The magic in a child's dictionary
| Aug 11, 2010
In a Q&A column by Leanna Landsmann in The Detroit Free Press a parent asks why a school would require a child to have a children's dictionary. "I can see why schools want kids to have certain supplies, but does my fourth-grader really need a children's dictionary when he can look up a word on dictionary.com?" the parent asked.
Landsmann's response: A new hardcover children's dictionary costs the same as a new video game -- or a fraction of that if you buy one used. If you can afford one, get it. The investment will help your son develop of love of language and expand his vocabulary.Sending your son to an online dictionary invites distraction, exposes him to advertising, deprives him of the opportunity to scan other entries on a page, and requires parental Internet monitoring when your time with him might be better spent sharing the thrill of discovering new words.
"Magical things happen when a child opens up a dictionary," says Francie Alexander, chief academic officer at Scholastic. "A young reader can see how many wonderful words there are to learn; you can point out word families." For more on the topic, visit The Detroit Free Press online.