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    Vocabulary

    Hello,

    I'm thinking of adding a vocabulary component to our schedule next year and would love some guidance/input. I love that all of MP's guides have vocabulary built in them, and we utilize it diligently. I'm looking at maybe incorporating something more from a suffix/prefix/root standpoint for strategies in learning word meanings they come across in their daily reading, as well as for test taking strategies. My main concern is that I don't want something that will add a large amount of work to each day, as I want to keep things simple and focus mostly on the MP core. Because I love MP and how streamlined and sensible it is, I was actually thinking about Roots of English or The Book of Roots. Would either of these fit what I'm searching for? Has anyone used either of these with success? If you've used other things, would you mind sharing? I'd be most grateful!

    Mindy

    #2
    Mindy,
    We have not used either of the roots books that you mentioned, so hopefully someone with experience in those will offer their take on them. I will share that we no longer feel the need for a separate vocabulary course because of what you mentioned, that there is so much attention paid to learning words children encounter in their student guides, but also because they are studying Latin. Their Latin vocabulary, as well as the derivative practice, gives them a wealth of learning about word origins, prefixes, and suffixes, while in the context of also learning grammar, syntax, and usage. It works so well as an integrated study, that I no longer have any doubt at how well prepared they will be when it comes to vocabulary.

    So I would consider Latin study, first and foremost, since that is the centerpiece of the core curriculum anyway. By the way, how old are your children? It does take a couple of years of Latin to really realize how much they have actually learned; it was not until we were halfway through First Form that the lightbulb went on for me!

    AMDG,
    Sarah
    2020-2021
    16th Year HSing; 10th Year with MP
    DD, 19, Homeschool grad; college sophomore
    DS, 17
    DD, 15
    DD, 13
    DD, 11
    DD, 9
    DD, 7
    +DS+
    DS, 2

    Comment


      #3
      Sarah,

      Thank you for the reply. My girls are 9.5 and almost 11. They will be in 4th and 6th next year, and are in what I'd consider the 'accelerated' core. However, they aren't in one solid core across the subject spectrum. I wish they were, but because of when and how I started them off in MP three years ago, they are both all over the map when it comes to which core they are in. So much good stuff has been added over the last few years that I've gone back to cover some Lit we missed, moved ahead in Geography because I had one that ate that up, kept them together for Christian Studies and Latin (putting one ahead and another either on grade or behind in a sense), or simply strayed to another program for a subject, only to wish I hadn't, totally messing up the progression from one year to the next. I look at the cores now and wish I could simply click 'add to cart' for one complete core, but I need to order items and lesson plans separately because of what they each have or haven't covered.

      Regarding Latin, I felt it much easier when we began our Latin study 3 years ago to place them both in Prima Latina together. They are less than 18 months apart, and I felt they could keep up with one another. They were in 1st and 3rd respectively at that time, and it worked well. We took our time, set a firm foundation, and moved into LCI last year...again, it worked well. We started this year in First Form. My 5th grader finds it a breeze and wants to go ahead by herself. My 3rd grader needs more practice and a bit of a slower pace this year, although she gets it and is not struggling. She's just not as quick with it as my older daughter (and for good reason...she's in FF earlier than most). I'm hoping that if I keep reviewing with her over the summer, she will be able to move into Second Form next fall. Redoing FF would be too simple and that much review is not needed. If I told her she was staying in FF she'd faint, as it's not her favorite subject in the least. I just don't want to move her on too quickly. But that's a different topic...one that I could use some guidance in, as well from anyone that was in my predicament.

      I suppose you are correct in that a formal vocabulary program isn't necessary if we are diligent with our Latin studies. I've seen it at work even in informal situations. Either I or one of my girls will notice a root, and I'll get (from my less than enthusiastic Latin learner) 'why does everything have to come back to Latin?' So, it must be working! I'm a Nervous Nelly who frequently doubts what I'm doing. I have friends that are in Kolbe or MODG and they use a vocabulary program. It's times when I'm talking with them that doubt creeps in. But every time I stray, I'm always drawn back to the rigorous, yet simple, beautiful, and organized MP curriculum.

