Raising Logophiles

A logophile is a lover of words. That’s me. Ever since I can remember, I have loved words. The sound, the definition, the length, the root etc.

My bright eyed children, it seems, have inherited this love. Before he could form words my son would point to something and demand the word for it with a guttural ‘tgit!?’. When I hand my daughter something, I give her the word twice and she stops and listens carefully.Then, all day,in her constant babble, I hear the sounds of the words she heard that day.

In homeschooling, I have never used vocabulary words, drills or tests. I believe that loving words, appreciating their strength, and understanding their meanings from real life interactions make learning lasting. Mostly I read out-loud from the newspaper or any grown up book.  A big, unwieldy dictionary sits nearby and the online dictionary is our Internet homepage to encourage word investigation. If he chooses to listen, my son will stop me and ask what a word means and then he repeats it, very obviously savoring the sounds. I knew his love for sure when he started using new words in his everyday  conversations as soon as he was able to speak. The first time, it was the word ‘actually’. He used any chance he got until a new word caught his fancy.

When I come across a delicious word (a word that is unusual, has a funny sound or an interesting meaning), I write it, the root and meaning on an index card and tack it on the wall. He may read it or not, but when he does, it can capture his imagination. Last week, I tacked up the word ennui (old French but original Latin) meaning boredom.

On Sunday, after exhausting his play, I overheard my son say to his sister with a listless tone,” Today is full of ennui. I want to do something fun…”

Article By Nuria Almeida

Picture By HowardLake

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