You’ll frequently read about my daughter in my blog posts and newsletter, so in the spirit of #WFH, I decided to start making videos with her. Throughout, we will engage with the text and each other, in a process known as Dialogic Reading, which is a super-fancy way of saying we have a conversation about the book we are reading as we read it. Dialogic Reading is an important and effective way of increasing your child’s pre-reading skills and early literacy. And, it’s fun. While you read, don’t just read to your child. Ask them questions. Discuss pictures. Have them guess what happens next. Don’t just read, engage.
One of the things I’ve mentioned a few times in posts and the What’s the Story? youth and family eNewsletter is my daughter’s impressive vocabulary. It may seem like bragging (I’ll be honest, I like to brag about it. Just a wee bit.), but I know exactly why her vocabulary is so remarkable – my wife and I read to her, and talk with her, a lot. And that’s not just boasting. We do, and for good reason: it is scientifically proven that the more words your child hears, the more words they will understand and the better prepared they are to learn to read.
“Research findings by Dr. Janellen Huttenlocher of the University of Chicago show that the growth in vocabulary in children under two years of age is clearly linked to the extent that the parents talk with them. The more parents talked with the babies and toddlers, the more vocabulary the children had. By the time they were two years old, the children whose parents had a high level of speech with their children had a vocabulary five times as high as those children whose parents had a low level of speech.” – from the American Library Association’s Every Child Ready to Read, 1st Ed.
In addition to simply reading and talking to our daughter, we actively try to use new words and then explain those words. We make a point of asking if she understands what a word means, when we say it or read it, and if not, we explain it, through the use of other words she already knows. It takes work, sure, but we help her to build those connections. Then, when she uses that word herself, in conversation, we make a point of providing positive reinforcement, that we noticed she used the word correctly and added a “new word to your vocabulary!”
Today’s video is one of our favorite word exploration books, Petey and Pru and the Hullaballo by Ammi-Joan Paquette, illustrated by Joy Ang and read with permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. I even learned one of my now favorite words ever when we first read this book. DEFENESTRATION. Do you know what it means? Find out in the video. I couldn’t believe there was a word specifically for that!
Look for another of our favorite wonderfully word-filled books in our next Daddy-Daughter Storytime on Tuesday!