Sadly, in today’s technologically driven world, children are reading less and less. They are still learning to read, but not the sorts of books or things that might broaden their understanding of the world and enrich their vocabulary.
Startling Facts About Childen Vocabulary
Put simply, a vocabulary is a list of words which you use to express your ideas and thoughts. On beginning school, researchers tell us that a child’s vocabulary should be between 3,000 and 4,000 words. They emphasize that most children learn 90% of the words they will ever use at this time.
However, these numbers are falling and the results are quite catastrophic. In some poorer areas around the globe, children are beginning school with a vocabulary of as little as 500 words. This means that when they are introduced to reading and writing, they simply can’t master the skills to gain enough proficiency to understand either well enough.
These children will have trouble expressing how they are feeling about issues which are troubling them. This may result in them not being able to stand up for themselves in the playground or on the streets. It may mean they can’t express themselves clearly to a doctor if they are in pain and clearly articulate their frustrations at another’s actions. And, of course, it means they will miss out on fulfilling and rewarding lives because they may be stuck in dead-end jobs.
From an economist’s point of view, these points mean these children may cost society in many ways from dependency on welfare, the prison system and they will struggle to express their goals and dreams.
Whether you have children or not there are things you can do.
5 Tips to Make your Kid Fall in Love with Books
Here are 5 things we can all do to help the children in our lives, and our neighborhoods become better readers.
1. Talk about Books
Talk about books and share the books you loved as a child. What characters inspired you or affected you? I was terrified of the Bluebeard story when I was growing up, and I learned to feel compassion and empathy for the Ugly Duckling, for example.
2. Buy or Gift them Books
Buy books as gifts or donate them to your local library – Purchasing books for the children in your life is a great way to introduce them to many wonderful adventures. Libraries are always in need of more books. Speak to your local library and ask what books are needed. In some areas there are book boxes where people leave books outside their homes or in cafes for others to share free of charge. If there isn’t one in your area, why not start one?
3. Set a Reading Time
Share reading times – once you have given the books as gifts, make time to sit down and share them. You can do the reading for younger children, but why not share reading with older children? This is a great way to build memories and strengthen your relationship.
4. Set Example by reading in Spare Time
Be the example and read in your spare time – how many adults tell children one thing then do another! Be seen to be reading so children can model their behavior on yours.It will inspire childern also to read more and more. Childern follow parents and adults and seeing you reading will help them develop this habit of reading often, which will become a liftime habit.
5. Make Books Visible across the House
Leave books lying around the house so they become part of the furniture. Some children are growing up in homes where books are strange, mysterious objects. Leave books on tables, counters and chairs, use them as doorstops even, and allow children to become familiar with them. If they ask about the books, be ready to share the stories and say why you love these books. Clearly, the books will need to be appropriate for children.
If you don’t have any books, a quick trip to the thrift shop will turn up a lot of books which you can use to encourage the children in your world to want to read and become better readers.
Helping your children become great readers, and to fall in love with reading, is a wonderful way to help them grow and develop into confident, well-rounded people.
About the author – Susan Day
Susan Day is a children’s author and writer. Her blog, Astro’s Adventures Book Club, is full of ideas and tips for grandparents who want to build a strong relationship with their grandchildren. In particular, Susan specializes in helping grandparents share their love of books with their grandchildren. Susan is currently writing a book titled, The Top 10 Things Happy Grandparents Never Regret Doing!
Susan lives in country Australia with four dogs, three boss cats, three rescue guinea pigs, and an errant kangaroo. And, apart from blogging, writing and reading; she loves drinking coffee, painting and learning to box.