Thursday, January 21, 2016

Do it TODAY to Improve Your Kids' Vocabulary

When I was working on my answers to the questions for the Liebster Award, it occurred to me that I really do have a ton of print in my home.  And I think one of the reasons my kids enjoy reading and writing so much is that they have been exposed to words, and not just little words, for all of their lives.  It's a curse when you have two teachers as parents.

So, I wanted to share a little bit about how we have made learning new words and increasing vocabulary a priority in our house.  I am constantly learning myself, so I want to make sure to stay on top of the new words my kids are learning as well.

For little kids...
  1. Use your regular vocabulary when talking.   The other day I told Camden we were going to consolidate his trucks into one basket and my big boys said, "Mom, he doesn't know that word."  Well, he's never going to if I don't use it in front of him, and the sooner the better!
  2. Read, read, read!  Read favorites over and over, but don't forget the excitement of a brand new story.  Camden got the book, Winnie (see The Power of Books) for Christmas, and we have enjoyed it so much.  My favorite reading of it was the first time though.  There were so many opportunities for making predictions and inferences, and discovering how characters were feeling and what they may be thinking.  Winnie quickly became a favorite, and we have read it at least once every day since Christmas.
  3. Label.  Camden often helps sort the laundry, so having the laundry baskets labelled with the boys' names helps him begin to recognize how his name and his brothers' names look.  Other labels that assist in his learning words are in the pantry, playroom, craft storage, and laundry room.

For big kids...
  1. Install Webster's Dictionary on your phone or ipad.  The app is a great one to have handy when you are reading to yourself or with your kids because it allows you to look up the word on the spot.  And if you are not familiar with the word, you can click on the microphone to hear the pronunciation.  Never miss a chance to look up an unfamiliar word.
  2. Read and memorize the word of the day at breakfast.  Write it on an index card, including the part of speech and the definition.
  3. Put up a Word Wall in a place your kids will see every day.  Ours is in the bathroom, and I can't tell you how many friends come out of there saying what an education they got while using the pot!

Do you have any tips for helping your kids learn new words?  I'd love to hear them!

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