Five reasons why vocabulary is the biggest predictor of your kids' grades
— and what you can do about it
Research studies identify vocabulary as key to future academic success. Here’s why.
- It unlocks word understanding that makes reading easier and more fun
- It increases kids’ ability to express themselves and vocalize what they are learning
- It unlocks learning and achievement in broad subjects including Math
- It contributes to the development of emotional intelligence as it gives kids labels for feeling and helps them understand others
- It makes reading more complex texts easier, widening their knowledge on various topics
So, we know kids with great vocabulary do better at school and later on in life.
What can parents do to help their children expand their vocabulary?
The research is clear — explicitly teaching vocabulary and meanings to children gets better results than just reading or incidental, passive word-learning.
How to teach kids vocabulary — according to the research
Firstly, teach a few words every day (rather than many at once). Then follow these five rules of thumb.
Five steps to teaching words to kids
- Give a simple definition of the word
- Give the context in which the word is used
- Engage them in activities that promote deep processing of the meaning of words
- Teach word pairs. “Devious plan”, “voracious appetite”. Knowledge of word pairs has been proven to increase the quality of children’s academic written work.
- Use humor — it is proven to help memorization
Feeling overwhelmed? Enter Mrs Wordsmith
Mrs Wordsmith is the VC-backed startup that has collaborated with academics and superstar illustrators to produce a range of books (and soon an app) that provide the spark for a daily word-learning habit that ticks all of these boxes. Using humorous illustrations, word pairs, and kid-friendly definitions — we’ve put together word a day books and the Illustrated Storyteller’s Dictionary for kids and parents to enjoy together.
Discover a word a day together
Mrs Wordsmith Word a Day teaches a new word for every day of the school year with season-specific themes from eerie Halloween words to verdant spring vocabulary.
Fire your child’s imagination
Mrs Wordsmith teaches rich, descriptive vocabulary for all aspects of storytelling, from describing characters’ appearance, actions, and emotions, to creating vivid, memorable story worlds.
Develop word awareness in kids
Mrs Wordsmith gives an array of ideas on how to use each word, with synonyms, word pairs, and examples of the word used in classic children’s books.
Learn more as data meets creativity
Mrs Wordsmith have used data science to identify the words kids need, and Hollywood creativity to make them funny and unforgettable. [CTA sign up for our emails]
The benefits of learning with Mrs Wordsmith
- Develops creative writing and storytelling skills
- Compelling and engaging word illustrations combined with stimulating ideas and thought-starters — all designed to encourage young writers to explore and learn independently.
- Empowers children to get more out of reading
- A simple and engaging ‘word a day’ formula to help your child engage with words and learning. By putting the joy back into word learning, we’re helping to boost confidence in both reading and writing.
- Builds a rich vocabulary to aid academic success
- Some words young writers will know, while others will be completely new. Build and strengthen that vocabulary while becoming a master storyteller.
- Develops transferable skills. Stories are how people communicate, socially and at work. Developing strong, word-rich story skills now, will pay dividends for years to come.
- Fosters word consciousness and a lifelong love of words. Mrs Wordsmith’s product are created with the support of Prof Susan Neuman, Professor of Early Childhood and Literacy Education, and Chair of the Department of Teaching and Learning at NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. They’ve als been proven by the National Literacy Trust to increase vocabulary by 50%.
- Data-driven word curation. Our writers used machine learning and worked with professors, teachers and lexicographers to curate the best possible range of storytelling words for words for writers.
What parents are saying about us
Beck & McKeown, 2007;
Biemiller & Boote, 2006;
Coyne et al. 2010;
Marulis & Neuman, 2010.
Beck, McKeown & Kucan 2002;
Neuman et al.,2011
Wasik & Iannone-Campbell, 2012
Barrett et al., 2007
Rosnay & Harris, 2002