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Words & Reading, Reading & Words...Is your child’s vocabulary growing?

I’ve heard it all from every angle…

“My child will talk when they are ready…”

“I can understand what they want…so what’s the big deal?”

“The pediatrician said to wait…”

This one is my personal favorite, “Einstein was a late talker! Look at how great he turned out…”

Your perspective regarding your child’s vocabulary is key. I always appreciate the input. We need to be “team us” to get where we need to go.

What I do want you to know parents is how much I care about your child’s vocabulary growth. Seriously, I could spend hours talking on this subject until you muzzle me. Why, because it is that serious. The building blocks of vocabulary shapes your little sugars future outcome.

Why…simply because language is everything we need in order to get along with the other humans. Did you catch that? It is EVERYTHING we need in order to get along with the other humans.

Let’s start with the basics…when your child moves from crying to pointing, this is a form of communication. It’s not quite vocabulary, but your child is sending a simple message to you. It is typically in the form of a need or a want. What makes this soooo cool is that after so much time of hearing these messages, you become pretty savvy at picking up on that form of communication.

At around 7-12 months, that language shifts from pointing, grabbing and crying to the use of a single word. Confidence is built up in your

child every time you show them that you understand what they are saying. Then, your child starts trying out new words. See, I keep telling you that you are a world changer.

By 18 months, those new words grow into at least 10 words. Pretty amazing right! This vocabulary used is typically for objects in their everyday environment.

BOOM! The language explodes at 24 months! It’s like a whirlwind.

Suddenly, your child is using 5 to 7 new vocabulary words each week. You should hear nouns (people, places, things) picking up from here. I hear lots of parents cleaning up their language during this time, lol…Also, you are probably hearing 2 to 3 word phrases and some simple sentences.

This is where the simple math comes in…it’s pretty solid…

5-7 new vocabulary words each week = 20-35 new vocabulary words monthly

20-35 new vocabulary words monthly = 240-420 new vocabulary words every 12 month

Hence the language BOOM!!! PHEW!!!

By 48 months, your child is ready for preschool. All of that vocabulary is going to now be applied from social use to preacademic use. The brain is ready to take that vocabulary and use it to decode written language. They’ve heard stories, words, songs, and by now have a pretty good grasp on sounds.

These sounds are now ready to become visual symbols that are meant to put words together.


Therefore, the more vocabulary words known, the easier to transition into reading language. The easier the transition to reading language, the more they can understand when reading. The more they understand when reading, the more complex the language they grasp.

It’s all a symbol system. It all starts with that single word and metamorphosizes into this massive vocabulary that we use to advocate our wants, needs, desires, interests, disinterest, hopes, dreams, visions, purpose and the list goes on. However, if we struggle to understand how to use our language, than it limits our future potential growth or makes it harder to reach our goals.

So…the next time you hear someone say “wait and see,” or “they will talk when they are ready” you now understand the power of meeting language milestones. You’re now an ambassador for those in your community.

Also, seek out the support of a local licensed speech and language pathologist if unsure. Most provide free or low cost telephone consultations.

And…if they don’t listen to you, redirect them to this blog because you have a language specialist on your side cheerleading with and for you!

Take Care Y’all! C

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