Vocabulary Strategies to Use with Kids this Summer

Just because summer is here, doesn’t mean it’s time to binge countless hours of your favorite shows. But it also doesn’t mean you have to stuff your child’s face into a book. Instead, this summer you can have fun with learning and help increase your child’s reading comprehension by using vocabulary strategies. 

These strategies can be done at any time for however long you would like. That way you can still maintain your daily summer fun while also fortifying reading comprehension and fluency. These strategies are fun yet practical and can put your child’s learning into their own hands, inspiring them to stay motivated to learn new words and showing them that reading doesn’t have to be monotonous.

Here are four vocabulary strategies you can use this summer to keep your kids engaged and prepare them for the upcoming school year.

Sing It or Act it Out!

Have your child create a short song or poem that includes a chosen vocabulary word and its definition. Work with them to help develop the rhyme scheme. This can be fun! Singing and music help us remember through a process called “chunking“.

Chunking is the process of individual pieces of information grouping together into larger units or chunks. Our short-term memory can only hold roughly seven units of information at a time. Chunking makes it easier to remember a greater amount of information. For example, the word ‘clarify’ can transform into a jingle that goes like, “Clarify! To avoid confusion! Explain clearly for the right conclusion!”

Acting it out might sound strange at first but think of small actions based around a word and act it out! Research states that the body remembers what the mind forgets. When researchers asked eight-year-olds to mimic words from a foreign language by using their hands and bodies to act out the meaning, the students were 73% more likely to recall them, even months later.

Let Your Child Pick Their Own Words

Rather than picking words for your child to learn, have them pick their own words, either through a book, a movie, or even conversation.

This agency will transform into enthusiasm and eagerness to learn the word at hand. A good way of employing this strategy is by first having your child tell you what they think the word means before trying to define it. And instead of having them jump on Google, have them peruse through a real paper dictionary if available. This will force focus, slow things down, and most importantly, fuel their curiosity.

Choose Three and Celebrate!

No need to overload your child with words during summer break; instead focus on three words per day or week. Use these three words throughout your routine, drilling word usage subconsciously. It also will help if the words are included in things your child is already reading or watching. This will give context to each word and enrich certain topics, books, or movies.

A great way to motivate your child to learn more words is to celebrate when your child uses the word correctly. Rewarding them with positive praise encourages your child to find ways to use the new words as much as possible.

Draw It

Drawing makes it easier to remember a word’s meaning in a specific context. This is because your child will be able to connect the word with something more personal and meaningful.

Remember though, that the drawing needs to make sense and help your child remember the meaning of a word. The importance isn’t behind the artistic value, and it can be rather simple, as long as it jogs the memory of what the word means. Data found that drawing is able to double retention rates in students compared to those who stuck with more conventional forms of learning.

Practical and Creative Learning at Renton Prep

At Renton Prep, we’re proud to provide practical and creative ways to deepen our students’ understanding of the world around them. We stay committed to supplying high-quality education to our students. For any questions about our teaching methodology or enrollment, feel free to reach out to us!

Apply for the upcoming school year today!