25¢ Words (An Update)December 30, 2009
This post was originally written on October 13, 2009.
Sophia was very late in her speech development. Late to the point where the pediatrician had us go see a speech therapist to determine whether she was developmentally delayed in that area.
The therapist determined that no, she was just fine. We figured she was late learning because (1) she had so many ear infections during the first two years of her life that she wasn’t hearing clearly and (2) all she had to do was point at whatever she wanted and one of us was certain to hand it to her.
Anyway… it seemed like when she finally did start talking at 2 1/2 years old, it was not simple words, but full sentences! Every now and then, she would surprise me with what I thought was an impressive word for such a young child. “Wow! That’s a 25¢ word!” I would usually exclaim.
Then one day, circa age 4, she asked me if my statement meant that I would be paying her 25¢.
I shrugged and figured, why not? I handed her a shiny new quarter for her piggy bank, but established a few ground rules. First, she has to use the word appropriately within the context of a sentence. Second, she has to be able to tell me what the word means.
Now a savvy second grader with a trip to Disney World looming on the horizon, she’s working this little tradition to her advantage. In the past week she’s earned $1.50 for using words such as alluring and sophisticated.
I love the fact that she’s got such an impressive vocabulary for one so young! I think rewarding her for learning new words makes so much more sense than, say, paying for baby teeth that fall out.
But as a wordie, I’m a bit biased.
UPDATE: A week or two after this post was written, I learned that Sophia was taking the quarters I gave her and putting them in her Lottie Moon Christmas offering box. Whenever she earned money, whether for good grades or using big words, the money went into the offering box. I’m pleased to say that when we turned in her offering at church, the total was $37.86.