How to develop your vocabulary

In this day of tech, is developing your child’s vocabulary proving to be a challenge? 


At SmartStepZ we would like to join you on your journey whether you are preparing for the 11+, up levelling creative writing or just boosting confidence.

Explain the meaning behind words

Steps to follow: 

  1. Recognise the new word: while reading, watching a movie or a word they have heard.
  2. Help your child recognise the root of the word – for example, if your child doesn’t understand the word “Multilingual”, discuss what “Multi” means… you may have bought a multi-bag of crisps. Once it is understood that the word multi = many,  you could tell them to re-read a sentence so they understand its context and guess the possibility of the meaning of the word. 
  3. Explain the definition of the word
  4. Provide an example of how you’d use it in a sentence. You may have to present the word in different scenarios

Write the words down

Encourage your child to write down the new words, along with sentences using that word, in a “Word Diary”

To further understand the new vocabulary, encourage your child to keep a diary; they can choose how they want to record the vocabulary learned ( stories, sentences, poems, images etc). Let them be creative! Why don’t you print out our free resources to practise some tricky words, write these words down and keep on practising.

Reading, reading and more reading

Reading really is the key to the secret door! With reading comes understanding and with understanding, everything is just so simple. 


As a parent, regular reading should be a must; be their role model! I always found going to bookshops with a coffee shop worked wonders to develop a love for reading. There is nothing better than a mug of hot chocolate and a good book. 


Encourage your child to read a wide variety of genres but also be aware of their abilities; reading a book verbatim will serve no purpose other than confusion and boredom. 


Sharing a book benefits everyone. It allows you to monitor your child’s reading while enabling you to discuss words found difficult and discuss what the author is saying beyond the text. 

Other resources to develop vocabulary

Newspapers, journals and even Youtube videos are made especially for children. 

Recently, a child asked me what was happening between Russia and Ukraine. I found a fabulous Youtube video made especially for children; simply explained, no anxiety and so much new vocabulary. 

Using synonyms and antonyms

Synonyms and antonyms will help boost your child’s vocabulary. Learn more words to say the same thing, without putting the reader to sleep! 


Download our free resource on antonyms. Use the words to play a game. Write EACH  word on a  separate post-it note, mix them up and time your child on matching the words. It will be a game worth playing—guaranteed! 



Visit our page on English where we add new resources for you to download for your child. 



Also, sign up to SmartStepZ online today, if you haven’t already. We drop sample papers on “Tutoring Thursdays”. 


If you think your child requires additional support then get in touch with us today for our one-to-one tutoring sessions. 

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