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.