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  21/11/2023

A Six-Year-Old’s Dream: Reading Over Sleeping

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To instill a passion for reading in your child, Mrs. Hoa has shared some secrets for mothers.

Little Hina (6 years old) currently lives with her family in Japan. Mrs. Hoa, Hina’s mother, says that her daughter is extremely fond of books. Hina confided in her mother, “”””If I had one wish, I wish I didn’t need to sleep but could remain healthy to spend all 24 hours reading lots of books. Sleeping feels like a waste of time, doesn’t it, Mom?”””” Her words surprised Mrs. Hoa; despite being young, Hina has very mature thoughts.

Hina is a child who loves to read in all three languages: Japanese, English, and Vietnamese. Hina started reading at a very early age; she began reading in Japanese when she was just over 2 years old, and by the age of 3, she could read books in English and Vietnamese. Currently, Hina has over 1,400 books in all three languages, covering various topics.

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Many mothers wonder how to make a tiny child love books so much. Chi Hoa shares that creating an environment and a habit of reading for Hina from a young age is the key reason her child loves books. According to Chi Hoa, forming habits from an early age is much easier than when a child is older. Books are an endless source of knowledge in all areas of life that humanity has accumulated during its research and development. Therefore, absorbing this vast knowledge helps children easily gain beneficial “”””knowledge”””” in their learning, awareness, and future work. 

In addition to nurturing a love for reading, parents should also expose their child to the outside world to gain practical experiences and learn about the real world. This helps children develop the ability to compare and balance the knowledge they acquire from books with real-life knowledge, making reading more interesting for them.

Below are some tips from this young mother, hoping they will be useful for parents.

1. Bookshelf with Age-Appropriate Books

For children aged 0-2 years, it’s best to choose a spacious room where they can easily sit, read, or explore books. This also makes it easier for parents to read to their children. As they grow a bit older, consider placing a small sofa with a child-sized table and chairs. I find that having a sofa is very helpful as it allows the child to sit comfortably, lean back while reading, or even change positions during long reading sessions to avoid fatigue. A small study table comes in handy for reading, taking notes, or looking up information in heavier books. It’s important to respect your child’s reading time and avoid speaking loudly, which can disrupt their concentration.

3. Play Gentle Background Music

Choose soothing background music with low volume; it helps create a peaceful atmosphere for reading, allowing your child to be completely at ease. Additionally, instrumental music can enhance your child’s learning experience due to its gentle melodies.

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4. Choose Books Based on Your Child’s Interests

For children aged 0-1 year, parents can simply select age-appropriate books. During this stage, exposing children to a variety of books from different fields and genres can be beneficial. Listening to many books helps children remember more words, enriching their vocabulary. This is also a crucial period for language development, as children become more expressive and knowledgeable when they start speaking. Building a love for books during this phase will set the foundation for a lifelong reading habit, so parents should be supportive and read with their children.

If your child is not yet in the habit of reading and is just beginning, it’s a good idea to choose books based on their interests. For example, if your child likes princesses, invest in books about princesses. If they love animals, get a variety of books featuring animals.

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Once your child shows an interest in books, gradually introduce them to different subjects. For example, if your child loves animals, you can schedule visits to the zoo and bring books along to explore the animals they see in real life. This connection to real-world experiences makes learning more enjoyable and accelerates your child’s knowledge acquisition.

When your child is around 3 years old and older, consider adding books that teach principles, rules, and proper behavior in life. These books help shape your child’s values, manners, and healthy conduct.

5. Be There Whenever Your Child Wants to Read

If your child suddenly wants you to read a particular book, make an effort to stop whatever you’re doing and read with them, even if you’re busy.

There may be times when you think, “”””I can read to them later; what’s the rush?”””” However, for children, not getting the attention they seek during that moment can easily dampen their enthusiasm.

Purchase bookshelves that are suitable for your child’s height and choose age-appropriate books with attractive illustrations. Children aged 0-2 should prioritize books with more pictures and fewer words. Select hardcover books that are easier for children to flip through and minimize book tearing. While it’s not encouraged, tearing books to explore and learn during a child’s development is natural. Parents should understand the child’s psychology and development to create a better environment for their development.

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2. Create a Comfortable Reading Space Inside the House

The reading corner is where the child spends most of their time with books. The reading space is crucial, allowing the child to immerse themselves in books gently and comfortably, avoiding frequent interruptions.

In our family, after dinner, everyone gathers together to read books during this time. About 5-10 minutes after a meal, we all read a book with Hina. Either dad reads to Hina while mom sits beside to watch and listen, or mom reads to Hina while dad sits beside. When the child reads on their own, both dad and mom also sit and read their favorite books.

Repeated actions over time will form habits, and from there, the habit of reading for the child will develop sooner or later.

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According to the author of the book “”””Psychocybernetics”””” by Maxwell Maltz, repeating an action for 21 days will create a neural pathway and form a habit. I believe it varies for each individual, and the impact can result in the formation of habits over different durations. So, mothers should not be too anxious if they haven’t seen this habit in their child yet. Just keep accompanying them every day to help them develop the habit and passion for reading. Also, remember to praise and encourage them even when they read just a little.

7. Summarize the Content

After each story in the book that parents read to the child or the child reads on their own, encourage the child to recount the content of the book that they remember (without pressure; anything they say is fine). As the child grows, the ability to summarize the content in a paragraph is essential. For example, now that Hina is 6 years old, after reading a passage, she can summarize the content very well.

“”””These are my personal experiences during my journey with Hina. I hope this sharing is helpful to you. Wishing all children a passion for reading every day,”””” shared Ms. Hoa.

(Source: phunuvietnam.vn)

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