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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Review: Roots and Fruits

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Looking to incorporate Latin and Greek into your child’s education, but not so sure about tackling 2 languages? Jill Dixon has written a fun little program for teaching Latin and Greek roots and prefixes (and the vocabulary words that come from them) that uses games and other activities to commit them to memory. Each week you’ll introduce another root or prefix (or more, depending upon the ages and abilities of your kiddos). Your daily schedule is prescribed for you, beginning with introducing the roots, their meanings and vocabulary words on Monday and ending with using games to determine how much the kiddos retained on Friday. Roots and Fruits can be used with any age, from kindergarten to grade 12.

In addition to the suggested games and activities, the book contains an extensive list of roots and prefixes (673, to be exact), along with their meanings and suggested vocabulary words(1716 vocabulary words!). The list itself is a valuable reference on its own, and I can see myself using it to improve my own vocabulary.

Used as suggested, this program seems a bit artificial. I prefer to teach my children new vocabulary words as they are encountered naturally, either in reading (either independently or read alouds) or in conversation. It just “sticks” better that way, particularly for younger children. My 9-year-old learned the meaning of the word “retinue” from a book his father read to him when was 3…it quickly became a regular part of his vocabulary and he uses the word to this day.

However, I can see myself using this as a reference, to continue to explore a new word the children encounter and how it relates to other words in the English language. I can also see high schoolers using it as a way to "cram" taking the SATs to fill any gaps in their vocabulary. You can download a free sample of this product here.

Roots and Fruits is available from Educational Diagnostic Prescriptive Services.

  • E-book SALE $11.25 (regularly $14.98)
  • Pages only, no binding $17.48
  • Comb-binding $19.98

For other reviews of this product and others from EDUDPS, check out the TOS Homeschool Crew Blog.

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