My Story

G’day 你好,

I’m Panda Mama Maggie.

I’m the creator of Panda Mama Chinese, my personal blog. 

I use my blog to document, share and inspire liked-minded parents in HOMESCHOOLING CHINESE, raising MONEY-SMART KIDS, and practising INTENTIONAL PARENTING.

Welcome to my tribe!

Why Do I Blog?

Not because I’m a writer. In fact, it’s totally the opposite. I’m dealing with numbers all the time being an accountant (MIPA) and writing has never been my forte.

What makes it more daunting is that English is my second language!

Although I’ve been making living from being bilingual, deep inside, I always think there is room for improvement for my English language skills – the imposter syndrome, maybe.

That being said, I’m still determined to blog and to create a community to document our family journey, share and inspire like-minded parents in homeschooling Chinese, raising money-smart kids and practising intentional parenting. 

Raising a bilingual daughter myself,  I know this is not the path for everyone. It requires lots of commitment and persistence from us as parents. But, I still decided to go down this less-traveled path and I have my reasons. Read Why I decided to homeschool my child Mandarin Chinese?

Let’s face it. Teaching a child Mandarin Chinese from home is not an easy task even for me, a native Chinese speaker.

It’s even harder for you particularly when you have other work commitments and you don’t speak a word of Chinese.

But you still want your child to learn Mandarin Chinese because you know all the benefits that come with mastering this language.

 

Yet, you don’t have the resources like:

* Jim Rogers hires a governess to his daughters to learn Chinese, or

* Ivanka Trump pays $$$$$ a year for a Mandarin-speaking nanny for her children to be immersed in Chinese,  or

* Prince William and Kate send their children to an elite private school where Mandarin is taught.

I can go on and on about the list of rich and famous families that pay big bucks to have their children learning Mandarin Chinese.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with those parents who pay big $ for their children to learn Mandarin Chinese. They are just parents wanting to give the best for their children and good on them!

But, what about us parents who have to work from 9-5? What could we do to help our children to learn Mandarin Chinese? Do we have to get rich to do that?

The answer is NO.

I can assure you that working a parent like you and me with no access to a quality Chinese teacher CAN  teach our children Mandarin Chinese from home without breaking the bank. That’s right, even if you don’t speak a word of Chinese.

What you do need, though, are your time, long-term commitment, and find a reliable online source for your child to learn from. 

I hope my blog can be one of those online learning sources and community where you can trust and turn to when you need one.

Believe it or not. When I started teaching my daughter Mandarin Chinese after her 5th birthday in May 2019, this blog was NOT a part of my plan because

Firstly, I’m not a trained teacher.

Secondly, I have an accounting business to run. All I could spare was about 30 minutes a day in the mornings to teach my daughter before we all go about our day.

But, as time goes by, I’ve seen a HUGE positive impact on my daughter in a short period of time. Not only that I saw her Chinese language skills improved, but her overall interest in learning other things as well. I never thought I would enjoy homeschooling as much as I did. I was hooked!

I started to spend more and more time (yes nights and weekends) on researching and creating teaching materials that fit into our daily schedule, which is about a maximum of 30 minutes a day during weekdays. Because my daughter was and still is little, whatever I taught, I also had to make sure it’s FUN for her because that’s the only motivator for her to keep learning for years to come.

So, over time, I’ve accumulated a bunch of FUN Chinese learning games, ideas, and resources. The more I do it, the more I discovered the creative side that I didn’t even know I had. Then I started to think:

Maybe I could help other busy parents who love to teach their children Mandarin Chinese at home but don’t have the resources or don’t know how. 

Maybe I could teach kids speak Mandarin and be literate in Simplified Chinese – just like the way I teach my daughter.

With those thoughts in mind, Panda Mama blog was born in Oct 2019. I have since then dedicated all my spare time to building this blog in addition to teaching my daughter Chinese and running my accounting business. As busy as it is, I’m loving it. 

A year into my blogging journey,  precisely from January 2021 after Christmas break, I’ve decided to add two more topics that I feel passionate about on my blog. They are:

Intentional Parenting, and

Money-smart Kids

Why? In short, we all know raising children is not just about teaching them the Chinese language. There’s so much more!

I don’t know about you. I’m a slow learner. By organising, jotting down, and sharing my thoughts on my blog, I’m actually learning as well. So it’s a win-win.smile Read Why Raise Money-smart Kids and Practice Intentional Parenting? My 2021 Resolutions!

