The Joy of Teaching – An Evan-Moor Blog

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3 Simple Activities to Increase Your Child’s Vocabulary

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Reading Aloud

Reading aloud to your child is one of the simplest ways to help expand his or her vocabulary. Authors include word choices that aren’t used in everyday conversations. When children read alone, they are often left on their own to comprehend the meaning of the text. Without guidance, children can easily misinterpret the meaning of a story. By reading aloud and discussing the text with your child, you are providing them with new information to be used during their independent reading.

I am currently reading aloud to my daughters the book Brady by Jean Fritz. Throughout the book, the term “abolition” is used. Without defining and discussing the meaning of abolition, my daughters would have missed one of the most important concepts within the novel.

Weekly Vocabulary

In addition to reading aloud, teaching weekly vocabulary will help your child learn and practice new words. This year we are using Evan Moor’s A Word a Day. Each day there is a new word introduced. The words are varied, and the lessons include nouns, adjectives, and verbs. We use the word in sentences and discuss whether they’ve heard it before or not. We also add it to our vocabulary bank.

Visuals and Games

If your child is a visual learner, incorporating word/picture match-up games is a great option to introduce new vocabulary. All you need is a stack of index cards and a pair of scissors. Cut the cards in half. On one side write a word and on the other have your child illustrate a picture of what that word might mean. Shuffle the cards and practice matching the picture to the correct word. Increase the fun element by cutting the cards into different shapes. Each word and picture match should fit together like a puzzle piece.

Do you teach vocabulary in your homeschool? What is your favorite method?


Latonya Moore is the creator of Joy in the Ordinary, a site where she focuses on seeking joy in everyday moments. She enjoys spending time with her husband and home educating her daughters.

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