Labor Day Special - Free Educational Resources
How to increase your English vocabulary....and be more fully human
Anyone who writes down to children is simply wasting his time. You have to write up, not down. Children are demanding. They are the most attentive, curious, eager, observant, sensitive, quick and generally congenial readers on earth… Children are game for anything. I throw them hard words and they backhand them across the net.”
— E.B. White
With the new academic year beginning, I am announcing some added benefits to paid subscribers to School of the Unconformed. I am exceedingly grateful for your support, and would thus like to share some of the resources that I have developed throughout my years of homeschooling and coordinating a classical education homeschool co-op.
I am offering the first weekly installment free to all subscribers, so that you can get a glimpse at the materials included for paid subscribers. The resources can be used for students of any age; I have used them for kids in kindergarten all the way up to high school (even parents comment that they find them helpful for themselves).
During the Labor Day weekend (from Sept 2nd to 4th), you can upgrade your free subscription to paid at a 20% discount.
I hope you and your family will enjoy the resources and that they will serve to support and encourage you on your educational journey!
How to increase your English vocabulary
….and be more fully human
More than half of commonly used English words and over 90% of multisyllabic ‘big’ words derived from Latin. Learning even just 100 of the most common Latin stems in the English language gives you access to at least 5000 words. Students who do not know many words, cannot write many words. On the other hand, students who are familiar with classic vocabulary and can decode English words aided by their understanding of Latin and Greek stems, will enjoy greater ease with reading, which in turn leads to greater fluency in general. Additional benefits of advanced vocabulary:
The more words students know, the quicker they can process information. Prior knowledge of vocabulary lightens the load on working memory.
The breadth and depth of a student’s vocabulary moves in tandem with their capabilities for abstract thinking. Each new word opens up a new pathway and leads to better expression of their own thoughts, as well as understanding others.
Good vocabulary is the single best predictor of career success. Vocabulary precedes achievement.
What do we expect to happen if we cease to grapple with language ourselves, if we delegate the succinct expression of our ideas, if we outsource production, analysis, and expression to AI tools, if we fail to actively exercise the beauty and power of language? Quoting Iris Murdoch,states, “words are the most subtle symbols which we possess and our human fabric depends on them…The living and radical nature of language is something we forget at our peril.”
If we are willing to decide that this is not the path we want to follow, then we need to ask what the alternative is, and how it can lead us to be more fully grounded in reality, more creatively engaged with language, and by extension more fully human.
One small practical first step is to support your child in vocabulary development and creative language use. Over the last decade, I have taught my own children and students in my classical homeschool co-op Latin and Greek stems. Each week, students studied 10 stems, prepared engaging sentences to use new vocabulary in context, played flashcard games, and completed a quiz. This amounted to 100 learned stems per 10-week term. Both parents and students have commented to me years later, how learning stems and advanced vocabulary has been one of the most fruitful and useful activities of their homeschooling activities for reading, writing, and SAT test preparation.
Going forward, I will publish Latin / Greek stem resources on a weekly basis. They are perfect for homeschoolers, as well as families who would like to be more involved in their student’s learning. Each week I will publish links to three pdf documents including 10 Latin / Greek stems, flashcards, and a quiz . I am providing the first week here free for all subscribers:
Until next time,