To inspire a movement of new Chinese learners and to empower them with the cultural and linguistic fluency to solve the world's biggest challenges.
Mandarin-English fluency is going to be a defining skill for the next generation.
Busy parents in the English-speaking world struggle to create engaging Mandarin learning experiences for their children at home.
To make the best Chinese resources accessible and fun for young Mandarin learners and their families.
Hi! We're Christine and Caelyn and we are the founders of JoJo Learning. We're so glad you found your way to our About Us page because our founding story drives every decision we make about the company. We are always our own first customers. If we wouldn't buy something for our kids, we don't sell it. This is essentially our true north: building or curating products that we know that our kids will love and will learn from. We care about raising great kids who will become great adults. We think the great leaders in our kids' generation will need to be culturally and linguistically fluent in order to help solve the world's challenges in their time.
In 2017, we were two moms independently struggling to raise Chinese speaking kids in the U.S.
One day we met at a work event and instantly bonded over our shared challenges.
We couldn’t believe how hard it was to raise kids in the U.S. who are fluent in Chinese, so, we spent almost two years doing research, and here is what we learned:
- We were not alone…there were parents all over the country struggling the same way we were.
- Families face three major challenges: they lack a truly immersive Chinese environment in daily life; children lose interest and motivation to continue with Chinese learning as they reach school age; and both parents and children are very, very busy...they have limited time to devote to learning Chinese
- Most families, like us, prioritized oral proficiency in Chinese, but struggled to find enough opportunities to make every day Chinese interactions fun, meaningful, and relevant to the kids’ lives.
- Very few families focused on literacy, but, the ones who did seemed to see the best results as their kids got older.
We were particularly intrigued by that last bit of learning. As we thought more about it though, we couldn’t believe that it hadn’t occurred to us earlier.
Everywhere in the English-speaking world people talk about the importance of reading to kids—teachers talk about it, librarians talk about it, speech therapists and pediatricians talk about. The Ad Council in the U.S. even runs ads talking about how important it is for children’s social, emotional, and language development to read to them and to encourage them to learn to read.
The reason all these people and organizations encourage reading is because reading literally broadens a child’s world by broadening his or her vocabulary. Books and stories provide a child with access to language that helps him understand himself and the world around him. By reading about a child who is upset, he learns language to express his own emotions. By reading a story about dinosaurs, he learns about history, ecology, and biology. Literacy and language go hand in hand.
As we read, we also learned more about how a child’s social and emotional milestones will make learning a minority language (i.e. a language that is not widely spoken in his community) much harder when he reaches the age of 7 because he will increasingly become more self-conscious and sensitive about things that differentiate him from his peers and community. So, when it comes to language learning, it is best for a child to have a solid foundation in and a positive association with the language before the age of 7.
When we came to these realizations, we altered the approach that we were using with our own kids.
We saw such striking and dramatic results as we introduced a literacy component to our kids’ at home Chinese education that we knew that we needed to help empower others with the knowledge we had gained and with the resources that they could use to replicate our results and raise their own Chinese speakers and readers.
Ultimately, we decided this mission was so important that we quit our corporate jobs in order to do something to change it!
Thus, JoJo was born 😊!