Vocabulary development is huge for young children. Low vocabulary is one leading indicator of children who are at-risk for reading difficulties. And the problem starts very early. Researchers have found that children from low-income families may start Kindergarten with 10,000 fewer words in their vocabularies than their classmates.
One great, simple way of increasing the vocabulary of children, even very young children, is to read with or to them. Most teachers recommend reading at least 20 minutes each day. A few years ago I ran across a chart that really brought the importance of that reading time home to me. I’ve shared it our parents every summer since then and wanted to share it with you today.
It’s hard for me to look at this graphic and not be astounded each time. The difference between reading about 5 minutes a day and 20 minutes a day is 1.5 million more words per year. The value of that increase and practice with vocabulary cannot be overstated.