Vocabulary Building

Helping Your Child at Home with Vocabulary Building

Why is vocabulary so important?

Vocabulary is referred to as the words that we need to know to able to communicate effectively. As we grow our oral and reading vocabularies grow too! The most rapid growth of vocabulary is during the first 10 years of a child's life! On average a child comes to school with the knowledge of several thousand words. Then, in the following years after that children add about three thousand words to their reading vocabulary each year. A child with a higher amount of vocabulary knowledge is able to think more deeply, can express themselves better, and are able to learn new things more quickly. They are likely to have greater success in learning to read and possibly could be a grade above in their reading level. As teachers, we use several strategies in the classroom to help with developing vocabulary. However, this newsletter is for the parents so that you can also use a set of tools at home to help with the develop of your child's vocabulary.

Vocabulary Rocks!

Here are some ways you can help build vocabulary at home:

As parents, you play a very important role in helping your child build their vocabulary. You are a model for their language development. Some of the ways you can help develop vocabulary at home is by having discussions. A great time to do this is during dinner or supper time. Each person can share something about their day or about events that are coming up soon. Another way is by using the spelling words from that week during discussions. Having your child write the shopping list or have them read or discuss words in the store is another great way to help build their vocabulary. A game you can play during this time can be "Let's point out everything that begins with the letter C. Every time we find something that begins with the letter C we get one point and at the end see how many points we get. One of my favorite ways to help build vocabulary with my students is something that you can also do at home and that is by reading books. A great time to do this is as a relaxer before bedtime. You can read aloud to your child or have them read or even take turns reading. Before reading the book you can have your child make a prediction of what the book is about and what might happen in the book. During or after reading the book discuss unknown words in the book and the illustrations. Another great way is by recording your students reading so that they are able to hear how they sound as the read.

Other fun games that are great for building vocabulary are:

One is a guessing game and that is always fun. You can say "I am thinking of a word that starts with "th" that is something you use to brush your teeth." (toothbrush) or "I am thinking of a word that starts with "sh" that is something that you wear to go outside." (Shoe)

Another great game to play is "My father or mother owns" Example: "My father owns a grocery store and in it he sells something that begins with the letter T." Now, see how many things you can name that start with a T that can be sold in the store then take turns with other letters.

Games are a great way to help students learn while being engaged and having fun.

A great tool to have at home is a dictionary. If your child does not know the meaning to a new word have them look it up and with you and talk about the meaning.

Help me make vocabulary in your student's life exciting and interesting!

Here are some clue to look for at home to see if your child may have difficulties with their vocabulary:

  • If the child is having difficulty in telling you about their day in a way that makes since.
  • If the child misuses common words.
  • If the child often has trouble finding the right word to describe something.
  • If the child cannot associate words to real life.
Let's work together as a team to help build our students' vocabulary at home and at school! We are teaching the future scholars of America and they deserve the best!