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Build a Daily Chinese Reading Routine with Luka®

Build a Daily Chinese Reading Routine with Luka®

Four years ago, my 8-year-old son resisted learning Chinese. That's when I brought Luka® the reading robot into our home. Despite being a native Chinese speaker, my demanding career made it tough to devote hours to his Chinese education.

Over the years, I've tried many things to help children build Chinese proficiency in an English-dominated environment. Establishing a daily reading routine has been a game-changer for my kids and those I've assisted.

In the past four years, my two sons have faithfully read at least one Chinese book every day. Of course on occasions they miss a day or two, but on other days they read more to make up for it. This consistent practice has greatly boosted their vocabulary and motivation. 

Establishing a daily reading routine is one of the most effective ways to build Chinese proficiency. However, most young Chinese learners face great hurdles when it comes to reading Chinese books. Firstly, Chinese books may not be readily available at libraries. Secondly, our young readers may not yet be able to read Chinese independently.

Let Luka ®, the reading robot, help establish a daily reading routine regardless of your child’s reading level.

If your child reads one book a day, they could read over 360 Chinese books a year! By cultivating the small habit of reading a Chinese book each day, big improvement in your child's language proficiency can be achieved.

Four Laws to Build a Daily Habit of Reading

Drawing inspiration from James Clear's book 'Atomic Habits' and its Laws of Behavior Change, let's start the habit of daily Chinese reading by following these simple steps that have helped many people build life-changing habits: 

1. Make it obvious:

Place Luka® and the Chinese books in a highly visible and easily accessible location at home, ideally in a high-traffic area that your child cannot ignore. Ensure the area is comfortable for your child to sit and read as well. 

2. Make it easy:

Implement the idea of a book box. Each day, work with your child to select one or two books and place them in a physical box with Luka ®. When it's time to read, there is minimal friction or decision-making involved. The process becomes automatic, and all the child needs to do is turning on Luka to start reading. Make sure your Luka ® is charged! At times, my children missed out on their daily reading simply because they had to go through the hassle of charging their robot. In addition, label the box with your child's name to foster a sense of ownership. 

daily chinese reading with Luka jojo learning

 

3. Make it attractive:

Provide your child with incentives to read and associate reading Chinese with positive thinking. Highlight the benefits of building their language skills and becoming a Chinese reading black belt! Consider celebrating small milestones, such as every 10 books read, by taking them to an ice cream shop. If your child has daily screen time, consider making it a reward for them after they've finished reading their Chinese books.

4. Make it satisfying:

Select books that are at the right level for your child. These books should be slightly challenging but still allow them to comprehend about 70% of the content. Don't give up if they can't understand every word and sentence. Utilize picture books as a scaffold to aid comprehension, as they play a significant role in building Chinese literacy.

Here are some of our most beloved book series, carefully curated across various reading levels. Each book set features multiple books centered around engaging topics or beloved characters, providing the ideal opportunity to immerse your child in extensive reading this summer.  

Bigginger Books : Ideal for preschool to early elementary school children just starting to learn Chinese. Check more beginner's books here

 My first series about Nature 我的第一套自然认知书9787545611946By 何佳芬&刘书瑜
China

My First Series About Nature  我的第一套自然认知书 (wǒ de dì yī tào zì rán rèn zhī shū(20-Book Set)

This 我的第一套自然认知书 is a real treasure. It features over 300 stunning color photographs that capture marvelous moments of mother nature. Because the text is limited to one line per page and because it is relatively simple, this is one of the first sets of books that young Chinese learners can learn to read independently. 

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Fukami Fantastic Imagination 深见春夫超级想象力9787121268960
By 深见春夫,
Japan 

 Fukami Fantastic Imagination 深见春夫超级想象力图画书(shēn jiàn chūn fū chāo jí xiǎng xiàng lì tú huà shū) (15-Book Set)

A Japanese original set recommended by Chinese immersion school teachers. The text is simple and short, yet shines with engaging plots.  Stories that are simple enough for a 3 year old to comprehend, yet sophisticated enough for a 9 year old to fall in love with. 

