Chalk Academy

Chalk Academy


Who wants to learn? 😀
Easy sunflower🌻
Thank you so much for the resource about Bilin Academy, so my kid and me can learn Go from the teacher in China, and my kid can learn Chinese at the same time. She finished two lessons so far, and I can see she really enjoy learning the Chinese culture even though we live in the U.S.
Hi I’m looking for 5 activities for my Reception class on Chinese New Year please.
Because it’s quite expensive to buy those sandpaper letters in the U.K. and in fact I couldn’t get hold of them unless it’s being imported. I’ve attempted to make it using black glitter washi tape. Which cost £2.10 per 10m roll from amazon. Or you can use sandpaper sticky roll (normally for sticking onto sanding blocks).

Here are some examples of my diy sandpaper characters which my daughter currently interested in and numbers (which was cut free hand).

I used 6mm sticker dots for stroke sequence.
This was published in Singapore’s Chinese newspapers yesterday. Worth a read - author explains the importance of learning chinese characters before hanyu pinyin

Disclaimer - this is targeting Singapore education system. Primary 1 (7 years old) students in Singapore will go through a 8-weeks hanyu pinyin program in our mainstream schools. This is compulsory.
I was inspired by the nature-oriented activities by Betty! This is what we did using materials found in the yard (elm seeds, petals, sand, etc). I used clear glue to write on the paper, then kiddo spread these materials on paper. 🥰
Sagebooks 500 SC: is anyone looking to sell their set?
I'm wondering what the characters say on the (lovely) templates of the Lucky Chinese Red envelopes? My children will certainly ask!
Betty, I stumbled across your website while looking for a Chinese New Year banner to use at school. I haven't had a chance to look through everything yet but I wanted to thank you for the work you are doing to inspire love of language and student-driven learning. I love learning and teaching Chinese and am always looking for new and creative ways to share that with my students. Thanks again!
I haven’t bought anything from this website yet, but I’m in love with all their wooden toys!! So beautiful and organic!

Prepared Parents. Curious Kids. Connected Bilingual Learning.

Operating as usual

20 Fun Chinese New Year Activities and Crafts for Home and School! 01/03/2023

20 Fun Chinese New Year Activities and Crafts for Home and School!

Happy New Year! Sharing my annual Chinese Lunar New Year activities post with printable templates and translations! This is our 7th year celebrating with our kids at home and school. Some years we go all out, some years we do very little. Though I've been minimizing my social media time these days, I've loved seeing how your families and schools have used these ideas over the years.

Note: I have a separate post with Korean activities and want to acknowledge the beautiful diversity of traditions in different Asian cultures. This post focuses on Chinese culture.

20 Fun Chinese New Year Activities and Crafts for Home and School! Chinese New Year marks the start a new Zodiac year. Here are 15 + engaging activities and crafts to ring in the new lunar year!

Should My Bilingual Family Drop a Language? 6 Good Reasons To Quit 10/24/2022

Should My Bilingual Family Drop a Language? 6 Good Reasons To Quit

Starting the week off by talking about...quitting! Choosing to pause/stop something can stir up a ton of guilt. Sometimes it's the best option for language, music, sports, work, etc. Often times, it's a forced choice.

But as the Semisonic song points out, "Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end."🎶

(This stock photo speaks to my tired heart😅😴.)

Should My Bilingual Family Drop a Language? 6 Good Reasons To Quit Should my bilingual family drop a language? Free yourself from guilt with these valid reasons to stop learning a language.


Someday, you'll fall in love with learning again.

Growing up, I often felt embarrassed about learning.

In kindergarten, I was the only kid learning English as a second language. On the outside, I kept smiling, but the shame grew as peers would ask why I looked different from everyone.

Later, it became clear that my thick glasses and love of science were nerdy and not cool, especially for a girl.

So for a few years, I decided to stop trying. I thought that if I made myself small, I could protect myself from hurtful comments.

If only I could tell my younger self this:

Someday, you'll fall in love with learning again.

You'll find purpose through teaching and working with kids like you - and those with beautiful differences, too.

Times are changing. Diversity will be celebrated, and women in STEAM will be appreciated.

Someday, someone like you will even be in books that inspire children to love learning.
So proud of the diversity in my book, HUMAN BODY LEARNING LAB! Available for pre-order everywhere.


