Greek Morphemes – A Review

This post contains a review of Greek Morphemes Lessons (It’s NOT Greek to Me!)from Ready to Teach

Building a rich and full vocabulary provides the foundation for excellent reading and expression of one’s own ideas. One way to build that rich vocabulary is through studying Greek and Latin. At this time, the study of the roots of these two languages was my goal for a few of my students instead of the full languages. Greek Morphemes Lessons (It’s NOT Greek to Me!) from Ready to Teach has become a part of my son’s daily work.

When our package arrived it contained the Instructor’s Manual with a PowerPoint CD and a Student Book. The Greek Morphemes book covers over 200 morphemes (roots, prefixes, and suffixes) in twelve lessons. At first glance, I thought the program might take a bit more time than I was expecting in implementing it. After a brief read through, I realized I was mistaken. Greek Morphemes is very easy to begin using; it is almost an open and go resource.

The Instructor’s Manual contains the lessons and answers keys, transparency masters, tests and answer keys and pre-made study cards. The method of doing the lessons is explained and what each activity the student will work through is explained. After this the instructor’s manual is basically answer keys and tests. Since I was using this with only one student, we had no need for the transparency masters. The pre-made study cards are printed on colored cardstock paper for durability.

The PowerPoint files are broken down by lessons. The student simple uses the slides marked for the lesson he is on. Previous morphemes used may be reviewed and then new morphemes are introduced. The PowerPoint files also include self-reviews for the lessons. It is basically a chart with the morpheme at the top with possible meanings below it. The student clicks on the correct meanings. If it is incorrect, the program will let him know and the student re-tries. A very simple, no frills review that is quick and effective.

As the student works through the presentation, he takes notes writing down the meanings.  Then it is on to the assignments.The assignments include breaking down and defining parts of words. An example is the word anthropophobiac. The student would do this:

anthrop = man; mankind

phobiac = one who has morbid fear of

*M.D. = one who has a fear of mankind

**D.D. = one who has an intense fear of human society

(M.D. is “my definition”. D.D is “dictionary definition”.)

After defining the words, the student tackles context clues by using the words in sentences to show their meanings. The creativity continues when the student is asked to create two new words using the Greek morphemes they have learned.

The next assignment gives the students words that need to be broken apart and defined. Words such as polyheterodemologist or diademoscope might be on the list. No problem, right? Then a simple matching quiz tells the student if they were correct on the word break down.

At the back of the student book, colored paper to use for making study cards is provided. The paper is normal weight copy paper so the cards will not hold up long term but should be sufficient for use over twelve lessons.

**Special Note: We also received a flash drive containing the PowerPoint files. Previously the program came with a CD but Ready to Teach will begin to use flash drives instead. This better serves the teachers and students as many computers no longer utilize a CD/DVD player. We used both over the past few weeks.

How We Used Greek Morphemes

Greek Morphemes is being used by my son who is thirteen. After looking over the material, I decided that this would be perfect for independent study. The lessons naturally fall into a weekly set up. Each Monday he begins a new lesson by watching the appropriate PowerPoint files and then tackles Assignment A. He works through an assignment a day until he is done and then he takes the test.

The assignment on Context Clues where he had to write sentences was a bit daunting at first. However, he simply watched the slides again, I helped him work through a couple of words, and then he progressed with no issues. Other than checking his work, I haven’t been needed much at all.

Our Thoughts

I was surprised at how well my son took to Greek Morphemes. When it arrived he was not exactly excited. However, once he got started, I have rarely had to remind him to work on it. I asked what his thoughts were on this program and he said, “I love it! It’s fun, easy, and I get to make up my own words. I would rate it ten stars out of a possible five stars.”  Folks, he really enjoys this resource!

And it is working. It isn’t just because it is fun or easy. He is constantly making up new words and using them. Words like microbibliophobia (fear of small books) or phonomanicphobia (a fear of a madness for sound). I always look forward to what he is going to come up with and we all get a good laugh. All laughing aside, he is building a great foundation for a full, rich vocabulary.

Interested?  You can work through a sample lesson.

Ready to Teach also has a Latin Morphemes course as well. After a great experience with Greek Morphemes, I think we will definitely move on to Latin next.

Koru Naturals Review
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Fog Magic

Greta is a young girl who has always been enchanted with the heavy fog that shrouds the Nova Scotian fishing community where she lives. Even as a baby, Greta delighted in the fog that would fall around the house. To the worry of her mother, Greta seemed to even then yearn to be in the midst of the fog.

“From the time she was a baby in her cradle, Greta had love the fog.”

As time passes, Greta’s dad seems to understand the draw the fog has upon her. Permission is granted, that once her work is done, Greta may spend time out in the fog. What seems a simple, but perhaps odd, pleasure becomes the means of her stepping back in time.

Blue Cove is a former fishing village near Greta’s. Where homes once stood, there are now only cellar holes. But in the fog, Greta sees the outline of a house. One day while walking in the fog, Greta meets a lady in a wagon who offers her a ride to Blue Cove. As Greta walked through the fog she had stepped into a time gone by.

“Most of us live in two worlds – our real world and the one we build or spin for ourselves out of the books we read, the heroes we admire, the things we hope to do. Greta’s other world was Blue Cove.”

In Blue Cove, Greta becomes friends with Retha, a young girl like Greta. On foggy days when Greta can travel back to Blue Cove she spends time with Retha’s family and learns of the community and the people. She, in a way, becomes a part of them.

There are concerns or cautions for Greta. She must not get hurt in Blue Cove because there is no way to get her family to her. And Greta must return home each time she visits before the fog lifts. The timeslip only works in the midst of the heavy fog.

