so maybe they're learning more than I think they are.
They like seeing their Chinese friends from swim team at the end-of-semester events.
Chinese is HARD...really hard.
Neither David or I know any Chinese so we can't help them during the week.
I'm afraid they aren't actually retaining much, because a complicated language takes more than 90 minutes once a week.
I know they could learn French or Spanish very quickly, because Romance languages are easier and we could all work on it together.
I feel like they won't ever really progress with Chinese unless we buy Rosetta Stone or do some sort of immersion thing, and those would be hard-core, expensive propositions even for me.
It would be nice to have one free do-nothing day a week. I miss doing day trips and little over-night trips on the weekends!
Their friends are all in the Heritage classes, and they don't actually get along very well with the few kids in their tiny non-heritage classes.
I suspect the teachers (who are all Chinese) don't have much training in teaching Chinese as a SECOND language. They're great people, and seem to be excellent teachers for the kids who have Chinese parents, but are a bit baffled by the slow progress made by the kids with only English-speaking parents.
So what do you think? Any opinions? We will have to make a decision by tomorrow.