I've been meaning to thank you all for your support and excitement for my book! ❤️Answering FAQs about HUMAN BODY LEARNING LAB:

Q: What age group is this book appropriate for ?
A: Reading level is Grades 3-7 / ages 8-12 (when anatomy is taught in most schools). Younger kids can read with a grown up and may need assistance with the activities. I’ve heard of kids ranging from ages 4-14yo enjoying the book; it truly is one of those books that can be re-read for years to come.😊

Q: Will it be translated into other languages?
A: I really really reeeeealllyyy hope so! 🙏🏽My publisher (Storey Publishing / Hachette) produces books in English only, and overseas children's book publishers need to make offers for translation rights. Pre-ordering the book can improve the chances of the book being published in other countries. Then it can take months to years for each translation to be published. 🤷🏻‍♀️ I have no control over the process other than sharing about the original version.

Q: When can I get Human Body Learning Lab?
A: November 22 is the release date, BUT you can pre-order it today! This helps ensure the book arrives in time for the holidays, especially with the residual pandemic supply-chain issues. Sneak peak / bookstore links HERE:

Q: I live in Canada, UK, Australia, Singapore, or another country outside of the US. Can I still pre-order the book?
A: Yes! Book Depository has FREE worldwide shipping!!!
It's also on Amazon in many countries.

Q: Can I get it from the library?
A: Probably! You can ask your local library to order the book if they haven't already.

Understanding that most of you are here for bilingual parenting information, I have a new FB page Betty Choi, MD for more behind-the-scenes of my book and other kids' health topics in English. (My brain needs a break from the bilingual stuff🙃.) Feel free to connect with me there! ❤️

Photos from Chalk Academy's post 09/26/2022

Excited to be holding my first copy of HUMAN BODY LEARNING LAB, the anatomy book I wrote for your kids (and mine, too)! It's filled with science facts, fun activities with recycled materials, and diverse, realistic images. After what feels like forever, it's coming out in 2 months - November 22nd. You can pre-order it from your favorite bookstore today! Details here:

Also...hi! It's been a long time.

In 2017, I started a few passion projects: drafts and doodles for science book ideas....and a bilingual parenting blog à la Chalk Academy. I ended up putting the science book ideas on pause, and I never imagined that our family's language journey would grow into this encouraging community. So, thank you if you’ve stuck around!

Then in 2020, when schools shut down at the start of the pandemic, I really wished I had finished writing that human body book. Coincidentally, Storey Publishing reached out to me (forever grateful to hello, Wonderful for connecting us), and I powered through my manuscript while homeschooling my children. This time, it was time to pause other things...

And now un-pausing for a moment to share this good news🙂. Can't wait for you to get your copy of the book soon!

I hope you have all been well, whether you are in a pause, in fast-forward mode, or a bit of both.❤️


✅ # 2 done!!! 😀So so thankful for this privilege to be protected. At the same time, felt guilty that I got both of my doses while my elderly auntie in Canada has to wait until summer for her 2nd dose. Praying that this vaccine can be accessible worldwide 🙏🏼


Skin anatomy doodles with my 4yo 👦🏻. Initially planned my drawing for big sis, but he was curious. He loves to draw, thus following his interest for teaching!

Fewer labels on 弟弟’s diagram for simplicity:
-Skin 皮肤(膚) (pífū)
-Hair 毛 (máo)
-Blood vessels 血管 (xuèguǎn)
-Fat 脂肪 (zhīfáng)

Also learned that肥 ≠ 脂肪!

These are the human body books that we have, but our Chinese books don’t go into detail about the skin. Might be time to get new books!


100+ Picture books that celebrate Asians & Asian Americans. Please share with your schools & libraries; consider gifting & donating to encourage diversity & inclusion.🙏🏼

Because "Asian" is a broad term, I've organized this post by ethnicity. While we don't segregate books at home like this, understanding categories can give insight to representation and gaps in our children's experiences.

Many more book recs on my blog plus photos inside. This is just a starting point, not a comprehensive list!

Positive vs Negative Phrasing in Parenting & Advocacy (English / Chinese) 04/25/2021

Positive vs Negative Phrasing in Parenting & Advocacy (English / Chinese)

Comparing negative & positive phrasing; how to make our words more effective when talking to our kids. Also drawing analogies to advocacy/activism. I'd love to hear what other examples you have noticed a difference, too!

Positive vs Negative Phrasing in Parenting & Advocacy (English / Chinese) How do we get our kids to listen? Our success depends on our the framing effect: positive versus negative phrasing in parenting and advocacy.

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon Middle Grade Novel (English & Chinese) 04/18/2021

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon Middle Grade Novel (English & Chinese)

I've been struggling to find the right Chinese books for my 7-year-old. After a period of minimal reading, she found the English version of Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin on her shelf and devoured it in 2 days. When I found the Chinese version, she was SO estatic and is currently halfway through it! Links for the books in the post; please let me know your kids' favorite chapter book and middle grade novels, too!

