Why Big Words Matter

24,000 Words

That’s how many words kindergartners should understand.
To achieve that incredible number, children must learn 13 words a day before age five!

Then vocabulary grows to at least
50,000 new words by middle school and 80,000 more words by high school.

To learn a new word, a child needs to hear it as many as 12 times,
but adult conversations only use about 3,000 words.

Reading aloud is the best way to expose children to new words!

I am working to learn about the power of reading aloud in everyday life. The questions that fuel my curiosity:

How and why do families use books in their daily lives?

What information do parents want and need to make read alouds as effective as possible?

What are the developmental consequences of listening to loving read alouds every day?

What books can parents use to make sure their children are exposed to a variety of big, empowering words?

How do we, as a culture, make reading aloud a part of our very fiber? And what are the ramifications of such a culture shift?

Who is already doing the work to empower parents with the tools and information they need to read aloud and to make the most of their read alouds? And what can we learn from their successes and struggles?