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Enhance your Children's Vocabulary at Home

MONDAY, MARCH 16, 2020 10:53 AM

A strong vocabulary is an essential tool for children to have in order to express themselves in day-to-day life. However, it is also an essential way for them to excel at school and in a career later in life. Any time children take a standardized test, their vocabulary will play a significant role in their success during the English/language arts section.

In fact, the ELA section tries to use texts that are a little higher than the students' reading levels. This means that the more extensive students' vocabularies, the more likely they will be able to comprehend and analyze the reading and express their answers soundly while writing.

The good news is that teaching your child new and complex words can be done in some easy and natural day-to-day ways. Here is how you can enhance your child's vocabulary at home:

Converse often

The first step to a broader vocabulary is to converse with your children more. Choose a topic to talk about during mealtimes or when anytime you are together at home. Start off by asking, "how do you feel about ... ?" or "what are your thoughts on ... ?" and let them speak as much as they would like. For instance, one conversation starter might be a current event related to science, such as a telescope's pictures of Mars or an eclipse that's happening that evening. You can even ask them hypothetical questions about themselves - i.e., "If you had to be stuck in one aisle of the grocery store, which would you choose?"

Any time you can get your children talking, their language skills will grow. During the conversations, make sure you are using sophisticated vocabulary and explaining the words you use that they might not understand.

Read regularly

Reading out loud, and encouraging your children to read out loud to you, is another excellent way to increase vocabulary. Make sure that whenever you come across a word they do not understand, you stop reading and discuss it. Define the word for them, provide an example of what it means, then ask for an example. For instance, "Examine is another way of saying 'to look at something closely in order to understand it.' For instance, a doctor might examine a patient's finger to see if it is broken. Can you think of another person who would examine something?"

You can even write down some of the words you talk about while reading and work with your children to use them during future conversations.