Reading expands kids’ vocabulary and extends their opportunities

Knowing lots of words really means having more ways to express ourselves and understand our world. What’s surprising is how many benefits a good vocabulary brings and how important reading is to building it.

JRE Library published, “Benefits of Reading: Why You Should Read More,” which says, “The more you read, the more words you’ll be exposed to. Consistent exposure to new words, learning their meanings and seeing the context in which they’re used will increase your mental dictionary.”

While that’s true at every stage of life, cultivating a love of reading—and encountering the new words that come with it—early on is incredibly important.

Yet time spend reading “for pleasure” continues to drop. A Washington Post article by Hannah Natanson last year, titled, “Yes, Teens Are Texting and Using Social Media Instead of Reading Books, Researchers Say,” reports recent trends. For example, it says that “…1 in 3 U.S. high school seniors did not read a book for pleasure in 2016. In the same time period, 82 percent of 12-graders visited sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram every day.”

A person’s vocabulary—again, with reading being one of the biggest foundations—is reflected by many measures. Last year a post titled “The Importance of Vocabulary for Life,” on the Success Prep Partners Education and Career Counseling blog, addressing a change to the SAT, noted that “The more important benefit to building a more sophisticated personal lexicon is how it impacts all aspects of one’s life—from elementary school through the adult years.”

It goes on to suggest that “Writing skills are undoubtedly weaker when students don’t have a strong vocabulary at their disposal,” and this remains true into the college years and beyond.

A Parent Tool Kit article titled, “Helping Your Child Build a Strong Vocabulary,” says, “Books are the number one way to expose kids to a richer vocabulary.” It also suggests that “Typically, a child needs to hear a new word 4 to 12 times before it is added to his vocabulary,” adding, “When you introduce your child to a new word, try to keep a mental note of it and work to use it again in your conversations with your child.”

Litemind, a site about “exploring ways to use our minds efficiently,” posted “Top 3 Reasons to Improve Your Vocabulary.” It says, “The researcher Johnson O’Connor, known for his studies about the impact of vocabulary on people’s lives, has drawn many amazing conclusions,” based on his 20+ years of research.

The article goes on to report an astonishing discovery. It says, “He always found the same results, no matter which area he looked at, and no matter how he analyzed the data: a person’s vocabulary level is the best single predictor of occupational success.”

With the littlest learners they can discover the fun of words, how they roll off the tongue one sounds at a time, and how they relate to pictures/objects, with Three-Letter Words Puzzle Cards. They include 36 fun puzzles: three cards make one picture; one picture makes one 3-letter word. They help preschoolers learn letters and words to get them ready for reading.

At the next level, the 4-workbook Spelling & Vocabulary Puzzle Workbook Collection Grades 1-2, helps kids sharpen spelling skills, expand their vocabulary in a wide range of areas, and become stronger readers.

For older kids, the 32-page Word Search Challenges workbook (ages 8 and up), is filled with interesting topics, amazing facts, and vivid illustrations that make working with words more fun. Take bugs, for example. Find 18 bug names in the word puzzle, then read the information box about bug body parts and label them on a drawing. Next up? Learn about firefly luminescence and get some good, gross-out trivia about the Goliath beetle that grows to four inches. Word searches, codes, and other activities will reinforce new vocabulary words and strengthen kids’ visual discrimination skills—important for effective reading. Plus, the whole family can join in learning new info as they spot the vocabulary words.

Help pave kids’ path to academic and vocational success one word at a time!