5 Easy Ways to Teach Your Child English at Home 04
Welcome back to part Four of this series about helping your child learn English at home! If you didn’t get to see the first three parts, please read them first by clicking here.
In our previous three posts we discussed that starting early, focusing on listening first, and avoiding electronics as well as poor “children’s” programming are all great ways to start learning English with your child at home. Today we will discuss our fourth point which is…
4. Focus on verbs and phrases first rather than just nouns.
The word verb comes from the Latin verbum which actually means “the word” That is because verbs are THE most important words your child will learn. When you start from verbs and phrases in daily life it will be so much easier for the child to understand and speak complete sentences correctly right from the beginning.
I don’t understand why we often have a tendency to try and cram our children’s brains with a bunch of nouns from the get go. That doesn’t mean you can’t teach these things but the verb must take precedence and your child will learn all the nouns alongside and learn them better because there is a context in which to use these words. For example, rather than just teaching what all the items in the bathroom are called like toothbrush, bathtub, sink, toothpaste, etc. I would say things to my child like: “take..I take the toothpaste, I take my toothbrush, put… I put the toothpaste on my toothbrush, brush… I brush my teeth, rinse…I rinse my mouth, I rinse my toothbrush, I’m finished brushing my teeth.” I would say each thing I’m doing as I do it. Here the student is learning the verbs take, put, brush, rinse in meaningful phrases that include noun vocabulary.
Verbs are one of the most difficult things to master in English because they are often changing. The child who is used to hearing and using verbs in all their forms from the beginning will not be confused, on the contrary he will learn it more quickly and easily, and will have better spoken and written grammar in the future. Again, the key is to think of the natural way that children learn to understand and speak language: with real experiences and real people, in real, everyday life…not from flashcards or a textbook or set formulas that are contrived to make things “easier” for them. The time may come for those things when the child gets a bit older but very young children just don’t learn best in that way and it can end up robbing them of the kind of activities and interactions they need for healthy development in other areas.
Let everything flow naturally and joyfully with your child in your adventures of learning together, do not be anxious for results but just put forth a little consistent daily effort! Please watch for our fifth and final segment of this article about learning English with your child at home. Happy learning!