      Mindy
      Last edited by Eshmom; 04-12-2015, 03:00 PM.

      Comment


        #4
        Mindy,

        If you are "feeling" a vocab program for next year, do know that they are usually easy to use workbooks with puzzles, etc, that the kids can complete on their own. They can even grade their own work on Fridays (that also helps them to see what they missed). Workbook programs like Wordly Wise, Seton Vocab, etc are the type I am referring to. Your kids would have a 10 min "vocab" assignment most days, so it's pretty low investment, time wise.

        One year I made-it-myself. I had the kids use a cheap spiral bound notebook (the ones they sell 5/$1 at the back to school sales), copying down words from their readers, then had them look them up in our very good dictionary. If you have a good dictionary, word origin would be in there! Anyway, if your children are using MP's Lit selections, you could do this with the vocab lists at the top of the Lit guide pages. Pick the number of works you think right, copy them onto the page, and have your children do some additional vocabulary study on the words they are reading anyway. You can customize, too. Do you want them to write the definition? Use it in a sentence? Word origin only? You'd be in control.


        Or, maybe by next fall, you will change your mind. I completely understand that Nervous Nellie feeling. Maybe this thought, too, shall pass? But, do know that an additional vocab study wouldn't be hard for you to implement with only 2 kids in your homeschool, at only 10 mins a day.


        Jen
        DS, 28 yrs, graduated from MIT (Aerospace)

        DS, 26 yrs, graduated from SIU's School of Business, ENGAGED!

        DD, 23 yrs, graduated from The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC; 2nd grade teacher.

        DS, 13 yrs, 9th grade; attends a private classical school, 7th - 12th.

        All homeschooled for some/all of their K-12 education.

        Me: retired after 16 years of continuous homeschooling, now a high school chemistry teacher at a large Catholic high school

        Comment


          #5
          Mindy,

          Thank you for sharing more about your situation. I may be going out on a limb here, but it sounds like perhaps what you need more than a vocab program is a good friend who is also using MP to say, "Trust in what your are doing!" There is a good reason that folks from Kolbe and MODG need a vocabulary program....they are not studying Latin! (For the most part) We used to do both, and we did the roots flashcards....which were nice, and enjoyable.....but did not "stick"...because a) there was no context, and b) there was no reinforcement. So the year of work my oldest did to learn all 100 roots was not nearly as beneficial as my others doing Prima Latina. My best advice for you is to trust the path your family is on. Trying to do it all (to keep up with their approaches and MP's) will make it harder than it needs to be.

          And I want to say....way to go on hanging in there with Latin, and with making good progress even with your younger child. It sounds like you are doing patient, steady work, going at her pace, which is eventually going to pay off! And yes, that informal noticing of Latin in everyday life is what shows the great vocabulary your children are developing. Keep up the great work!

          AMDG,
          Sarah
          2020-2021
          16th Year HSing; 10th Year with MP
          DD, 19, Homeschool grad; college sophomore
          DS, 17
          DD, 15
          DD, 13
          DD, 11
          DD, 9
          DD, 7
          +DS+
          DS, 2

          Comment


            #6
            As a former Kolbe used and current Kolbe high school user- I second the idea that Latin is a great way to learn vocabulary. Those Sadlier books Kolbe uses are pathetic. There is no context so words are quickly forgotten. My daughter (college sophomore, Kolbe grad) learned more vocabulary from her Henle 1 studies than four years of Sadlier books in high school. My current 8th grade Fourth Form student is constantly seeing Latin roots in harder words. He did Roots of English a few years ago but didn't like it. He now knows those roots from Latin. My 5th grade dyslexic struggles with working vocabulary memory. But she is rocking First Form and she remembers those Latin words and sees them in English words. It is pretty amazing. She also likes learnng words in her literature books because she can remember the meaning by remembering the story.
            If you feel you need to do additional work, do so. If you decide not to, fine. I think Kolbe needs vocab because they don't stress Latin like MP does. They just very recently added MP Forms to their curriculum. Before that they used New Missal Latin which is hard for non Latin teachers to teach so many just didn't do the Latin. NML didn't teach derivatives like the Forms do. Plus, most Kolbe users still think of Latin as an elective rather than a core. All reasons why they add additional vocabulary books.
            Debbie- mom of 7, civil engineering grad, married to mechanical engineer
            DD, 26, BFA '17 graphic design and illustration
            DS, 24, BS '18 mechanical engineering
            DS, 22, BS '20 Chemsitry, pursuing phd at Wash U
            (DDIL married #3 in 2020, MPOA grad, BA '20 philosophy, pusrsing phd at SLU)
            DS, 20, Physics major
            DD, 17, dyslexic, 11th grade customizednMP plus co-op
            DS, 13, future engineer/scientist/ world conquerer 8A
            DD, 7 , 1ST Future astronaut, robot building space artist

