Thursday, May 1, 2014

Use Your Words!

Vocabulary knowledge is key to being a reader. Help your preschooler learn to love words.

Label things as you go through your day. "Oh, look at that enormous skyscraper!" Talk about what things are called. Use great (and multi-syllabic) adjective to describes what you are seeing together.  Encourage your child to do the same. Don't feel stuck on using kid words--be extravagantly expressive!

Besides naming things, use words to describe feelings. "Oh man, I am feeling a little weary right now. Let's rest for a bit and then continue." Or "I am sad today. I am missing Jenny a lot." Demonstrating that words can communicate feelings is so important for your child so he can learn how to express what he is experiencing.

Words are so powerful--in reading and in communicating. Help your preschooler learn to use and enjoy them!

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What I think . . .

There are all kinds of readers. Some—like my daughter and me—are never without a book to read for pleasure. Others—like my son—are careful, analytical, and curious readers who read primarily to seek information from the page.

No matter what kind of reader your child becomes, you can help him or her get started. After all, you are your child’s first teacher. And, best of all, you can have some fun in the process.

Please feel free to share your own ideas. Tell me about ways you've enjoyed reading with your child.

Madeline Boskey, Ph.D.