How Do Synonyms And Antonyms Help With Building Problem Solving Skills?

happy little child reading book on couch at home

In the lead up to the 11 plus exams, your child will need extensive practise and preparation to ensure they are in the best possible position to succeed in their assessments tests. In doing so, they will need to have a very good understanding of various words. This will include synonyms and antonyms as they are particularly good for helping children to build their problem-solving skills. If you’re wondering how, then you’re in luck, because this article discusses all things problem-solving With synonyms and aontonyms knowledge!

What Are The Benefits of Synonyms and Antonyms?

Close-up of an Opened Dictionary showing the Word WORD
Close-up of an Opened Dictionary showing the Word WORD

Of all the different kinds of words out there, why are synonyms and antonyms so crucial in problem-solving skills? After all, they are just another type of words that children can use in their writing.

Well, while children can indeed use these words in their writing there is little more of a benefit to it than that. Children who can draw from a bank of synonyms and antonyms can be found to enliven and strengthen the imaginative and creative writing that they produce Because they have a wider bank of words to choose from. 

How Does This Expanse of Synonyms and Antonyms Knoweldge Help with Problem-Solving?

Choosing more interesting and exciting words can help children to communicate their ideas much more effectively. By learning alternatives and substitutes to familiar or repeated words, your children’s problem-solving skills grow as a result. How? You might wonder. Well, the answer is pretty simple.

When writing a sentence or a story, there will be some basic and simple words that your child is familiar with. Let’s say they are writing about a happy dog, for example. If they use the word ‘happy’ once or twice in their work, this is excusable, but if this is the only word they can use to describe this feeling, then a lack of a varied vocabulary will show. The repetition of the same words or phrases in writing will get marked down. However, a rounded understanding of more words shows depth of word knowledge, and enlivens whatever is being written about, which is necessary for the right preparation for your child’s 11+ exams.   

Where To Get Started With Learning Synonyms and Antonyms?

If you’re prepping your child for their 11+ exams, then you’ll know they need to learn many varied (and new) words. This is because, in the English exams, they are expected to show off their knowledge and understanding of different kinds of words. Additionally, children are expected to be several reading ages above the national standard for the 11 Plus exams, so a variety of words used in their writing will demonstrate this. In the verbal reasoning papers, strong vocabulary and word knowledge will help with finding opposite word meanings, synonyms and even with the cloze exercises. For exams like the Bexley Selection Test, the verbal reasoning paper accounts for 50% of the score, so this becomes increaisngly more important to be in with a strong chance of passing the exam.

To get started with increasing word knowledge (using the development of synonyms and antonyms), your child will need to boost their word acquisition quickly.

11 Plus Vital Words Dictionary - Important Words for Verbal Reasoning and English Papers

A helpful starting point is to use an 11+ vocabulary list that actually gives the definitions of the words, plus the synonyms and antonyms. This dictionary of synonyms and antonyms provides a fantastic starting point, along with its accompanying workbook.

The Vital Words Dictionary, in particular, is quite handy as it’s full of complex synonyms and antonyms that will give your child an extra edge when writing their English and CEM verbal reasoning exams! They far extend the words that children need to know for their Kay Stage 2 preparation.

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