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Building a 'Word Bank'

Reading with your children has a major impact on their "receptive" vocabularies. Although talking to them gives them the benefit of your vocabulary, reading taps into the vast vocabularies of countless authors, building a more comprehensive "word bank" for your children. The more words they see in print, the more words they will be able to read and understand. This is especially important as they move on to independent reading. But unlike talking, reading involves more of your time and resources: you need books, magazines, newspapers; you may need a specific place to sit and read; and you need to be available. I knowyou may feel that cant get to the library, your child barely gets homework completed at night, your child falls asleep in his mashed potatoes...or maybe you fall asleep in yours. However, reading is vital to your childs future. The good thing is that there are no set rules to follow. You dont have to read only at bedtime and you dont have to only read books. When time is limited, share recipes or a set of directions with your child as you work; share letters and e-mails from friends or relatives; read newspaper articles or ads as you go through the local papers; read aloud while youre waiting at the doctors office; read short stories from childrens magazines, poems from a childrens poetry book, or jokes from a childrens joke book. Setting aside a special reading time before or after work and on your day off will give your child something to look forward to.. Try to have a number of books or magazines on hand so your child has some choices. Children love to have favorite books read over and over -- and the repetition is excellent for cementing words in their vocabularies. The important thing to remember is that the more your children listen to you read or read with you, the bigger their word banks grow and the better readers, speakers, and writers they will become!

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