Some of you may have noticed that we added a Vocabulary program (Wordly Wise 3000) to our Kindergarten line-up this spring.  Although both Satori and I totally love it, I’ve hesitated to blog about it. Why? I think mostly because my instincts say that by reading aloud so much, especially way above her reading level, that Satori will learn vocabulary naturally (hearing words in context). Which is very true, but as I have recently started increasing my own vocabulary, I’ve found that I specifically need to work on looking up the words in the books I read, otherwise I seem to give them a vague contextual definition of my own. Sometimes my definition is way off! So I am now a believer in specifically working on vocabulary, getting the correct definition down the first time, and then getting repeated exposure (books, magazines, reviews, etc…).

Secondly, this program is a bit costly. But since my daughter begs me to do Vocabulary now all the time, I thought I would finally share. We started Wordly Wise 3000 K (kindergarten) last month. The Wordly Wise 3000 2nd edition offers these colorful and fun programs for grades K-1. You do need the Teacher’s Edition for these first two years (expensive packet of teacher’s manual, huge context cards, and word cards).

After doing the first lesson, Satori did not want to stop. One lesson is supposed to take two weeks, but I caved in and did it all in one day, hehe. I did this because the words weren’t very hard and she easily memorized any that she didn’t know already. After a few weeks of both of us thoroughly enjoying ourselves, I also ordered the Grade 1 book, which follows the same colorful format as the K book. Out of curiosity, I ordered the Grade 2 book, but that follows the format of Grades 2-12, so it doesn’t look as fun. (I do not think the Teacher’s Guide is crucial for the later books.)

Here’s the main website for Wordly Wise 3000 2nd Edition. Best prices with all the selection are on Rainbow Resource, get the Bargain versions if you can, they still look brand new and they’ve got a great discount!

Each lesson starts us with a very large Concept Card. I’ve set a short pencil next to the card so you can visualize its size. This card introduces us to the “Community Garden”, which is one of the first lessons. This brings up the 3rd reason I haven’t blogged about this, this program may be geared for classrooms, this huge card is overkill and hard to store in your average homeschool!

For each lesson, they introduce 10 words, 5 at a time, and these come in colorful cards (smaller than the above Concept Card). For some reason Satori really loves learning the new words, and loves these cards!

We then read the short story. The stories follow the lives of several families with children in Kindergarten (no homeschoolers, bummer). Here’s the lesson we are on now – “Caroline Whistles”

The Student book is the activity book, with the pictures that go along with the story, and coloring and other activities for the child to do. Satori loves coloring and stuff like this, so of course she really digs this too. The photo below shows two sample page spreads.

Since the Kindergarten word list seems so simple, here’s the Word List for their First Grade book…

… and a sample lesson in that book.

Again, I feel embarrassed to be even posting about using this. But I would have loved reading a blog post like this back when I was thinking of purchasing Wordly Wise. Is extra vocabulary program necessary (if you read a lot)? The casual me says no. The geek perfectionist me says heck yeah. Is it the right program for homeschoolers? I’m not sure. Families on WTM forums use it, which is probably why I bought it in the first place. I’m sure there are less expensive vocabulary programs out there. (Grade 2 on up is not as costly.)

But the truth is, Satori loves Wordly Wise 3000. I imagine we’ll keep using this program and add some classical roots vocabulary program in a few years. She is thrilled to learn the new words, hear the stories, and do the activities. It melts my heart to see her using the new vocabulary in her everyday speech, and to write them in her letters and stories. I have a feeling she is a “word” girl. She may not have taught herself how to read and may not be reading chapter books fluently yet, but she truly has a joy for words – new vocabulary words, spelling them, saying them, and writing them.