Monday, May 11, 2009

Vocabulary From Classical Roots

Spelling and vocabulary are the pillars of good writing.    

Teaching them is not always very inspiring.

My eldest, who is in fourth grade, is a very precocious reader. And because of this, his vocabulary is also quite precocious!  Finding a spelling or vocabulary program that gives him challenges has been a bit of a challenge for me!

We have tried a few over the years but the one that we have stuck with the longest has been Vocabulary from Classical Roots by Lee Mountain.

We began with the Book 4 last year and we are just finishing book 5.  We have used the program as a 2 in 1 vocabulary and spelling book.  I don't think it is really written as a spelling series, as there is never any mention of it in the introductions or lessons.  But, for us it is very logical to use it as a spelling resource. 

Every unit is built around a set of roots which are either Greek or Latin.   The units all begin with the presentation of the words, followed by a description of the roots.  Next, there is a dictionary style definition of each word.  The lessons include comparing words for synonyms, using the words in context and knowledge extension exercises.  There are extra words that use the same roots as the words being studied.  These are classified as familiar words and challenge words.  

I love that this program helps students find a method to understand unfamiliar words.  

To turn it from a straight vocabulary method into a spelling method, I have him copy all the words from the unit on Monday,  on Wednesday, I get him to do a self-test by recopying the words without looking, on Thursday he studies any that were tricky and prepares for his Friday test.  

House guests have been impressed to find a spelling test on our fridge with a score of 100% of words that included: chronometer, biometric, trigonometry, and thermoelectric.  

We have ordered it directly from the publisher EPS.
There are lots of online samples available to peruse.  Check it out!

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