Tuesday, July 14, 2015

We are not good with words

Once upon a time, I read 100 books in a year. And I loved it. (Seriously. Try it.) Right now I am having my son read a book every night.

Every night before he goes to bed, my son reads me a book at bedtime and I read him three. I try to get him to read a different book every night, but sometimes we repeat them (I mean, we do have a lot of books in the house, but I am not sure we have 365 of them at his reading level.)

But the point of reading together isn't just about his reading to me. It's also about me reading to him. And for the books that I read him, I choose ones that are several levels above his, and we have found our pace: If we hit a word he doesn't know, he asks me what it is and we stop frequently to check his comprehension.

And stretching his vocabulary is what it is all about. In this study by researchers at the University of Santa Cruz, it was determined that we are lazy talkers. Although talking to children is a great idea to get them to start talking, the study found that we don't use the same rich vocabulary and syntax that is found in books.

So we read. And it works. I know that it works when I hear my son using words that he heard from a previous night's book. Or when I ask him to summarize a story and he hits all the major plot points. It works in the way that he is starting to request more complex stories from me at bedtime.

Guess we'll be hitting up our used book store before summer is out.

What was one of your favorite books as a child? Tell me in the comments.

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