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The Wild Cat Crew 野猫军团系列 Chinese children Book 9787544857529
By 工藤纪子,
Japan

 The Wild Cat Crew  野猫军团系列 (yě māo jun tuán xì liè) (5 Book Set)

Hilariously imaginative and chock full of incidental vocabulary in the illustrations (ex. store names, food labels, price tags, etc), these books are fantastic! These 8 cats are always getting into trouble. At the end of each book, however, after a gentle reminder from the dog, we find them putting things back in order. 

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Mo Willems Elephant and Piggie 开心小猪和大象哥哥9787513318303
By Mo Willems,
United States

Mo Willems Elephant & Piggie 开心小猪和大象哥哥(kāi xīn xiǎo zhū hé dà xiàng gē ge) (17-Book Set)

Mo Willems' creative genius translated into Simplified Chinese!    

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Car Doodle Series 汽车嘟嘟嘟系列  Chinese children Book 9787544838443 Fumiko Takeshita
By Fumiko Takeshita,
Japan

Car Doodle Series 汽车嘟嘟嘟系列 (qì chē dū dū dū xì liè) (10-Book Set)

These Car Doodle books are our absolute favorite for vehicle lovers. This 10-book collection covers 600 kinds of vehicles. Each book focuses on one vehicle but introduces dozens of others. In this series, kids will also learn about 15 occupations!

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Intermediate Books: Ideal for children with prior exposure to Chinese, particularly mid to high-grade elementary school children, as well as middle school children. Explore more intermediate books here.  

Science Around Me 蒲公英科学绘本Chinese children Book 9787553656137

By Yeon-gyeong Jung,
Korea

Science Around Me 蒲公英科学绘本系列(pú gōng yīng kē xué huì běn xì liè) (40-Book Set)

Originally published in Korean, this set is a fantastic way to introduce kids learning Chinese to a variety of everday scientific concepts from shadows to gravity. 

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Max Velthuijs 青蛙弗洛格Frog 9787556207091
By Max Velthuijs,
Netherlands

Frog 青蛙弗洛格(qīng wā fú luò gé) (26-Book Set)

Traslated into 50 languages, this award-winning Dutch series is loved by parents and teachers all over the world because of the way that author Max Vehthuijs has made difficult subjects and feelings understandable for young children.

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Les Ptites Poules Chinese 不一样的卡梅拉9787556826674
By Christian Jolibois,
France

Les P'tites Poules 不一样的卡梅拉 (bù yī yàng dí qiǎ méi lā) (15-Book Set, with Pinyin)

This French series has been beautifully translated into Chinese and is so popular in China that its main character, 卡梅拉 (kǎ méi lā), has become a household name there. Loved by readers for its fresh style and interesting stories, this set will motivate a child to take their reading to the next level with the assistance of Pinyin. 

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Monkey King 美猴王9787505440753

By 吴承恩,
China

Monkey King Classic Collection 美猴王系列丛书 (měi hóu wáng xì liè cóng shū) (32-Book Set)

This beautiful set of books is a timeless must-have for any Chinese children's book collection. Each book is a 30 mnites engaging screen free audio book experience with Luka!

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Martine Chinese 玛蒂娜故事书 9787545605105

By Gilbert Delhaye& Marcel Marlier,
Belgium

 

Martine Classic Collection 玛蒂娜故事书 (mǎ dì nà gù shì shū) (60-Book Set)

100 million copies, translated into 33 languages, sold in 50 countries--this is another classic of world children's literature that we are surprised is not better known in the U.S.! Originally written in French by Gilberty Dehlaye, it is illustrator Marcel Marlier's detailed oil paintings that transcend language and transport readers from around the world through space and time to experience the idyllic Belgian childhood of Martine!

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I hope these tips prove to be as beneficial for your family as they have been for my own.

Be well, do good work, and read, read, and read! Foster a daily habit of reading Chinese in your children. Small habit, big gain!

Happy learning,

Christine, Co-founder of JoJo Learning

Related blog: 

100 Best Chinese Children's Books by Age - 2023

 

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