Psychometrician Johnson O’Connor studies factors leading to career achievement.  His studies cover a wide range of areas, including age and level of education.  Every time he analyzed the data, he got the same results: the better a person’s vocabulary, the better correlation with success.

Scientists think that that a bigger vocabulary is connected to the ability to think in more complex ways.  O’Connor suggests four ways to increase your vocabulary:

  1. Be aware of words
  2. Read
  3. Use a dictionary (circle the words and make a note of them)
  4. Study and review regularly
If you’re looking for a fun summer activity to do with your kids, consider the Word a Day project.  Each morning pick a word that is unfamiliar to your children.  Look it up in the dictionary, discuss or act out its meaning, draw a picture or symbol to help remember it, and then try to use it several times throughout the day.   Post the new words on index cards.  Try to use them in a story or poem.  By the end of the summer, your children will be at least 60 steps–or words– closer to success.
by Marcia Chamberlain, Writers in the Schools
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