If there is one frustration associated with starting out so early, it is a limited vocabulary on the part of the reader. Children can become discouraged if they are reading words they do not understand.
Our family’s solution to this problem was to ensure that plenty of dictionary, thesaurus, and idiom books were on hand. If we didn’t know a word, we looked it up!
Our children were taught, first by example and then by practice, to look up all words they were unfamiliar with. If there was a phrase they weren’t sure about, we brought out the idiom books and learned from whence it derived and its meaning.
By now this practice has become second nature. They are frequently seen looking up various topics, attempting to gain a better understanding.
While I would like to own a large collection of encyclopedias for them to use as well, that is neither practical in regards to space or finances. This is where the wonderful world of Google comes in.
Under parental supervision, our children are occasionally found to be looking up detailed information regarding such topics as world history, persons of interest, or the feeding habits of rolly pollies (no kidding).
Given the amount of time our children spend both reading and increasing their vocabulary, it ought to come as no surprise that our children use some of the most amusing expressions.
I clearly remember when my littlest girl was about five. She had just finished an activity and was asked how she liked it. “I found it particularly astounding,” she replied. Really! What five-year old talks like that?
At times they still catch us off guard, using terminology we didn’t think they had developed yet, causing us to chuckle. It is a blessing to see them take such an interest in the usage of words and practice it whole heartedly.
I have no regrets in implementing this practice within our homeschooling routine. Our children are growing by leaps and bounds, stretching their minds and expanding their horizons.
Do your children surprise you with their mastery of vocabulary?