Children come across unfamiliar words often, and learning them can be challenging. Parents can help children build vocabulary skills the easy way (and independently) using our vocabulary resources.
Why is a broad vocabulary important?
Vast vocabulary knowledge improves every aspect of communication. We are constantly learning new words. The words we are equipped with truly limit or enhance how we can get points across to the hearer or a reader.
A robust vocabulary for individuals improves reading skills, listening skills, speaking skills, and writing skills.
Vocabulary Improves Reading Skills
Reading skills require a strong vocabulary to move up different reading levels. Knowing the meanings of words is the key to understanding what is being read. Vocab know-how is crucial to reading comprehension in our children and as they get older, so should their vocabulary increase.
Vocabulary Improves Listening Skills
Children often speak a lot and don’t practice listening enough. When a child listens they ask questions about what words mean and why. In this case, vocabulary not only intrigues kids, but listening is an effective way to increase word knowledge. You can awaken listening skills when you introduce more complex words.
Vocabulary Improves Speaking Skills
Children often struggle with expressing what they really mean when communicating. Learning new words is a prerequisite for children to communicate their ideas and to describe what they want effectively. When children have a large vocabulary, they are more confident in their speech and conversations.
Vocabulary Improves Writing Skills
When a child is reluctant to write, it is important that parents/teachers examine why they are discouraged. One reason for not wanting to write is because students can’t find the right words to describe and express themselves properly. Expressing themselves in writing is largely reflective of the vocabulary skills they have. Give your child knowledge of various words and they will flourish in their writing skills.
Daily Skill Building: Vocabulary
As your children progress in their reading, they can use resources that help them increase vocabulary on their own. Daily Skill Building: Vocabulary is an independent, open-and-go curriculum that will enhance any student’s vocabulary skills in the easiest way possible.
Full Year Vocabulary Curriculum
Daily Skill Building: Vocabulary is a full-year vocabulary curriculum for your students in grades 1-7. It is simple and has a straightforward approach. The resources are easy-to-use, but best of all, the curriculum fosters independent study.
Our vocabulary curriculum includes vocabulary flash cards and a glossary, and teaches your learners 144 vocabulary words with their respective antonyms and synonyms.
In the area of vocabulary, Daily Skill Building promotes the use of a dictionary and thesaurus to decipher the meaning of the vocabulary words provided in the curriculum.
Build Vocabulary Skills the Easy Way
There are some easy ways for parents to begin building vocabulary. We can equip our young children and provide them with the necessary tools to become effective communicators, both in writing and in oral language.
Here are some ways to improve vocabulary for kids in simple ways, even from birth.
Speak to Your Child In An Intelligent Manner
With a child’s undeniable cuteness, our emotions yearn to revert to an incoherent babbling, nonsensical version of expressing your heart. However, there is nothing beneficial for our kids about using baby talk. Use real words, use nursery rhymes, and sing to them to help build comprehension of real sounds. Then real communication flow.
Talk to Your Child Regularly
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it is really? Brain Rules for Baby: How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Five by John Medina states that kids spoken to frequently excel in communicating and learning. Kids spoken to often in their first three years have an IQ that’s one-and-a-half times greater than those who aren’t.
Read Books to Your Children
Read picture books, magazines, poems, nursery rhymes, local newspaper articles but most of all the Bible. Read to them until they learn to read, and don’t stop even then. Reading as a family is a great way to grow a love of learning.
As you read, ask your little listeners plenty of questions. Questions get them to describe and express what they understand. When you read to your children and ask them questions, they are introduced to searching for context clues in a text.
Task your children to tell their own stories. Storytelling creates a great way for children to use the expansive vocabulary they are learning. Children can learn difficult words in lessons, but they won’t necessarily use them in their everyday oral language.
Therefore, challenge your children in storytelling. As you engage and listen to their stories, ask them questions and emphasize synonyms for words they are using. For instance, when a child uses a word like small you can use words like tiny and miniature so they start instinctively making those connections in their language. The meaning of new words is gleaned from prior knowledge and making connections with synonyms, and even antonyms.
As children grow, make a dictionary and thesaurus available to them. Keep it handy and encourage your children to seek new words often to use in their storytelling.
Now, how can you actively make learning a larger vocabulary interesting? Here are some ways to create a lover of words while building a larger vocabulary at home.
Fun Ways to Build a Child’s Vocabulary
Building vocabulary skills in your students doesn’t have to be boring. There are fun activities you can incorporate into your homeschool day to help expand a child’s vocabulary. You can also download our reproducible vocabulary templates that can be used alongside Daily Skill Building: Vocabulary or on its own.
Don’t just ask your children to draw the word but to draw what a word means. When they see a word, what is the picture they visualize in their head? For instance, the word “jump”, can be shown by a drawing of kids jumping rope or leaping to reach for a tree branch.
Use a Word Wall
For effective vocabulary instruction in you homeschool, use a word wall to display the words children are learning. First, show and say the word with your children. Use the word in a sentence. Leave the word on the word wall until your child is comfortable using it correctly.
Whether you place words on a word wall for weekly vocabulary lessons, a word of the day, or as your child learns new words in general, visually displayed words improve a students’ vocabulary.
Field Trips to the Library
Take regular trips to the library. Children will not forget the opportunities to get out of the house and seek resources from a library. It is a simple field trip that makes incredible memories and has excellent benefits.
What better place for a child to explore vocabulary development than a building filled with words?
Selecting Good Books
Allow your children to choose a book they want to read. Although we select books for our kids to read for the sake of education, allowing a child the opportunity to select books they want to read has huge benefits. Having a choice of what they can read helps them feel more invested, it encourages independent reading, and creates a sense of ownership in their education.
When kids are given the choice to choose what they want to read, learning words can become more exciting.
Play Word Games
Play a simple word game focusing on synonyms. For instance, one person says a sentence focusing on one specific word like “The cat jumps over the chair” and selects a word from the sentence for others to replace (i.e. jump).
The next person replaces the word jump with a synonym that helps your younger students also learn the meaning of the word. The word “jump” can be replaced with similar meanings like leaps, vaults, hops, etc.
In another word game, you can select some words, and then kids can try to determine the meanings of words by their root words. For example, a word like audible can be dissected for children to take audio from it. From there, children can learn common root words and Latin roots, which will broaden their vocabulary exponentially.
Let’s not forget games like Scrabble, Boggle, Bananagrams, crossword puzzles, and word searches. These word games can spruce up any school day at home.
Make Word Labels
Label items around your home. This is a similar idea of matching words with pictures. However, this is a real-world interactive and engaging way kids can build their vocabulary.
Your family will use commonly-used words around the home, but labeling those items will show your children what the target word looks like (i.e. stove, shoes, kitchen, bathroom, etc.). Labeling items can also be used when teaching your children different languages or when studying words for a second language.
In the United States, there is a proven word gap, yet research shows that what we do in our children’s early years makes a significant difference. According to the NAEYC, the word gap is influenced by specific factors in children, but parents can help in ways that are not expensive or strenuous at all.
By merely introducing new and interesting words in natural conversations, singing with children, reciting poetry, and even just talking with your children often, we can make a huge impact on vocabulary development.
When we add purposeful curricula like Daily Skill Building: Vocabulary, we are handing over knowledge in different contexts not readily available to most kids across the globe.
The value of a large vocabulary in a child’s life is priceless.