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Talking to children: initiate, narrate and elaborate


It should not come as a shock that it is parent-to-child communication which actually teaches children to speak, not just to utter words, but even the fine art of conversation. Though many parents speak to their children often, there is a marked difference in the types of conversations that occur most frequently. Studies have shown that the more parents talk to their child, the greater the child’s vocabulary. The more creative the parents’ speech, the more the child learns about language and the more varied the child’s speech. Recent findings have validated what mothers have instinctively known: babies recognize their mother's voice and are learning and understanding long before they utter words!

It is through a daily narration that parents, particularly stay-at-home mothers, teach their children a great deal about their surroundings. There is a marked difference in the IQ of children who are exposed to constant, creative narration and children who are raised without it. Parents, particularly homeschooling parents, often take advantage of what are often referred to as teachable moments. Simply put, these passing moments are opportunities to talk to children about various things in a relaxed manner—while going through the motions of everyday activities. Language is often best learned in a relaxed manner. Though small children have yet to study grammar, write essays, or engage in formal debates they are capable of correct speech, able to dictate stories and, most certainly, can engage in informal debates! How do they learn all of this without books? Children learn from listening to their parents and siblings on a day-to-day basis. Children are simply soaking up the daily narration of their lives.

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