Much like spelling and grammar, the best way to teach vocabulary words to your children is by reading, Reading, READING! Do NOT spend money or waste your time on any sort of vocabulary building curriculum.
For me, the following two tips have been the secret in our homeschooling to vocabulary building. People frequently commented throughout my children’s years growing up about what large vocabularies they all had. And still do.
1) Read. Read books aloud to your children from the time they’re infants in your arms. My oldest daughter’s first word was “book” and she’s still a reader with a nice big vocabulary to this day. She’s almost 30. 🙂 Also, be sure to read above their personal reading level when reading aloud. For read aloud ideas, check out my Twaddle-Free Book List.
2) Speak intelligently. Don’t talk baby talk to your preschoolers. They’ll learn the words you use, so talk to them like they’re the intelligent people that they are. Use your Big Girl words and they’ll learn to use Big Girl words, too.
I found this handy image on RaisingArrows.net that shares about how to increase your child’s vocabulary without resorting to vocabulary drills or curriculum. I definitely agree. 🙂
Repeat after me: “I will not buy vocabulary curriculum for my children. I will read to them and use big words.”
Just my humble opinion — following a quarter century of homeschooling — for what it’s worth.