What needs daily work but is never complete? Your child’s vocabulary.

Here are three ways to help her learn new words every day:

  1. While your middle grader is reading, have her look up unfamiliar words in a dictionary. Then, she can draw a simple picture to help her remember the meaning. Example: “Equilibrium” (balance) could be a child sitting in the middle of a balance beam
  2. Make the daily crossword puzzle a family activity. Or try guessing definitions at Fake Out (www.eduplace.com/fakeout) or playing word puzzles at Vocabulary University (www.vocabulary.com/VUlevel2S140.html). These are fun ways to build your youngster’s personal word bank.
  3. Leave word books, such as Word Smart, in the family room. In the evening, flip open the book and ask a question, such as “Who knows what ‘caustic’ means?” Have your middle grader challenge you next. Your enthusiasm will be contagious.

Source: Middle Years November 2007. Reprinted with permission from Resources for Educators, a division of Aspen Publishers, Inc.