A Simple Way to Learn Vocabulary


We all want our children to have a rich vocabulary.

When children are younger we are always pointing out the meanings of words to them. We read aloud to them and define beautiful words as we go. 

As children get older I'm not sure we emphasize new vocabulary quite as much. (Maybe you do, but I found in my house it went by the wayside.)

This year, as a Challenge A student in Classical Conversations, my daughter is reading many wonderful books. She reads a book, discusses it with me (and her class), and then writes a persuasive essay (using The Lost Tools of Writing) about a specific issue in the book.

I still wanted her to be learning new vocabulary, however, so we needed a simple system that was fun for her, too.


Making Vocabulary Notecards

When my daughter is reading one of her assigned books she must write down at least 5 words per chapter that are new to her. 

She looks them up (please tell me I'm not old fashioned by teaching dictionary skills) and writes their meaning on a notecard.

{Give your child  colored pencils for this - everything is better when it's in color!}

(These words are from A Gathering of Days)

She shows me these notecards and I use them to drill these new words with her after she has finished the book. I also verbally quiz her on their spellings, but not always. I don't want to turn this into drudgery, rather a fun study of words. 

Easy. Simple. Effective.

I'm finding we don't need a fancy vocabulary curriculum - just time tested, quality literature and a stack of notecards will do.

How do your children study vocabulary?