“Don’t you want to be twelve?” she asked.

“I don’t know, ” Greta said honestly. “I always think of my birthdays as a flight of stairs, ” she went on a little shyly. “Up to twelve it’s been fun to look up. But after twelve – the stairs turn. I can’t see around the bend.”

“I know, ” Mrs. Morrill said. “Not now, you can’t. But when you get to that twelfth step you will be able to see ‘around the bend’ as you put it. Seeing ahead, or looking ahead – is something we do with our hearts – it takes nothing but time and courage. The one is given to us; the other we must provide.”

Fog Magic is not a story of danger or adventure. There is no cliffhanger or heart-stopping climax. The beauty of this story is in its simplicity. This is a story of family and community. A story that shows us how life goes on even with the passing of time. There is delight and happiness found in the common and everyday. It is those common and everyday things that bring us together.

And, as Greta learns, there is a time to let go of those things we hold dear in childhood. In order to grow up, we sometimes must let go. Once Greta turns twelve she can no longer return to Blue Cove; she can no longer travel back . She must grow up and move ahead.

“On your twelfth birthday, Greta, you grow up, and you put away childish things. Sometimes you’ll wish you hadn’t because you put behind you so many things – happy and unhappy. But the next twelve years can be happier still, my girl, and the twelve after that. And try to remember this – none of the things you think you’ve lost on the way are really lost. Every one of them is folded around you – close.”

As I was selecting my reads for the  Newbery Through the Decades: 1940s challenge, I found that many of the winners were books familiar to me. So many had been read alouds over the years. Once again, I chose an Honor Book: Fog Magic. It is a lovely story and I enjoyed it very much. Life isn’t always action and adventure and drama. I think it is a good thing for our children to see the beauty in the every day. To understand that as time passes, so many things about life are constant. Fog Magic did a wonderful job at presenting this.

Fog Magic would also work well as an introduction into fantasy literature or used as a historical fiction read. For those overwhelmed by large books, with only 107 pages this book would work well.

I will be passing this along to a couple of my girls. My nine year old and eleven year old girls will most likely enjoy this read. Now on to my next read…



Koru Naturals – Review

Using natural products is a choice we make whenever possible. With a bit of research, we can usually find a natural alternative for various issues. Our home has its share of skin and hair issues and we are always looking for ways to improve healthy skin and hair. Koru Naturals has two products that we have been using for the past several weeks: Emu Oil and Koolpurrie Restoring Balm. I’d love to share a bit of our experience with you.

Koru Naturals is a company that brings many natural products and resources of New Zealand to be available for those of us in the United States, Canada, and even some European countries. The products they offer include teas, soaps, and more. You can very easily locate items via a simple online catalog or a handy search option.

Emu Oil

I must confess that before these products were brought to my attention, I had no idea of emu oil or the benefits of it. It has turned out to be a surprisingly beneficial oil. Emu Oil is derived from the fat of the emu and is a thick, almost creamy oil that serves well as a moisturizer. It can be used on skin and hair in a variety of ways.

We used the Pure Emu Oil directly on our skin. Due to the thickness and creaminess of the oil, I had to use very little to be effective. My daughter used emu oil when she had a slight acne breakout and dry skin on her face. She found that it moisturized those dry patches quickly and brought relief. It appeared that the emu oil also reduced the redness of the acne breakout. We were out of our normal acne treatment so this was a lovely discovery!

The Emu Oil was also used on the hair of my daughter who has really thick and coarse curly hair. We are always working to keep her hair moisturized and healthy. While Koru Naturals gives directions for washing the emu oil out of the hair, I actually applied it to my daughters wet hair and left the oil it. Due to the thickness of the hair, we had no issue with oily residue or anything. I think we actually need to use a bit more; it is long and thick! She had no issue with skin irritation which is a huge plus.

Koolpurrie Restoring Balm

Koolpurrie Restoring Balm is a balm created from emu oil and lanolin. This balm is designed to be used on dry, damaged, and cracked skin. The combination of the emu oil with lanolin creates a thick, soothing balm that has no odor.

I used the Koolpurrie Restoring Balm mainly on my hands. I am constantly washing my hands and using hot water. It doesn’t take long, especially in the winter, for my skin to become severely dry to the point of being painful. I found that the restoring balm worked great to soothe the damaged skin and helped to heal it as well. I loved that I could use it as often as needed with no worries. Emu oil and lanolin – nothing that was going to create a secondary issue with my dry skin! I have used lanolin over the years for various issues and find that the emu oil added in really helped in the ease of use and distribution over the skin.

My little ones also benefited from the Koolpurrie Restoring Balm. My fair skinned children often get “hot spots” on the backside of knees and the fold of the elbow. When it flared up and became red and irritated, I just took a bit of the balm and applied. My son (5) commented on how quickly it made his skin feel better. I debated on using the pure emu oil or the balm and decided that the “coating” the balm would provide would be better since these areas would rub against clothing.

Overall, we enjoyed using the Emu Oil and Koolpurrie Restoring Balm. I really love the balm and look forward to continuing to use it on my hands and feet. Since it takes so little at each use, we can all use it for various “hot spots” and skin irritations. The emu oil will probably stay with the girls’ hair and skin care products since they used it more than I did. We are going to continue to play with application amounts for my daughter with the dry, curly hair.

Other products from Koru Natural were reviewed by other Crew Members. Need a good lip balm or natural shampoo and condition? Check out what others thought about Koru Natural products. Have you ever used Emu Oil? I’d love to hear how!

Koru Naturals Review
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