 

What Can You Expect From My Blog?

The tips + resources you can find on my blog are all practical and play-based, which caters from 3 years old up to 8. My daughter is 6.5 at the moment at the time of writing this info (Jan.2021). When she grows older, I’ll no doubt add more stuff that suits older children. 

Being an online community, I create all my content to suit both parents for teaching and kids for learning at home. The way I do is that

For parents, I use my blog, shop and social media  (Facebook , YouTubeInstagram, and Pinterest) to provide printables, ideas, tips and inspirations to assist you.

For kiddies, I use YouTube videos that incorporate Chinese storytime and games etc. so that your child or you can watch and learn Mandarin Chinese from me. This is particular beneficial if you are a non-Mandarin speaking parent.

On my blog, I typically write topics on

Homeschool Chinese – my goal is to help you in teaching your child speaking fluent Mandarin and be literate in Simplified Chinese.

Intentional Parenting and Money-smart Kids –  These are new topics from January 2021. More content will be added on my blog.

On average, I publish one blog post or a video each Friday. Occasionally, if I’m busy with my accounting work, I’ll publish the 2nd week. There is only so much this woman can do! laughing

I’d love to keep you updated if you SUBSCRIBE to my blog below, or sign up anywhere on my website where shows a signup form.

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About Our Family

We are a bilingual family of three living in Perth, Australia. I came to Australia in 2007. I was born in Leshan, Sichuan, China. My Chinese family members are all living in China. 

I call myself Panda Mama is because, you guessed it, pandas live in Sichuan where I was born. 

I speak three languages: Mandarin, English, and Leshan dialect (a type of Sichuan dialect).

I left my hometown in my early 20s and studied English at age 24 as a second language in Yantai, Shandong, China.

Before coming to Australia, I worked as an interpreter in Yantai in various companies including the last one, a British-invested superyacht building project ‘NERO‘ where I met my soulmate now my husband for over 15 years as at the time of writing this page (Jan. 2021).

I did my accounting studies after I came to Australia and have graduated with a Master of Commerce in Professional Accounting from the University of New England. 

Prior to my accounting business,  have worked in luxury yacht-building and investment consulting companies as a bookkeeper, accountant, investment advisor, and company director.  

Now, I’m working from home as a freelance accountant (MIPA).

Along with reading, cooking, workout, family time, I’m OBSESSED about creating FUN activities to teaching my daughter Mandarin Chinese.  Now I’ve added Intentional Parenting and Money-smart Kids topics on my blog, I’m sure I’ll have lots of fun with her as well.

Hubbie Mark is a NACE 2 certified coating inspector, an Aussie bloke who loves a shrimp oops sorry prawn on the barbie, cold beer, cricket and Aussie football.

Mark is our handyman at home. Mylee calls him Super Daddy because he can fix pretty much anything.cool

Mark loves gardening. Here is our backyard.

To encourage our daughter to get her hands dirty, Mark has prepared a little garden for Mylee as well. 

Also, we have a couple of chicken pets called: surprise surprise… Anna and Elsa!

Mark also enjoys carpentry. Here are some of the wooden toys Mark made for Mylee.

 

We use the ‘one parent and one language’ method at home because Mark only speaks English. I primarily speak Mandarin with my daughter. Sometimes I speak English with her if really can’t avoid it. 

Since my daughter was born in 2014, I’ve found my new PASSION and the most HIGHLY PAID job in the world, being a mum!

This job is demanding for sure but pays MILLIONS!

It was because I loved my ‘new job’ so much, I consciously chose to ditch the 9-5 and start my accounting business working from home.

That way, I was able to ‘‘ live in luxury” (not in $ sense) and have the flexibility to be there for my daughter, watch her school performances, read stories and tug her in bed early. 

You know, just watching her grow and doing the simple stuff with a child that most of the parents love.  kiss

How to contact, connect and interact with me?

For any queries or ideas that you don’t mind sharing with other parents, please go to Panda Mama Facebook and post your message there.

Let other parents join the conversation. You will realise that you are not alone, and we are most likely facing the same struggles.

I’m active on all of my social media below:

 

For all other private queries or inquiries, please email hello@pandamama.com.au, or send me a message on my contact page.

If I’m not busying creating FUN teaching stuff, or playing with my daughter, you can expect me to reply within the same day.

Happy teaching and learning. All the best from our family to yours.

Panda Mama Maggie smile

学中文

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I’d love to connect with you!