Vocabulary Word Maps

Vocabulary Word Maps

I realized in my post regarding our homeschool day, I neglected to mention one daily subject: vocabulary.

I believe that the most valuable thing in the Robinson Curriculum is the vocabulary list, and we have embraced it wholeheartedly.  Even if you would not use the Robinson Curriculum, the vocabulary list is amazing.  You can order that separately from Robinson books.

Dr. Robinson included word searches, crosswords, a matching game, and a word/definition list.  We only use the word/definition list and the matching game.  I laminate both of those and put them in a blue folder, and another copy of the matching game that serves as a test after they study all of the words over a period of time (it depends on the age of the child and the length of the list).  While the lists correspond with books on the booklist, we don’t usually study them together.  My kids read the books faster than they can master the vocabulary list.

In the folder, I also put in Vocabulary Word Maps.  The maps for the younger kids are here. A map must be completed for each word.  Since implementing the word maps, I have been amazed at the retention and understanding that my children have.  They use the words in their everyday speech more frequently, as well.  They have also learned how to use a thesaurus very well.  While some words don’t have opposites or synonyms, it’s really fun to see what they come up with when they have to get creative.

Here are two examples.  This first one is from my eight year old (yes, he spelled “rot” r-o-t-e, and kefir with two e’s, but that is just keeping it real):

Word Map for “Expire” (Click for larger version)

And here is one from my then 13 year old:

Word Map for “Refractory” (Click for larger version)

This has made vocabulary study very enjoyable for all the children, and they usually ace their tests using this method.


  1. Your eight-year-old just expanded my vocabulary! I didn’t know what kefir was, so I looked it up with Google’s “define:” feature. Now I’m just wondering how fermented milk can expire. Wouldn’t it get better with age?

  2. Love this! My aspie is totally into drawing right now, so he will love this! =)

  3. Hello Misty,

    My family is homeschooling for the 1st time this school year. I started with Robinson Curriculum as I believe the Lord led me to it, with all the choices out there and little time to decide, I found this rather quickly. Anyway, I was searching for Robinson Curriculum blogs and found yours the other night. I have been reading all your ideas and enjoying your articles. The word maps are a great implementation. We started using them today. There is a question I would like to ask you: For the word opposites, do your children search the thesauraus you have shown in your picture on how to implement Robinson Curriculum, because I ordered that one. As far as I can tell there are no opposites in it. I just asked them to think of what an opposite would be using the definition. For my older one this is a little easier but my younger one (8) it is a little harder. I guess what I am asking is; is there a certain resource your children use for opposites beside the thesauraus you showed. Sorry for the rambling! and thanks in advance for you comments.


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