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Vocabulary Vine

by Nancy Paula Hasseler

Reviewed by Martha Robinson

Purchase details: The Vocabulary Vine: A Spiral Study of Latin & Greek Roots by Nancy Paula Hasseler of Paula's Archives. Paperback, 49 pages, $9.95. Please support by buying this program from our Christian Book Distributors link.

Created by a homeschooling mom who could not find a "roots" program that she liked, The Vocabulary Vine teaches 108 Latin and Greek roots during a suggested 36-week school year. The author recommends studying roots three days per week while playing one of the twelve simple games explained in the text two days per week.

The heart of the program is the "main list" of roots. Students create index cards of the information on the list: the "study root," example words, definition of the root, definition of the example word, and an optional reference number system. The ordering of the "main list" allows the spiral review mentioned in the title. Example words, all words in most people's vocabulary, combine the root being studied with other roots studied before or after to provide constant introduction of upcoming roots and review of those already considered.

Supplementary material is included in the back. The "root glossary" shows the forms of all roots studied, their definitions, and whether they are Latin or Greek. Appendix A shows how a root changes based upon the vowels and consonants around it. Appendix B has English words by part of speech and their root origin. Appendix C offers a "condensed root glossary" on one page to help as a reminder during games.

Recommendation: The Vocabulary Vine is a no frills, yet thorough, study program for Greek and Latin roots. If your child enjoys creating his own learning system with index cards, this may be a good program for you, but if a workbook or premade materials are more your style, you may want to look further. I particularly like that the example words in The Vocabulary Vine are commonly used words, rather than ones that are difficult to pronounce and unfamiliar to many. resources related to this review:

Latin Curricula Comparison Chart's Classical Homeschooling Section with resources, links, and ideas for implementing the Christian Trivium
Review of Calvert's Interactive Spelling & Vocabulary
Review of Calvert's Vocabulary for Life
Review of Vocabulary from Classical Roots

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