By Thomas Weck
It is never too early to teach a love of writing to your children. It has long been believed shown that the better the reader, the better the writer. By developing an early love of reading in our children, they will be poised to become good writers.
In our culture today, being a good writer is more important than ever. We are constantly writing–emails, texts, presentations, blog posts, Facebook posts, and Tweets, to name just a few. And what we write has more power if it is coherent and concise. With Twitter, one has to express an articulate and grammatically correct thought in 140 characters or less! This is often a challenge for even the most seasoned writer!
Because writing is so important, a good writer needs to know how to select the most powerful words.
Discovering a wide range of vocabulary starts from the time your children are very young. In the Lima Bear Stories Series, for instance, I purposely used exciting vocabulary words. Those words are put in special italics to encourage the reader to take another look at the word and discover its meaning in the context of the story. Here’s an example from The Megasaurus. “Suddenly the beans felt the earth tremble and heard a terrible roar. The trees began to sway.” Notice the words selected: the earth trembles (not “shakes”); they heard a terrible roar (not “loud noise”); the trees began to sway (not “move”). It is easy to identify the more powerful word, right? Special attention to these uncommon vocabulary words will alert the reader to a future use in his own writing whether for a short Tweet or a school essay.
Later in your children’s lives, good vocabulary will be the lifeblood of effective, persuasive written communication that will get noticed and stand out above others who don’t have a good vocabulary. Carefully chosen, strong words need to be in their minds and at their fingertips in order to convey the messages they wish to send. Instead of having to struggle for the right words, they will be able to select from a wide array of impressive, useful words. Their love of words will inevitably grow, leading to an even greater vocabulary. There is nothing so wonderful as when an intriguing word pops into your head to use in writing at precisely the right time! Start good writing habits with good reading habits to help create the best writers in the future.
– Thomas Weck is a creative and captivating national award-winning author of children’s books, including the popular Lima Bear Stories Series: The Megasaurus, How Back-Back Got His Name, The Cave Monster, The Labyrinth and Bully Bean (coming in July 2013). Learn more at LimaBearPress.com.