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Tag: Vocabulary

We recently read Pinocchio (unabridged version) and once I got to the part where he goes to the Land of Toys where the naughty little boys had all play and no work or school, Satori asked if any of the boys could write in their journals if they wanted. I said they could if they wanted to, but they probably didn’t want to write. Satori then insisted,

“Writing Is Play!”

I suppressed a chuckle. 🙂 She honestly does start writing as soon as she wakes up in the morning, and at times throughout the day, and ends the day writing. I buy her tons of journals and composition books. After every story she reads, or I read aloud, or we listen as an audiobook, she gleans ideas to incorporate into her stories.

Here is a sample of one of Satori’s stories that she wrote yesterday. I did not edit any of her spelling, grammar, or wording. The only thing I did was divide it into paragraphs, which she hasn’t started yet in her independent stories.  To write this book, she did a bit of wolf research by googling about wolves and how they live. This story is about a pack of wolves with six siblings (their mother already pregnant with another litter) and their adventures.

Mother Wolf

Chapter 1 (Prologue) – Birth

Her baby stirred. She had six. She glanced at the pack again. She would miss them. She knew what the names were. Karren, Carrie, Silvy, Silly, Kathry, and Sildyah. She carefully looked around, seeing a little cave. She rubbed a twig against another twig, and put rocks around it. She put sticks underneath it, and layed grass where she was going to lay. She sat down and didn’t mind the pain.

The pups crept under her neck where it was warmest and safest. Her husband layed more grass, and sat beside the pups. The pups were very safe, though their parents both looked after them.

That night, lightning struck the cave top, but the cave was strong. “Close your eyes and go to sleep,” the mother said in her most softest, smothing, and loving voice.They did, and went to sleep, while the parents watched.

Chapter 2 – Morning

In the morning, the sun was shining, and the birds were singing, and the flowers were blooming. It was such a beutiful sight. Although, she didn’t care.

They set off on their journey for water and food. When they’ve gone a couple miles, Sildyah found a big lake. It had plenty of fish, and a lot of deepness. They taut the pups how to fish, swim, and wash themselves. But first they learned how to walk. They ate their breakfast and milked. Then they went back home, eating and hunting in the forest.

Kathry and Silvy were the first ones to be home. “Come on, dadda! they squeaked in their little high voices. He golloped to the black and the brown pup. The others were white, silver, gray, and silverish-gray. The pups sat by the faint fire close to their mum. Father Wolf went hunting for deer for lunch. Silvy got worried.

Soon he came home. He washed himself and joined the feast. After, the pups mum washed them. Mummy, the pups called their mum.

They heard a sound of an eagle! The male ran to his pups and cudled. He got closer. She layed her head on the pups, while they crept under her belly. Their father snarled and six little ears poked out. He snatched the eagle, and threw it into the forest. The eagle came back with his mate. He had a broken wing. “Oh please! Keep as a pet.” said Karren rubbing against the eagle. “You can stay if you won’t eat my pups! You’ll eat fish!” He said in his lowest and deepest voice. The female (eagle) was to admire, and the male a maid.

The male made a broom out of straw and sticks. He also made a pot of clay and toys out of wood. Mr. Wolf taut the pups how to write by using the maid feather and berry juice. The maid even made a strong house made out of stones. They used wood for paper.

One day, whille Carrie was watching the storm, she noticed a different pack of wolves. She wanted to see the heard again. But mum was pregnant with four pups.


Okay, that’s about all I could copy-type. I gave up and started taking photographs of the pages. Satori fluttered about all worried that no one would be able to read it then. She begged to type it herself, but I know it would take her forever to type. So here’s the photographed pages.

(I don’t expect people to read the whole story, this is more like documentation on her writing progress.)



Here’s a few of my favorite passages of the story:

“By morning, they were in America. They collected money and even the sailor’s shillings! They ate fish and arthropods, mice, and clams.”

“When they got back, Silvy head the same wood crunching under her little darling paws. Kathry snatched a grasshopper. The pups moved back to their protective parents.”

“He was the last, and she nursed him, and fed him, and snuggled with her youngest lad. Silden felt that soft feeling. Love. Love is the first thing you need in your life. It is the strongest feeling in the world.”

This morning over breakfast, Satori asked if I knew what “I’m at the end of my rope” means. I asked her where she learned that phrase from. She then brought me the little vocabulary flip-books we just started using last month. This phrase was in one of the books.

I saw these little flip-books at a local Barnes and Noble and knew that they would be a hit at our house. I purchased from Amazon and used their 4-for-3 and started out with the Vocabulary Power Grade 1 and Raining Cats and Dogs idiom book. Satori is so thrilled with them! She even tried packing them with us on our summer vacations.

They are little flip books that stand up by themselves, each book contained 200 words selected by professional language specialists for the specified age. They’re cute and colorful and fun to use. We loved them so much I ordered Grade 2 and Sound-A-Likes (400 homonym/homophones). There is only one idiom and homeophone book, so we only flip to a new page a few times a week, while the First Grade 1 we flip over everyday.

I promised someone I would get the word list up for the Wordly Wise Kindergarten book. Here it is! (Click on the photo to see it full-size.)

The words seem pretty easy to me, but I mentioned before that Satori loves this program. We did our vocabulary this morning, due to her request. This evening she begged to do another lesson! She doesn’t exactly beg for lessons normally like this. It shouldn’t be long before we finish this Kindergarten book, and are in the First Grade book, which might be more appropriate with more challenging words.

UPDATE 2/4: On our last lesson, each time I showed a new Word Card to Satori, she pretty much said each word before we  “learned” it. That means these words are way too simple for her. We’re going to finish this book in the next few days and move on to First Grade.

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.