Each summer, the boys and I spend a little time each day working on academic skills to reinforce what they have learned, to better prepare them for the upcoming school year. I know, I know! Sounds a bit over the top. But before you report me to the fun police, please believe me when I tell you, that we are having a blast! Most of what we do is kid driven, eg; “I want to work on my math facts this summer.” or “I need help with spelling.” We are also do all sorts of fun “kitchen science” projects, such as a baking soda and vinegar rocket (physics & aerodynamics), building a marshmallow shooter (air propulsion,) water balloon wars (water displacement,) growing seeds (plants & ecosystems,) and more.
One of the things we are surprisingly having the most fun with are learning root words with the help of these:
I am amazed at how well all of the boys are doing with these. (Me, too!) Phonics teach kids what words are, roots teach kids what words mean. Each card has a greek or latin root word on the front, with the definition and word examples on the back. We learn 10 cards each week. I start by reading the word, then spelling the word, with the kids repeating after me. Then we discuss the definition, and I either give them examples that use the root, or they guess words that are derived from the root. They amaze me each and every time we go through our cards. I am also surprised at how often the root words illicit giggles when the boys decode a word.
Some of our favorites include:
Philia (Greek) meaning love, friendship
Philosopher (sophia-wisdom) – one who loves wisdom
Philidelphia (adelphos-brother) – city of brotherly love
I hear giggles and shouts of “Bear-philia!” or “Hello, my adelphos!”
Phobos (Greek) meaning fear
phobia- an irrational fear
agoraphobia (agora-field) – fear of open spaces
“Thunder-phobia!” or “arachnophobia! (fear of spiders)”
OK, so not all of their shout-outs are correct, but most of them are. The important thing is that they are learning the roots, getting the idea of how to decode words, and having fun with the process.
You can find English from the Roots Up Flashcards vol. 1 & 2 on Amazon.