PS. Her English reading has officially surpassed Chinese this year. Parents of younger kids, it's true that this happens in a blink of an eye!!

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon Middle Grade Novel (English & Chinese) Where the Mountain Meets the Moon 月夜仙踪 is a middle-grade, fantasy-adventure novel created by Grace Lin. Available in English and Chinese.

Make a Difference with This Email to Your Child's Teachers and Librarian 04/14/2021

Make a Difference with This Email to Your Child's Teachers and Librarian

A few days ago, I shared an email template that you can send to teachers/libraries to encourage diverse books. I typed out this version that you can easily copy / paste and adapt as needed. With permission, I'm sharing a reply from a librarian that a mom received after she sent the email! I hope this can encourage you to reach out to your schools and teachers!

Make a Difference with This Email to Your Child's Teachers and Librarian Use this email template to encourage schools and libraries to add more picture books about Asians for diversity and inclusion.


Beautiful message!!

We will teach our children to bridge the gap(s).
To be a part of the solution.
To use their unique biracial platform to create unity and common ground with all people groups.
To be empowered and to empower other people.
To be brave, rise up, and build others up.
To give people a chance.
To take opportunities to have the hard conversations.
To love everyone.
To show others that because they are God’s creation, they are made perfect in His image.
We will educate our kids on the history of their Black and Asian ancestors - the very people who paved the way for us and them.
We will teach our children to be the change by doing our part in being the change now.

This is our vow.



3 STAGES OF TEACHING NEW CONCEPTS : I find the Montessori 3-period framework to be so helpful, video examples & brief summary.


Naming & narrating comes naturally for most parents & teachers.

On the other hand, for bilingual families, caregivers might forget to modeling the minority language consistently. Tips for consistency in this post:


By asking kids to show / give you things & play matching games, you can see whether they recognize & understand a concept. This important stage often lasts the longest.

Think of the how long the nonverbal baby/toddler stage lasts! Also remember all of the bilingual people you know who can understand language but don’t feel confident enough to speak it!


After our kids regularly & accurately recognize a concept, they may be ready to verbalize this in their own words.

Try not to rush to this last stage. Constant questions can feel like pop quizzes; kids may lose confidence & interest fast!

Even when a child can verbalize a concept, often they still need to revisit stages 1 & 2 to solidify long-term memory.

50 Picture Books About Chinese and Taiwanese Americans for Kids 04/06/2021

50 Picture Books About Chinese and Taiwanese Americans for Kids

Favorite picture books featuring Chinese and Taiwanese people! Please share this with your schools and libraries to encourage diversity and inclusion. I've taken photos of the inside of most books and added a few thoughts, including whether or not there are downsides to consider. (Book list celebrating other Asian ethnicities coming soon!!)

Mina Learns Chinese - A bilingual Chinese/English kids book series Eugenia Chu, Author Grace Lin Author & Illustrator Jason Chin Edna Ma Amy Tan Livia Blackburne, Author Joanna Ho Lianne Ong, Children's Author Julie Leung Kat Zhang Jada Yuan Teresa Robeson Charlene Chua - Children's illustrator

50 Picture Books About Chinese and Taiwanese Americans for Kids Celebrating important picture books for kids about Chinese and Taiwanese Americans. Stories about life, food, culture, festivals, and more!



Talking to my kids about bias - Part 1: Discussion & optional Post-it note activity (1min 46 sec). Mostly English, some Mandarin Chinese.

We’re raising bilingual kids, but I’m not fluent in Chinese. I feel more comfortable talking about this topic in English, plus I made a grammar mistake in Chinese in this video🙈. Ahhh!! BUT I hope it reassures that it’s not about perfection but being humble & having an open heart!

This is not a comprehensive discussion, but one of many we will have over the years. What else do you think would be important to add?

“In an online study with a nationally representative sample, more than 600 participants were asked the earliest age at which they would talk with children about race. They were also asked when they thought children first develop behaviors and cognitive abilities relating to race and other social factors. More than half of the participants were parents while 40% were people of color. The research was published online in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General®.

The participants believed conversations about race should begin near a child’s fifth birthday even though children begin to be aware of race when they are infants. Previous research has shown that 3-month-old babies prefer faces from certain racial groups, 9-month-olds use race to categorize faces, and 3-year-old children in the U.S. associate some racial groups with negative traits. By age 4, children in the U.S. associate whites with wealth and higher status, and race-based discrimination is already widespread when children start elementary school.”

