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10 Ways to Help Your Child Learn Vocabulary Words, Part III

Vocabulary is an important tool in a child’s education, affecting not just how well he/she reads, but also how well your child learns in all subject areas. Because Missouri’s NAEP vocabulary scores have declined in recent years, MO Parent is here to share a series of free and inexpensive tips for helping your child build a strong vocabulary.

Today, we’ll talk about the benefits of visiting your local public library and how to find books that are age- and reading-level appropriate for your child.

4. Use the Public Library
Missouri Public Libraries offer a number of free and low-cost resources for you and your family. From homework help to Internet access; story time for kids to community events; modern libraries are a great place to build community, get information, and, of course, help your child to expand his vocabulary.

Here are a few ideas about how you and your child can use your local Missouri public library for community, education, and quality time together:

· Get a library card for yourself, and as soon as your child is old enough, have him sign up for a library card, too!
· Ask your librarian for a calendar of community events. You and your child can pick events to attend together.
· Take your child to story time at the library. Most libraries offer a regular, free story time, during which an experienced librarian or volunteer reads stories to children.
· Make regular trips to the library with your child, helping him pick out, check out, and return books — on time, of course!
· Help your child with his homework at the library. Libraries are quiet, and there’s plenty of desk and table space where you can work together uninterrupted on schoolwork or projects.
· Ask about your library’s reading programs for kids. Many public libraries offer special programs that encourage and reward reading.
Libraries offer much more than books. You and your child can use reference materials, read magazines, use the Internet, read graphic novels, or even check out movies, games or music together to watch, play or listen to at home.

And remember that because your public library is a public resource, it’s a fantastic place to level the academic and intellectual playing fields for you child. At the public library, everyone is invited to learn.

For a searchable database of Missouri Public Libraries, click here.

5. Help Your Child Choose Books
Reading might be the single best tool to help your child with vocabulary development, but frustration and boredom can result from reading books that are too hard, too easy, or written about subjects that don’t interest your child.

If you aren’t sure what our child’s current reading level is, reach out to his/her classroom teacher, a school librarian or a librarian at your public library. Age, aptitude toward reading, and maturity are just a few of the factors that contribute to a child’s reading level.

Age-Based Book Lists:
Choosing Books for Young Children (Birth – 5 Years)
Great Schools’ Favorite Books for Kindergarteners 
Choose Books for Your Child (Grades 1-2) 
Choose Books for Your Child (Grades 3-5) 
Choosing Books for a Middle Schooler  

General Booklists:
Reading is Fundamental Booklists 
Association for Library Service to Children 
Young Adult Library Services Association Book Awards & Booklists
Choosing Children’s Books for a Reluctant Reader
Annual Book Award Lists:
Newberry Medal
Caldecott Medal
American Library Association’s Notable Children’s Books List 

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