There are many ways on how children can develop a love for learning. Some develop it through games. Others use visual mediums like videos and images. There are also those who learn through verbal mediums.
No matter which method your child prefers, it is often that their love for learning is driven by their budding vocabulary. Their vocabulary allows them to understand what they see, hear and do and it is also one of the first things they learn.
Want to help your kid develop their vocabulary faster while at home to boost their learning? Here are eight ways on how you can do it:
Use advanced words in everyday discussions
When you talk to your child, oftentimes you simplify the words you use to get the point across. If you use “big” words, your child not be able to get it.
Don’t fear using these “big” words when you talk to your child once in a while. It will not only help them recognize the word but also learn from it.
Make sure to encourage your child to ask about the word if they do not understand it. Explain it in simple terms and they will understand it. Soon, you’ll see your child using the same word in conversation with you or other adults.
Let your child narrate their stories
A great way to boost your child’s vocabulary is by allowing your child to read and narrate their own books.
Reading not only helps your child learn new words, but they also boost their conversational skills. However, don’t just settle for their storybooks.
Ask them to come up with their own story and as they narrate, introduce new ideas. For example, if your child describes a place, you can ask details like, “Is it far away?” or “Is it cold?”
During your regular conversations, slip in these new ideas so your child can get used to them.
Talk to them regularly
Talking is the best way to build one’s vocabulary and for kids, talking helps them learn concepts faster.
Begin by asking your child how their day went and discuss it with them. You can also talk about what you are doing, so they know what words to use.
Make sure to talk about simple topics at first before you ask them other topics. Topics like your child’s favourite games, television shows or activities are also good subjects to talk about.
Play word games
Word games like Scrabble, crossword and puzzles are great when it comes to introducing new words.
Introduce these games to your kids. Discuss how they are played and teach them how to play. As they get used to playing, change the difficulty level based on the words they are learning.
Lend them a dictionary so they can also read up on the definitions. It will also help them check new words as they play the game. If they own a smartphone or tablet, download word games that they can play in their free time.
Most word games available for smartphones come in various difficulties, so start with something simple first!
Label household items
Introducing your household items is another great way to teach your kids new words.
This is particularly useful for younger kids who are still mastering simple words. Use post-its or visual aids to introduce these items to your kids.
Your child will look at the word, memorize it and identify where that word is connected to. Make sure your labels are readable so your child can also learn the spelling of each word.
Listen to their vocabulary
Sometimes, you would be surprised by the words your child already knows. There are many places where your child can learn new words: from the people around them to their smartphones or tablets.
Listen when your child speaks and take note of the words they use. If you recognize a word you didn’t teach them, ask them about where they learnt the word. Discuss the word’s definition and give them more examples of how the word can be used.
If they ask you about a certain word they just heard, tell them its definition and provide examples. You can also provide your kids with similar words to explain the words they cannot understand.
For example, “big” can also mean “huge”, “large” or “gigantic”. Meanwhile, “small” can mean “microscopic”, “speck” or “tiny”
Correct them gently
When your child tries to test a new word, there is a tendency they will mispronounce it and use it in the wrong context. If they do make this mistake, don’t scold them.
Instead, congratulate them for their attempt and tell them which part they got right.
Review the word with your child and teach them how to pronounce it carefully. You should also teach them how to use the word in a sentence.
A great way to get them to learn the word faster is by making your explanation interesting. Make it a game or use it in a story. The more interesting your teaching method is, the more your child will pick it up.
For a child to grasp something new fully, it will take time. You will need to repeat the words several times before they get it.
If you hear your neighbour’s kid have a larger vocabulary than your kid, don’t stress out about it. Learning is a slow, but steady process. You are not supposed to rush it.
Every child grows differently. Some kids may pick concepts fast. Others do not. They also learn differently, which may influence how fast they pick things. When it comes to learning, you should balance your lessons to make sure your child can manage it.
Even if being advanced from their peers is good, the number of lessons may give your child some unwanted stress.
For significant improvement, your child has to keep practising the above tips with someone. Engaging an English tutor will not only allow your child to consistently have someone to spar words with but the tutor can keep track of the words used so as to include that vocabulary into written work as well.
As your child grows, they need a balanced environment which will help them learn and develop at their own pace.
As their parents, we should give them time and space to learn. We should also give them the resources to learn. Once your teachings take root, your child will be on their way to learning the world around them.
To ease your worries and help your child, these are some helpful tips: