The Key to Learning (any subject)

What if I told you there was one subject that could do all of the following:
• Deepen reading comprehension
• Strengthen writing skills
• Increase test scores in all areas
• Increase your students IQ

This one subject is crucial to strengthening your students understanding of all other subject areas. You actually teach this accidentally every day. No subject can be taught or learned without this subject. Do you know what it is?

This powerful subject is vocabulary.

It makes sense, if we don’t understand the meaning of words, we can’t truly comprehend. Even mathematics, which we often think of as a non-verbal subject is highly dependent on understanding the vocabulary used. Every subject has its special vocabulary.

We teach vocabulary incidentally as our kids ask what numerous words mean and we provide on the spot explanations, or say…”I don’t know exactly how to explain that word, let’s look it up.” Also, by the example of having a large vocabulary ourselves and not being afraid to use words our kids don’t know yet when speaking to them.

Tips for increasing your children’s vocabulary.
• Use words your kids don’t know when you talk to them.
• Make sure your read-alouds include books with words beyond your children’s current vocabulary.
• Assign reading that uses a large vocabulary
• With any subject, introduce vocabulary purposefully.
• Have your kids act out new words or draw them when possible.
• Build custom lists for free online practice at vocabulary.com

“The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is the difference between the lightning and the lightning-bug.” Mark Twain

Another powerful way to increase vocabulary is to learn Latin and Greek roots. Once you know these roots, and a few prefixes and suffixes, you can dissect many words on the spot. This is helpful both in the middle of literature stories, where you just can’t stand putting the book down to look up a word, and in matters such as remembering how many sides a heptagon has on a geometry test.

Vocabulary is the alphabet, or building block, for learning any subject. Although every subject has its own special vocabulary, Greek and Latin roots show up in many subjects.

An easy way to incorporate Greek and Latin roots into your homeschool is with Word Up! The Vocab Show. This show will get your kids laughing, and that may be more important than you think. Dopamine is released when a child is having a pleasurable experience and dopamine increases attentive focus and memory function. The show is visual, with engaging video behind the auditory explanation of the words presented. This is important even if you don’t have a visual learner, because making it visual boosts the retention level of all students. The next step in learning is to have your students actively engage with the words, which is easy for them to do independently with the computer based drills that come with a purchase of the show.

You can easily bring on a deeper level of learning and retention by having your children teach the words they have learned to mom or dad at the dinner table. The final challenge is to get your kids using the words in everyday conversation. Have a contest to see who can use the most new words in context during a certain day or week. It will get your kids thinking creatively about what they have learned and after all of this, it may actually be hard for them to forget these roots!

One of the things I love about this program is that you can use it so many ways. You can be intense and go crazy with it like I suggest above, or you can just pop it in the DVD player when mom needs a break, and leave it at that. Your kids will still pick up a lot of new words, especially with repeated viewings, and it is entertaining enough they will definitely ask to watch it more than once.

 

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