When you have three kids, attending three different schools, and participating in three separate activities— it can be overwhelming at times to say the least. I feel like I am constantly shifting gears; Ryder is studying this new thing, Siella is starting to learn that new thing and Gemma is right on their heels taking it all in. But every once in a while we find a subject or activity that aligns all three kids— like winter sports. The kiddos are all super into skiing and snowboarding, which is fantastic because we get to do it as a family.
The latest family activity has shifted to academics this year, making our new all inclusive activity reading. Reading has been a major focus in the past few years for Ryder, then Siella started learning, and now Gemma is on board. Reading is fundamental for each school subject; you can’t excel at math or science if you are having difficulty reading. Of course there are different challenges for each of my kids when it comes to reading, but my approach has always been consistent— by reading to all of them each night before bed.
Although the children love our nighttime story routine, reading requires much more instruction and a special focus on learning vocabulary—especially the 10,000 challenging words a child needs to learn from ages 7-17 to achieve their full academic potential. Children with a richer vocabulary become better readers and writers. My new secret weapon to teaching my children how to read is Mrs Wordsmith. The experts Mrs. Wordsmith partnered with at Cambridge University identified the 10,000 most relevant and challenging words in the English language.
Mrs Wordsmith is a female-founded and female-led London-based subscription service that helps kids accelerate their vocabulary through visuals. And these visuals are not just random stock images. Mrs. Wordsmith founder, Sofia Fenichell partnered with Craig Kellman, the award-winning artist behind the animated movies Madagascar and Hotel Transylvania to design the visuals with his team of illustrators.
The monthly box is delivered to your home filled with educational but fun and exciting materials from flashcards to placemats. The first set of words received is the Storytelling Journey or the Narrative box (ideal for ages 7-10) teaches kids vocabulary sufficient to tell a great story (words to describe characters, setting, weather, taste and smell, actions and emotions). The additional collections, Early Years (ages 3-7), Persuasion (ages 10-17) and Growth Mindset will be available soon.
Mrs Wordsmith uses collocations or word pairs to teach children vocabulary. Word pairs teach kids how their new word is most frequently used so they can completely understand a word and its definition, form and how to use it. It leads to your child reading faster with better comprehension and the ability to write more descriptively. On the back of each illustrated card there are word pair exercises that teach children how to “use” their new words. Mrs. Wordsmith presents the word ‘blistering’ to kids along with word pairs like ‘blistering heat,’ blistering pace,’ and blistering sore’ to show how it is most often used making it easily recognizable and effectively used. Learning word relationships makes them much more useful. We can play card games to learn vocabulary and at breakfast it is fun to learn 1-3 new words before the day has even begun!
Since we all know that kids learn better with visuals, they grab the attention of disengaged students so why not use images to teach kids vocabulary? Visual learning also helps children with dyslexia— so I know Ryder will definitely benefit from this new approach. I mean…if my kids were able to recall vocabulary words with the same enthusiasm and accuracy that they recall every character in Madagascar or Hotel Transylvania— I think my job is done!
We are hitting the Christmas crunch and rather than load our house with just play toys that take up space, I made a vow this year to focus mostly on educational and learning toys for the kids. They have plenty of things to play with, and they need to enrich their minds and help prepare for the future. I like the idea of bringing learning into the home in a fun and engaging way. Mrs. Wordsmith is definitely on the Christmas List this year.
Of course you can order Mrs. Wordsmith anytime but you have until December 14 to place your order for guaranteed Christmas Delivery.