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Increasing Your Children’s Vocabularies
What are some ways to help my kids grow their vocabularies?
Your children’s success in school is definitely related to the size of their vocabulary. Students who use and understand many words usually do better in school.
The single best way to increase your children’s vocabulary is to have them read beyond their school assignments. The more they read, the bigger and better their vocabularies will be. Secondly, your reading to them will also increase their vocabularies, as they will be exposed to words not typically used in everyday conversation. Just be sure to briefly explain any new words they encountered.
The next best ways to increase your children’s vocabulary is by talking to them, especially about new experiences, places, things, and people.
Success in content subjects is tied closely to knowing the specific vocabulary of that subject. Textbooks make this easy by typically having a list of new vocabulary terms for each chapter. Besides making your children aware of this, you can help them learn these words and use them in your conversations. Another exercise is to write down new words along with their definition. Then have your child write a sentence using the word correctly. Use five new words in a paragraph.
Most kids are totally enchanted and dedicated to electronic devices. Reading can be encouraged by getting materials, both fiction and nonfiction, that are online. Be sure to investigate what free materials your local public library has available for downloading.
Here are some websites that can help grow vocabularies, too.
- Freerice.com — This site offers 60 levels of vocabulary words. It also has the laudatory purpose of donating 10 grains of rice to hungry children for each correct answer.
- Vocabulary.com — Here, a personal list of important vocabulary words your child does not know is developed, and these words are reviewed to ensure they are learned.
- Dearteacher.com — On our website, you’ll find lists of vocabulary words children should know at different grade levels under “Skill Builders” - “Reading.”
- Readingrockets.org — Look under “Reading Topics A to Z” for very solid advice on ways to build your children’s vocabulary.
Keep Track of Progress at School
What’s the best way to keep on top of how my kids in elementary school are doing?
First of all, report cards will quickly clarify whether your child is acing his or her schoolwork, simply sliding by, or encountering greater difficulty. Beyond this, you should study the work they bring home.
If your child’s papers are bleeding with red marks almost every day, it is time for a chat with your teachers. Parents also can see the progress their younger children are making by dividing papers by subject areas. Then, look over papers every few weeks and see if your child is truly mastering the current work. A child may start out making a lot of errors when a new concept is introduced and then gradually show that he or she understands it.
In this electronic age, it has become easier for parents to know what is happening in their children’s classes. In many schools, teachers use the school’s web pages to detail exactly what is being studied. And in many schools, teachers put homework assignments, class participation points, and quiz and test scores online. Just remember that grades there are sometimes incomplete, so don’t freak out until you have a complete picture.
Questions? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.