Thursday, October 15, 2015

Wordly Wise A, B, and C Review

We recently completed the Wordly Wise series A, B, and C and have moved on to Wordly Wise 3000 workbooks. We first started these workbooks sometime in Builder Boy's 2nd grade year, after they took the DORA for the first time and the results showed that they were ready for a vocabulary program and would benefit from one. I asked around my online homeschooling groups and purchased the first book from Rainbow Resource online. I purchased the answer key (sold separately) as well, but it really wasn't necessary. It was pretty obvious to me what the answers were most of the time.

The workbooks are designed to hand to the student and have them fill in answers. We used them differently, doing all the work completely orally. I would write the word on a whiteboard, and I would have both boys take turns giving me answers. Because they were working on the same words at the same time it encouraged using the new terms in everyday and play speech more. When working on book A and we passed a hedge they always pointed it out because of their vocabulary study. Doing everything together and orally also saved money not having to purchase a second workbook, though they really do not cost very much.

A lesson consists of a list of words and definition, often along with a picture. Next comes a true or false activity, then a fill in with the vocabulary word activity that gives you an answer to a joke, and then a crossword activity using the vocabulary words. In book C an extra activity is several sentences where definitions are used and you have to replace all the definition words with the one vocabulary word. I would introduce the new word list and the do the true or false activity one day, and do each next activity one day at a time. This spread out the time they had with the words, getting used to them. It usually took 5 to 10 minutes and it was a fun way to start our school day with something easy to accomplish and get us in the mind frame for schoolwork. We went through the books sporadically, which is why it took us from February 2014 to October 2015 to complete them.

The books do increase in complexity and difficulty, though not too much. In book A each exercise only uses definitions and words used in that lesson's list. But in book 2 they begin to add in other definitions from previous lessons on the true and false. Also the words in book A are usually just noun definitions with one definition per word. In book B and more in C they introduce words with more than one definition, and in book C words that can have both a noun definition and a verb definition, so it is helpful if they know what those two parts of speech are when your child goes through it.

I personally think that vocabulary instruction is best when a child can already read pretty well and will not be struggling to read these new words with phonetic rules that they might not have learned yet. These books were a great introduction to the concept of how to define a word (as in, you can't use the word itself when you are trying to tell the meaning) and to get them to think that every word they say has a meaning; and possibly more than one. It really enhanced their word play, and has been the cause of many silly moments and groan worthy jokes. The words they had never heard of before were mixed in with words they were familiar with, so it was a good balance in my opinion. Some of the words seemed a bit "old fashioned" and not words they were likely to encounter in real life, like "bonnet," but will make reading classics easier. Over all I am very happy with the program.

I chose to move on to the Wordly Wise 3000 workbook 2 rather than their grade level books because while there are some repeat words (the letter books are the old books and do not carry over to the 3000 series) there are some words they don't know in them and doing it on that level will give them a chance to get comfortable with the different format and with writing answers in workbooks. More on that to come. We will probably do two levels of 3000 a year, so we'll catch up and then some in time.

I recommend this series for children who can read with confidence but are not yet ready for Greek and Latin root meanings/etymology study and for parents who want to introduce new words in a friendly and fun way that does not add too much time to their homeschool day.

No affiliate links, and I was not paid to review this product. All opinions are my own.

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