Vocabulary size is a really important predictor of later success in school. Kids who come to school with more words in their vocabulary, already are a step ahead than kids who don't, said Ronald Marx, Ph.D., dead of the University of Arizona's College of Education.

There is a big difference in vocabulary among children who grew up in poverty, and in a home where the parents didn't get much education, compared to families who have more education and more wealth.

Balancing that gap is a very important part of early education, making sure that children have access to books and other tools to expand their vocabulary, Marx explained.

"On the language side, the vocabulary is an important piece, and when they (children) start to read, understanding that reading is not just saying the words but taking meaning from text," he said. "So, exposure to books, exposure to language, explanations for things, all give kids opportunities for language growth and success at reading (and education)."

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