Children learn an average of 4,000 to 12,000 new words each year as a result of reading books. Research has shown that children who read even ten minutes a day outside of school experience substantially higher rates of vocabulary growth between second and fifth grade than children who do little or no reading. Here are some suggestions for building your child’s vocabulary through a home library:
- A child should have a wide variety of book themes – not just those he or she finds interesting. Naturally, your home does not need to look like the children’s section of your local library. However, you could have a rotating rack of books for your child’s selection at all times. Rotating? How does that happen? Easy – trade books with friends, go to a local book exchange, or set up a book exchange in your child’s school.
- A child should be encouraged to read at least half an hour each day. How do you do that? The best way is by role modeling. If families set aside a Family Reading Time after dinner or before bedtime, the children will begin to expect this activity and plan for the next book they want to read. The best part of this plan is that the “technology” is put down for at least part of the child’s day!
- A child should be encouraged to share the knowledge gained from reading a book. You don’t have to have a family weekly book club discussion, although that might not be a bad idea if you can find the time! Instead, you could have a family book bulletin board where family members post the title of book they just finished with a brief summary or a drawn picture. Divide the bulletin board by age range. Decorate it seasonally – make it attractive to encourage participation!
- A child should enjoy reading. This is the single most important item in a Child’s Bill of Literary Rights. If a child enjoys reading, he or she will develop a mature vocabulary that will help him to lead a successful life in school and beyond into adulthood. Consider these statistics and then restructure your family time to include a time to help children enjoy books of all kinds – both fiction and nonfiction.
Visit your library frequently. Get individual tote bags for each child to proudly carry books to and from the library. Share your love of reading with other families, especially relatives. By the time your child reaches high school and beyond, that love of reading will be so ingrained, it will live with them forever.
The EnteleTrons® books are a perfect addition to family reading time. Children learn intellectual STEM topics and moral lessons while they increase their literacy and love of learning through reading about the adventures of the EnteleTrons®.