How can schools and teachers tell best whether a child is “academic”? The surest way is how well-read he or she is and the written and spoken vocabulary used. You can help your child be life-long learners by encouraging the love of words.
Children learn vocabulary the best with repeated exposure and opportunity to practice that in a non-threatening atmosphere. Games are best to enforce the words after you introduce it to them. You can do inexpensive ways to play games like synonym cross word puzzles, Word search and Scrabble. There are many online sites where you can play interesting and engaging vocabulary games with your child.
Introduce your child to the vocabulary used by their peers. Reading literature by children is the best way to do that. This will give them the motivation and confidence to learn and use new words. Reading the works by peers will also inspire them to focus more on writing. You will be able to find a lot of such literature at Kidz Parade literature by children and The Kidz Parade.
Keep and Idea Book or Journal
Does the word ‘journal’ put off your child? Introduce the concept of an ‘idea book’ to them instead. Let them write all their aspirations, imaginations and observations in that book.
Encourage them to write lists if they do not want to write long paragraphs, ask them to write only a couple of sentences every day when they start with, ask them to write about something close to their heart. You will see your child building vocabulary and writing skills gradually. Research shows that writing journals has both physical and psychological benefits while improving their writing skills and vocabulary.
Read aloud to your child (even if they are older)
Jim Trelease, the author of Read-Aloud Handbook says, “Children have a reading level and a listening level and they are usually not the same. A 4th-grader may be reading on a 4th-grade level, but can listen to stories on a 6th-grade level.”
You can read aloud to older children, even to those who are up to 14 years. Reading aloud to teens helps them with finding the right vocabulary to express their emotions. This is a great bonding activity while building your child’s vocabulary.
Talk, Talk and Talk: A very effective way to build your child’s vocabulary
Learning words is helpful only if it is practiced. Have conversations with your child in various topics. This will give them the opportunity to listen to new vocabulary as well as to express their thoughts using the new vocabulary. Communicating with people with varied interests is also a great way to acquire new vocabulary.