My daughter is 9 and she's having trouble remembering her Kanji. She's learning the regular Japanese school system way (grade 1, 2, etc), but since she's in an English-speaking country she's not immersed in the language. Even with a Japanese mother she's just losing her motivation after forgetting kanji over and over again.
I am studying with Heisig's Remembering the Kanji (RTK), and I am a firm believer in the visual imagination method of memorizing. We both use Anki for reviewing.
But I can't switch her over to RTK for a few reasons (everyone knows these reasons, and Heisig acknowledges them, which is why he never claims that children should use his system):
- The English vocabulary needed is above her level, especially for abstract concepts that appear in the very first lessons of Heisig.
- The stories are also above her level (maturity, language, imagery)
- RTK is designed for adults who can handle memorizing all 2,200 (6th ed) before learning readings. It doesn't work if you jump around to completely different kanji with totally different primitives, and if you do you lose the effectiveness of the system.
- RTK is not designed so that children apply their new kanji knowledge in simple age-appropriate sentences (The sky looks pretty outside in winter. It will rain on Tuesday in the afternoon. The monkey fell off the tree-branch.) These are similar to the Grade 1 sentences she's learning, but involve kanji that are only learned after hundreds of simpler kanji (simpler in terms of primitives in the RTK system, not concept).
Is there a better way for children to learn Kanji than the Japanese school-child method, but one that is still age-appropriate?
Edit: I don't intend this question to be directly about Heisig's method (that's just one example of how adults have used a different and more effective way to learn the kanji), and I'm not asking for study materials or resources. Nor is it about my situation in particular -- we just happen to live outside of Japan.
To clarify: I'm trying to understand how children learn Japanese Kanji, and if that can be improved by what we've learned works with adults. Has anyone else studied this problem?