December 2022

Parents Zone

Nurturing children’s interest in reading

Written by : New Horizons Development Centre
Registered Educational Psychologist Pang Chi Wah

A hundred years ago, illiteracy was a normal thing. But since education became widespread decades ago, it is now necessary to go to school to receive an education. Learning is not only through the direct transmission of knowledge by teachers through language, students also need to read textbooks by themselves. When doing homework or taking exams, students are tested on their concentration and speed when reading.

More than 30 years ago, the basic qualification for firefighters was graduation from the sixth grade, but today, even college graduates may not be able to get into firefighting. Modern fires do not only require firefighters to be physically fit and able to put out fires with water, but some fires are very complex and require special methods and chemicals to put out.

Reading skills are needed in all walks of life

Whether they are blue-collar or white-collar workers, they need to handle documents and files, read other people’s reports or instructions, and write their own reports. So the need to read and handle paperwork is everywhere. In the past, illiterate people could withdraw money from banks, but with modern ATMs, not only can we withdraw money, but we can also pay different fees, but our concentration and speed in reading is very much tested.

When we are adults, we have to sign many contracts, and there are many clauses in the contract, and the font size is small but quantity is large, it is also a big test of reading. Modern people often have to search for information on the Internet, which also requires the ability to read, that is, the ability to visually search for symbolic words and speed.

Nurturing children’s interest in reading

Cultivate children’s interest in reading and develop good habits. Although reading books is fine, reading newspapers is a good habit that everyone must develop, whether they are civilians or presidents and professors, they need to read newspapers regularly because this is the only way to keep up with the information of the society, to understand the changes around the world, and to master the liberal thinking.

Although there is now a very convenient TV news, as if they do not need to read, listening to TV news seems more convenient. But in fact, in addition to reading newspapers to learn the news and current events, more continuous training of the ability to deal with words and reading newspapers can be carried out at anytime and anywhere, newspapers can be said to be the textbook of the Society in general. This is everyone “to do old, learn until old,” the rule of thumb.

Parents Zone

Exercise to strengthen the brain function. Three moves to make children love sports


I participated in a professional development exchange program for teachers in Taiwan earlier, and I was inspired by the emphasis on sports in Taiwan education, which I would like to share with parents. One of the schools on the exchange was the “Tiger Forest Elementary School”, a version of the Sports Institute Elementary School. As soon as we entered the school, the students welcomed us with a gymnastic exercise promoted by the government. They moved their hands and feet together to the beat and made all kinds of warm-up movements, which made people feel that they were as lively as the old tigers, and I was like entering a forest full of old tigers.

Sports can strengthen children’s learning ability

rincipal Lau of Tiger Forest Primary School said the school is a government priority school, focusing on the physical development of students and believes that sports can strengthen their learning ability. Based on the research of John J. Ratey, MD, clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, they promote a zero-hour exercise program. The program encourages students to be physically active at all times, i.e., Anytime. During recess, students run to the playground to play sports. They play dodgeball, climbing frames, or badminton, and all students enjoy every moment of exercise.

Benefits of Exercise to Strengthen Brain Function

Exercise is known to be physically stimulating, but in Ratey’s research, he points out more benefits of exercise for the brain. He describes the brain as a message processing center that transmits messages through different transmitters (chemicals) in different pathways. When exercising, the brain can effectively produce more transmitters and strengthen the pathways, allowing messages to travel faster and more accurately.

Applying the theory to learning, students use exercise to strengthen their brain function, which in turn improves their learning performance. Studies have shown that exercise improves students’ concentration and memory, both of which are necessary for successful learning. In addition, exercise enables the brain to produce Dopamine (a chemical that makes students feel happy), which makes learning more enjoyable and leads to better grades.

How can I get my child to love sports?

In order for children to enjoy the time and benefits of sports, parents need to get their children to love sports. Here are three suggestions:

  1. Sporadic exercise
    Give your child more opportunities to play sports, such as providing the right time, tools, and place, and make sure the environment is safe for parents.
  2. Healthy exercise
    Teach your child to do exercise for the love of health and mention the health benefits of exercise.
  3. Exercise together
    Enjoy the moment of exercise with your child and enjoy the good time of parent-child relationship.