            Comment


              #7
              Etymologies?

              A fun non-curriculum option would be to keep a notebook of interesting words. Perhaps they each could choose one word per day (or even one per week!) from their other work then look them up at http://www.etymonline.com? That's my favorite site for word parts and origins. Since they are studying Latin they will see it everywhere which is a great reinforcement. I usually google "etymology of ___" and it's always one of the top hits.

              A personal example from last week: I looked up the etymology of "peculiar" which appeared in a Bible study I was working on and I was curious to see if it had anything to do with "pecunia" which we know from LC1/FF. It does, but not what I'd expected. It was from "pecu" which means cattle/movable personal property. I had only learned that "pecunia" meant "money." That rabbit trail took me through several other words which are all now connected in my mind. I think this sort of learning roots in the moment is a delightful way to enrich word knowledge! It's synthetic knowledge at its best.
              Festina lentē,
              Jessica P

              2021-2022 • 12th year HSing • 10th year MP
              12th • AP Latin online, DE Calculus & Physics, HLN
              10th • HLN, Latin online
              7th • HLN & Home
              4th • HLN & Home
              Me • Third Form for Adults, MPOA; teaching TFL and co-directing @

              Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School, est. 2016

              Comment


                #8
                Thank you to all who responded with such great and encouraging advice! As always, you guys are great, and perhaps I needed that encouragement to know that what we're doing is the right path for us. The Catholic homeschool group we are in has some amazing and encouraging women, but I'm currently not only the 'newbie' of the group, but also the only one who uses MP for most subjects. Our last monthly meeting consisted of sharing homeschool curriculum. I arrived feeling like I had a good plan for my girls, feeling like I had it all together (finally after almost 3 years). I left in doubt and the waters rathered muddied. But I no longer feel that need to add in yet another subject after hearing your encouraging words. My initial plan for next year was to simplify and streamline our days until that meeting. You were correct...I just needed a friend...a fellow MP user to let me know we are on the right path. I'm going to leave a formal vocabulary program out and focus more on derivatives. I think I saw mention of the etymology site in the Book of Roots description. That may give just a little touch of enrichment for my older, Latin-loving daughter.

                Thank you very much! Nervous Nelly is at ease... for now.

                Comment


                  #9
                  As a strong Catholic who is very happy and content and peaceful with her choice of MP, I want to encourage you to stay the course. It sounds like you were peaceful about your decision until others rattled you. I've been adding more and more MP to my curriculum over the years till I finally went almost all MP this year. I don't use their core books that they don't write themselves (math and spelling), but I use all the actual MP products. And we are happy! My children are learning well. I am very comfortable with how extremely Catholic MP feels. They don't teach Catholic doctrine or Saints, but they teach Truth. I am not one who thinks kids need to add Angels in math or read about saints in reading class. But we do need to immerse ourselves in God's Beauty and Truth and MP does that! We add in Catholic catechism and learn about the litergical year. But I think a child learns more about being a Christian and who God is by reading well written literature like Heidi than reading a quickly written summary of a saint's life. We still study the saints life in religion class, but we focus on actual literature in literature class. I feel my day is so streamlined now with Latin, literature and math as our centers. I don't know why all those Kolbe and Seton users don't get how very Catholic Latin studies are! They either play with it or skip it. Having it at the center of our day is so, well, centering! It gives us a focus that has so many benefits (vocabulary is just one of many).
                  I write all this to encourage you to stay with what you feel works in your house. Good Catholics use and love MP curriculum. It can work well! Prayers for you to have peace in your decision.
                  Debbie- mom of 7, civil engineering grad, married to mechanical engineer
                  DD, 26, BFA '17 graphic design and illustration
                  DS, 24, BS '18 mechanical engineering
                  DS, 22, BS '20 Chemsitry, pursuing phd at Wash U
                  (DDIL married #3 in 2020, MPOA grad, BA '20 philosophy, pusrsing phd at SLU)
                  DS, 20, Physics major
                  DD, 17, dyslexic, 11th grade customizednMP plus co-op
                  DS, 13, future engineer/scientist/ world conquerer 8A
                  DD, 7 , 1ST Future astronaut, robot building space artist

