Do you watch educational TV with your child? I'm sure most of you do. My husband and I watch along with our 3 year old. There are a ton out there! Some may be better than others, but they all have the goal to help teach your child about different things.
Reading also helps to teach your child about different things. No matter the format of print material (eBooks, hardcover, etc.), they are rich in vocabulary and in meaning. Hopefully, you read with and to with child and don't just rely on educational TV.
This morning my son was watching this new educational TV program and something Jim Trelease speaks of in The Read-Aloud Handbook came back to me: the vocabulary in reading stories surpasses the language children hear watching a show. Not only is the vocabulary richer, but the speed at which you read a book can help children seep in information better than shows. You can stop the flow of a book to point out the pictures and explain better.
Today in story time we read In the Sea by David Elliott and illustrated by Holly Meade. I was blown away by the succinct and wonderful vocabulary in it! Elliott really digs in to write small poems about different aquatic animals. It is not only pleasurable, but helps introduce new vocabulary to your child, vocabulary most TV programs do not use.
So just remember to be balanced. Books are not the only place to learn about the world. Educational TV does not always provide the unique vocabulary children need to help them later on when they learn to read.