How to approach vocabulary for homeschoolers

There will obviously be some deviations depending on what stage of the trivium your child is in.  No matter what the age though, there are a few consistencies you can rely on.

1)  Vocabulary should come from material the child is already reading or hearing.  This not only saves a huge amount of time for the parent/teacher/tutor, but gives the learner context for them to apply the meaning.

Dedicate every other day to vocab/spelling and every other day to grammar.  This is in addition to any fiction/non-fiction writing exercises.

2)  Word parts = prefixes, root words, suffixes

These can be introduced after your child has mastered phonics, but will continue to be a strong source for decoding new words, especially when they are found out of context and the meaning is not so obvious.

3)  Latin

Admittedly, this is 1 arena that until now we have not emphasized like I wished in our curriculum.  However, it is now a new priority, and thanks to Harry Potter, it’s something my kids are actually excited to tackle.  As a nursing student taking Medical Terminology, the 1st thing that was impressed on us was that all biological terms are Latin.  The 2nd thing was that we didn’t learn whole terms, but rather a series of word parts each week.  We were then expected to piece together these parts to decipher the intricately complicated words that flooded us from every direction.  14 years later, it is amazing how many of these word parts have stuck.  While this is invaluable to your student’s language development, Latin studies should be in addition to English vocabulary lists and assignments.

5)  Quizzes

Weekly vocabulary quizzes are very effective, but rather than ditch the old list when the next week rolls around, keep any words that the child is not confident in to add to the new list.  This may mean that the # varies from week to week, and there’s nothing wrong with that.  These quizzes also do not need to written; verbal is just fine.  In fact, in regards to spelling, verbal is superior.  Go here to find out why.

Once your list is established, there are many methods to approach memorization.  The definitions (along with part of speech) should be written down at least once (if not several times)  in their notebook.   Further ideas will be discussed in our lesson plan venue.

Click on the following links for grade/stage specific tips on mastering vocabulary.

Grammar Stage Vocabulary  (k-4)

Logic Stage Vocabulary  (5-8)

Rhetoric Stage Vocabulary  (9-12)


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Grammar Stage Vocabulary « The Infamous Frik n' Frak
  2. Trackback: The Infamous Frik n' Frak
  3. Trackback: Rhetoric Stage Vocabulary « The Infamous Frik n' Frak
  4. Trackback: Logic Stage Vocabulary/Spelling Lesson Plans « The Infamous Frik n' Frak
  5. Trackback: Intro to Latin for beginners « The Infamous Frik n' Frak
  6. Trackback: Homeschooling My Four-Year-Old Son « mindfulconsideration

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