By Ashley Norris
Did you know that every night, when you snuggle up with your preschooler and they select that favorite book (you know the one I’m talking about…you’ve read it 300 times), you’re actually building their brain and making them smarter? Something really magical is going on that is actually vital to their future success and learning.
I’m talking about vocabulary comprehension.
When you talk to and read to your child every night, you are exposing them to rich vocabulary. How do children learn new words? Through experience and meaningful context. Children’s literature uses language in new and playful ways and your preschooler is like a sponge sucking it all up. When children are learning to read they are learning skills that help them decode and sound out words. However, the words have to make sense. They have to understand the words they are reading in order to comprehend the story and that is where vocabulary is a very important and often overlooked component to building readers.
And guess what? The best way to build vocabulary is through repetitive exposure and application. So if children have strong comprehension of vocabulary, then they will have a greater ability to comprehend new text. Laying the foundation they need to be strong readers.
So next time you preschooler hands you Llama, Llama for the millionth time, don’t despair. Read that book with pride!
See next page for strategies to take your nighttime book routine up a notch!