Excerpt from the American Psychological Association press release “Children Notice Race Several Years Before Adults Want to Talk About It” from August 27, 2020

Inspired by for sharing how they talked to their kids about racism - linked their videos here:

How to Talk To Asian Elders About Racism Crimes in Chinese and Korean 03/23/2021

How to Talk To Asian Elders About Racism Crimes in Chinese and Korean

Printables of Dr. Jenny Wang's tips on how to talk to Asian elders about hate crimes in English, Chinese, & Korean. Shared with permission from .

How to Talk To Asian Elders About Racism Crimes in Chinese and Korean Tips from a psychologist on how to talk to Asian elders about racism and violence in English, Chinese, and Korean with free printables.

Photos from Chalk Academy's post 03/20/2021

Starter guide for talking with family, friends, schools about racism

Whether or not you've used any of my free content over the years, I hope as a fellow human being, you’ll take a moment to read, save, and share this post.

Many of us have been dealing with racism for a lifetime, & it’s significantly worsened in the past year. One of the first things we can do is to examine our internal biases & be proactive about change. Learning how to be inclusive & speaking up takes practice. This is daily, lifelong work. Please: no more excuses & gaslighting.

Recommended books, videos, and resources on my blog: I welcome your suggestions for additional resources as well.

“Let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.” 1 John 3:18

Effective Ways to Praise Kids Instead of "Good Job" (Chinese and English) 03/05/2021

Effective Ways to Praise Kids Instead of "Good Job" (Chinese and English)

“Good job” & “好棒” often come out reflexively😆. Sharing the rationale for replacing those words plus printable lists of more specific phrases with Pinyin & Zhuyin. Feel free to add more suggestions!

Effective Ways to Praise Kids Instead of "Good Job" (Chinese and English) Effort and behavior-based praise are more effective than "good job". These examples in Chinese and English can empower our kids.

Living with Hearing Loss and Becoming a Bilingual Audiologist and Mom 02/20/2021

Living with Hearing Loss and Becoming a Bilingual Audiologist and Mom

Excited to share my friend, pediatric audiologist, Dr Michelle Hu’s inspiring story today! Mama Hu Hears! 💕

Living with Hearing Loss and Becoming a Bilingual Audiologist and Mom Dr. Michelle Hu shares about growing up and living with hearing loss and becoming a bilingual pediatric audiologist and mom.

30 Important Children's Books About Black History in Chinese and English 02/18/2021

30 Important Children's Books About Black History in Chinese and English

Giveaway!! {Closed - congratulations Anastacia Ebi} To celebrate Black History Month, re-sharing our book recs plus a chance to win 3 Chinese picture books from JoJo Learning! Details at the end of this post!

30 Important Children's Books About Black History in Chinese and English Although my children are Asian and learning Chinese, we all need children's books about black history in our homes and schools.

How Much is Enough for Lunar New Year? • CHALK Academy 02/12/2021

How Much is Enough for Lunar New Year? • CHALK Academy

For everyone who feels like they are perpetually stuck between cultures 🌿

How Much is Enough for Lunar New Year? • CHALK Academy Figuring out how much is enough for celebrating Lunar New Year as a Chinese-Korean-American family without our parents.


(Congrats J'ean Huan & Lisa Wong!!!) Int'l giveaway with Big Cities Little Foodies!!! Two people have a chance to win "Tastes of Lunar New Year 農曆新年的美味" (bilingual Chinese-English OR English only book)!! Instructions in this post:

(Book only; food not included)

Photos from Chalk Academy's post 02/07/2021

Language matters. As a Chinese-Korean-American family, we've heard both sides of the argument for this New Year greeting in English. So I try to use different terms in my posts depending on the context, probably imperfectly, but I want to consider the bigger picture of being a minority in the US. This post & caption from explains important nuances to consider. Would love to hear your thoughts, too!
REPOST with permission from / Shuli de la Fuente-Lau

Lunar New Year begins on February 12 this year! Why does it matter that we call it Lunar New Year and not just Chinese New Year?

Because many communities in Asia and in the Asian diaspora around the world celebrate this significant holiday! By calling it Chinese New Year, multiple groups who celebrate it too are excluded. Already, the Asian community experiences so much erasure and over-generalization. Let's not perpetuate that. Language matters and impact matters.

Last week, I posted this same content in my stories, and heard from an overwhelming number of you. Many of you asked if I could make this into a shareable post because it resonated. So many stories were shared, such as having to explain repeatedly to friends that it's not just Chinese New Year, when having an East/Southeast Asian face means society assumes you're Chinese, and a general lack of awareness. (You can see the original story in my Festivals Story Highlights.)

