We hear it all the time: read with your child. We all know that reading with our kids is important, but why is that, exactly? The crucial nature of reading with our young ones has a lot to do with developing vocabulary. Without a good vocabulary, one that is established early in childhood, the negative impacts can be staggering. Read on to see why Adventures in Learning advocates so highly for early childhood literacy.
Vocabulary Helps Develop Thinking Skills
Studies show that the number of words someone knows and understands is directly related to their ability to think. Think of what the word “angry” looks and feels like. Feeling angry is a very different from feeling upset, frustrated, disappointed, etc. If a child only had the word “angry” to work with, this impacts how they think, feel, and evenbehave.
There can be high amounts of frustration if a child is unable to express and label how they feel, especially since our thoughts play so much into our emotions and actions. Having a developed lexicon is crucial to helping children express themselves.
Vocabulary Helps Students Succeed
By kindergarten, the size of a child’s vocabulary is shown to affect their success for the rest of elementary school. WebMD states that a 3-4 year old should be able to speak between 250-500 words. By the time a child reaches kindergarten just a year or two later, they should have over 2,000 words in their arsenal. If a child is behind in this language milestone, it can be very challenging for them to catch up. Studies show that one of the earliest predictors for academic success boil down to how many words a child knows by preschool and kindergarten age.
If a child is learning two words per day, this results in acquiring 750 words per year. This shows that even at the age of four, learning two words per day is usually not enough to keep them on track. Being purposeful with vocabulary acquisition is the best way to help your child be on track for entering elementary school. Enrolling in early childhood education is perfect for guiding children on the path to success.
Vocabulary Is Essential for Communication
As Scholastic states, “Word knowledge is among the most critical pieces of language development.” This seemingly goes without saying, but it’s crucial for so much more than speaking alone. Language development is critical to listening and comprehension, both of which take up so much of our daily lives, we forget how much we rely on these skills. For children to grow in their social skills, they need to be able to express themselves appropriately, as well as take in how others are expressing themselves. Without proper communication skills, we would be unable to make someone laugh, empathize with someone who’s feeling down, persuade someone, ask for help, and more. The sooner a child’s vocabulary begins to grow, the sooner they are able to develop all of these key communication tactics.
What Can I Do?
There are so many ways that you can help grow your child’s lexicon, and so many of these ways are things that you’re likely doing already. Take a look at some ideas on how to guide your child to success:
- Talk with your child. Avoid baby talk, and don’t be afraid to use “bigger” words! Frame bigger words in a sentence where context clues can help, like pointing to flowers and saying “I love how these flowers are fuchsia, it’s such a pretty color.”
- Read with your kids. Reading aloud is one of the most important ways to help develop both vocabulary and literacy in general, and will set kids up for success in the future.
- Enroll in early childhood education.
Having your child start Pre-K is a perfect way to help them continue to acquire and use an extended vocabulary. At Adventures in Learning, we are committed to helping ready your child not only for school, but for life itself. Contact us today!