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I have to echo momgineers message. We come to MP from Kolbe and I absolutely love how MP has changed our education. We too incorporate our catechism, many saint stories during read aloud time or audio books during free listening time, live out our beautiful, rich liturgical year and center our education around Latin, math and these wonderful literature books that ring with the good, true and beautiful. I encourage you to stay your course as well. Moving to MP has been the absolute best decision we have made in our homeschool. I have no one around me who uses MP ...everyone we know either uses Seton, Kolbe or Catholic Heritage and I get a lot of, "Oh, you use MP. Well, how do you like it?" It gives me a chance to sing it's praises!

                    May God Bless you and your homeschool!

                    Melisa
                    Melisa

                    Homeschooling mom for 11 years

                    dd - 11th grade using MP
                    ds - 9th grade using MP and Kolbe Academy

                    Comment


                      #11
                      We came into MP very slowly at first, feeling nervous the whole time about "leaving" full-fledged Catholic programs. Every program we added from MP led to greater and greater peace about homeschooling - except when I would discuss curriculum with friends. I did get over that. Now, many folks know me as "the MP person," but I get more and more questions all the time about it. This year I have repeat families from last year calling to make appointments to come by to talk school! So hang in there; as you can tell, we support each other here on the forum since we do not have it around us. But it does spread. How can it not when you have found something so good, that brings such joy, and that helps you continue homeschooling successfully?

                      AMDG,
                      Sarah
                      2020-2021
                      16th Year HSing; 10th Year with MP
                      DD, 19, Homeschool grad; college sophomore
                      DS, 17
                      DD, 15
                      DD, 13
                      DD, 11
                      DD, 9
                      DD, 7
                      +DS+
                      DS, 2

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Once again, ladies, thank you for the encouragement. I can completely concur that I, too, feel such confidence and peace in the MP products we use. Three years ago, we started with Latin, Literature, Christian Studies, Classical (Greek Myths and FMR), and the Intro to Comp. Over these few years we added in more and are using all but Spelling and Grammar. I also add in Catechism, Saint Stories, etc for Faith Formation. For next year, I'm considering adding in the Spelling Workout and the Grammar so that we are completely MP. The only exception is that my older one is heading into Pre-Algebra. We found, at least for her, that the Art of Problem Solving is a better fit than College of the Redwoods for next year. There've been times when I've purchased something from another company thinking 'how about we try this?', only to find it just doesn't hold a candle next to MP. I say all this because thinking about how happy we've been with MP, and listening to all of your encouraging words, I don't know why I'd let others rattle my confidence. And, the best compliment I can give MP is that my girls NEVER balk at ANY of the MP materials, while they do complain about the other products we've used (with the exception of my younger one when it comes to Latin...which will never be optional for her).

                        So, thank you all! I'm content! No extra Vocabulary and I'm staying the course! This group is just so uplifting!

                        Mindy

                        Comment


                          #13
                          We have slowly made the switch from Kolbe to MP as well. We started with Prima in 3rd, FMR, LC & Classical Comp in 4th and by the end of 4th grade had abandoned most of Kolbe except Religion. We currently use all the MP published materials and we absolutely love them.
                          DD 17 | 12th
                          DS 15 | 9th
                          DD 13 | 8th
                          2021-2022

                          13th Year HSing, 9th Year MP

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