So, when can you call it Chinese New Year? Think: who is your audience? Call it Chinese New Year (though it sounds a little redundant) to those who identify as Chinese. Call it Tết to those who are Vietnamese. And so forth... Or call it Lunar New Year, if you are just not sure!

Being Asian is not a monolith. Do not over-simplify or over-generalize our identity. In the past several weeks, I've seen Lunar New Year book posts shared with books with just any Asian character. Not all Asians celebrate Lunar New Year, and not all books with Asian characters or Asian food is a Lunar New Year book. And YES, we need A LOT more cultural representation in books about LNY.

Another note: the Chinese pronunciation in my slides is Mandarin. There are more than 200 Chinese dialects, and pronunciation differs depending on the dialect. Also, I may not have not captured all communities who celebrate, so please drop a note if I missed any nuances.

Lunar New Year usually falls on the second new moon after the winter solstice, and occurs sometime between mid-January to mid-February. It is a time of amazing food, family togetherness, and newness. If you celebrate - Happy New Year to you soon! If you don't celebrate, thanks for learning alongside. 💛


🧧Growing up in a small town in New York, we didn’t really celebrate Asian holidays, but it‘s been fun to learn about history & traditions with my kids!

Last year, my kids had a blast helping me make this cardboard market inspired by .cheong.omatti & . The decorations are free printables from my website! A year later, this cardboard house is still well loved!

If you don’t have time or big boxes, I hope you can still enjoy the printables! Details & downloads here:

Playroom Before and After: 11 Tips for Decluttering with Kids 01/26/2021

Playroom Before and After: 11 Tips for Decluttering with Kids

January is always a big declutter month for us! Currently going through the steps in this post - will be giving a friend lots of outgrown toddler stuff & dropping other things off at a consignment store!

Playroom Before and After: 11 Tips for Decluttering with Kids To optimize focus and independence, we are constantly decluttering with our kids. Here's our playroom before and after decluterring with these 11 tips!

Baking Soda and Vinegar Experiments: Color Explosion Science for Kids! 01/15/2021

Baking Soda and Vinegar Experiments: Color Explosion Science for Kids!

Fun experiments that you may have even done as a kid! Summarized the science & listed key Chinese words/phrases with Pinyin. Always a hit with my son & daughter - let me know if you try it!

Baking Soda and Vinegar Experiments: Color Explosion Science for Kids! My kids love baking soda and vinegar experiments, especially color explosions! Try these chemical reactions and learn bilingual translations!

Best 20 Chinese New Year Activities and Crafts for Home and School! 01/13/2021

Best 20 Chinese New Year Activities and Crafts for Home and School!

Lunar New Year falls on Feb 12 this year! Here are some of our favorite Chinese crafts and activities for this holiday!🥳

Best 20 Chinese New Year Activities and Crafts for Home and School! Chinese New Year (Lunar New Year) marks the start a new Zodiac year. Here are 20+ engaging Chinese New Year crafts and activities to ring in the new year!


My husband went to church with Andy Kim when they were kids, and while they didn’t know each other well, their moms are good friends. He always heard about Andy and knew him as a genuine, down-to-Earth guy. It’s amazing to see this moment of humanity being amplified in the news. This is what our kids need to see more of.

From Andy Kim’s Instagram: "A lot of you may have seen this photo this week. It was taken by a photojournalist who risked his own life by being in the Capitol during the violence. It captures an extraordinary moment in our history, but we should remember that we are all ordinary people in extraordinary times.

What I did isn’t special. It’s the same thing that drives us to volunteer at a homeless shelter or donate to a food bank: the idea that if we see something is broken, we can work to fix it."

📝: Andy Kim - caption source:

📷: Andy Harnik / AP - source & more images here:

Child-Led, Hands-On, Active Learning for Kids!

My name is Betty, and I’m a Chinese-American mom of a 6-year-old girl and 3-year-old boy. I’m married to my best friend, a Korean-American guy, and we are raising our kids trilingual (English, Chinese, Korean). CHALK stands for Child-Led, Hands-On, Active Learning for Kids - our Montessori-inspired home learning style.

One of my biggest childhood regrets was rejecting my Chinese heritage. Now as a parent, I appreciate the culture and language and hope my kids can, too. We are learning Chinese together, and it’s been a challenging but fun adventure!

I love sharing ideas and resources that have helped my family learn Chinese. Before my daughter turned 5, I taught her over 1000 Chinese characters. She has been self-motivated to learn Chinese writing.

Both of my children speak Chinese and English comfortably together, and they understand Korean.

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Someday, you'll fall in love with learning again.




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