My mother lives in California and has been trying to teach my 4.5 year old Bo Po Mo Fo.
Turns out that's not only way out-dated in China (they have been using Pin Yin for everything for a century or so according to a friend who was born and raised there), it's also Really hard for me to maintain my child's interest since I am learning all of it for the first time too (as an ABC who never took Chinese classes in my youth. I started in college just for fun and interest - and it was available. It was Also 100% Pin Yin), while trying to raise two children with just my husband (a sailor who's gone for months sometimes), a handful of local friends, but without any family nearby.
Sooo if anyone's interested in starting a group - preferably for 4 year-olds and up (because attention spans before that age in my limited experience are neither long enough to work with nor able to be managed when trying to keep the 4 year-olds interested and learning) - to try to just meet up to talk Chinese to the best of our ability for a one or two hour stretch and hopefully learn some characters and basics, it'd be like a playdate plus education or extracurricular activity for the older children.
Of course if there happens to be local people who Can in fact speak English and Mandarin fluently, you are very valuable and I would love to hear from you! We can work on curricula together if you want!