Q:

Please give me some ways to help my children increase their vocabularies. -- HELP

A:

Your children's success in school is definitely related to the size of their vocabulary. Students with the larger vocabularies usually do better in school.

The single best way to increase your children's vocabulary is to have them read beyond their school assignments. The more they read, the bigger and better their vocabularies will be. Plus, reading to your children also will increase their vocabularies, as they will be exposed to words that are not typically used in everyday conversations. Just be sure to briefly explain any new words that are encountered. Vocabulary expansion also occurs when children are exposed to new places, things and people.

Success in content subjects is tied closely to knowing the specific vocabulary of that subject. Textbooks make this easy by typically having a list of new vocabulary terms for each chapter. Besides making your children aware of this, you can help them learn these words and use them in your conversations.

Undeniably, today's children are totally enchanted and dedicated to electronic devices. Reading can be encouraged by securing materials -- both fiction and nonfiction -- that are online. Be sure to investigate what materials the local public libraries have available for downloading.

Here are some websites that we have discovered that are designed to help children increase their vocabularies. Do email us with the names of additional ones that you have found. There is www.freerice.com, which has 60 levels of vocabulary words. It also has the laudatory purpose of donating 10 grains of rice to hungry children for each correct answer. Another very effective website is www.vocabulary.com. Here, a personal list of vocabulary words that children do not know is developed, and these words are reviewed to ensure that they are learned. Parents should look at www.readingrockets.org/article32444, as it has good advice for ways parents can increase their children's vocabulary.

You will find great lists of words your children should know at different levels on our website, www.dearteacher.com. Look for them under "Skill Builders" -- "Reading."