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
Crew Disclaimer
 

HomeSchool Office – Planning Resource Review

Perhaps one of the biggest challenges I face is planning and organizing the education of nine children. At the moment I have seven children working at various levels. Planning is key to the days running smoothly! What planning method or resource should I use? For the past several weeks, I have been utilizing HomeSchool Office from Lord Heritage. HomeSchool Office was a new resource I had not heard of before. Would it solve all my planning challenges?

HomeSchool Office is a web-based program that is designed to bring together all aspects of your children’s education into one centralized location. Since it is a web-based program, you do not have to be concerned with downloading anything or losing information.  HomeSchool Office is available through an annual subscription. This annual subscription has no limit for the number of children and includes support whenever needed.

HomeSchool Office Basics

The concept of HomeSchool Office is very simple. Creating your Team is the first step. Not only do you enter your students but also those who teach them. You, piano teacher, co-op teacher, or a tennis coach can all be included

Once you have your Team established, HomeSchool Office works on the concept of P.O.W.E.R.

  • Plan
  • Order
  • Work
  • Evaluate
  • Report

Plan – In Plan you take each student and create subjects, master schedules, plan projects, and can even do some budgeting.

Order – Now you take the information from Plan and put it into action. Here is where the lesson plans all come together. You can work in a full month calendar format or shift to a daily/weekly format. This step also had a customizable To Do List feature. Chores, anyone?

Work – Work will look identical to the Order step above but it has a key difference. Work can be shared with your students in two ways. They can access via a student account or you can print it.

Evaluate – This is simply where grades and attendance are tracked. You can also track by subject hours.

Report – This feature is really helpful for those who live in states that require certain forms of reporting about the school year. You can select from a variety of options to put together a report that contains just the information you need. If you have high school students, it can also aid in compiling a transcript.

How did HomeSchool Office Work for Me?

A few weeks before receiving HomeSchool Office, I had implemented another system for my oldest students that was working well. I decided to utilize HomeSchool Office for my other students that were in a “planning limbo”. If it went well, I would later transition my oldest ones over. The set up of HomeSchool Office can be quite time consuming so I made a wise decision.

I really liked the concept of this product. The step by step process helps you to think through the year ahead and plan well. Creating a master schedule gives you a colorful visual of what your child is doing and how much time it is taking. Adding in something as simple as the To Do List feature is really helpful. It works well for a child who may need to be reminded of morning responsibilities or a check off sheet for the steps of writing. Having the planning all in one place would also be helpful if someone needed to step in and take over teaching for a bit due to sickness or other emergency.

As much as I wanted to love HomeSchool Office, I struggled. Our homeschool method/philosophy is heavy on living books. The only subject that is clearly directed by lessons is math. Most of our “subjects” are time based. The majority of our school day is reading and discussing. I found it hard to plan and schedule that all out. We are not rigid in our day but have more of a flow. HomeSchool Office was more detailed than I needed.

HomeSchool Office also has the school year preset and the subjects preset. The school year was a traditional 9 month school year (2014- 2015) and we do not follow this break down of the school year. The subjects had no option to customize. While I appreciated the variety of subject options, I found that I needed some subjects that were not there. I do have the option of editing the subjects at the Report. I can download Reports into Word and make changes there. While that is helpful for those who need to report, it doesn’t help me. I want my children to see accurate subject headings. I think it benefits my younger students especially to see the subjects as we use them in our home.

I think that HomeSchool Office would be a great resource for many homeschool families. For me, HomeSchool Office does not offer the flexibility that I need in planning and organizing our homeschool. If you use a traditional approach or a more structured approach, it would likely work really well. I think with older students it offers independence and the transcript portion of the reports is likely a sanity saver. After seeing HomeSchool Office in action, my older students have chosen to stay with the planning method we already have in action.

HomeSchool Office does offer a free 30 Day Trial so you can test it out and see how it works. For a product like this, I think actually using it is so helpful in getting a feel for if it will be beneficial. Of course, you can also read how others made it work for them!

HomeSchool Office Review
 

Crew Disclaimer

A Bit of Logic

When you are homeschooling with small or limited funds, finding and utilizing free or inexpensive resources is always a good thing.  Often I look over what subjects or areas I would like different children to be working on and learning but I don’t have a resource on hand. Again and again, I am blessed to stumble upon a free resource that works out perfectly!

Logical thinking resources abound but they just don’t make the budget for us.  However, we are getting some logical thinking in each day and enjoying it! Here are two free online resources we are using:

Set Daily Puzzle – This is a quick, fun game that everyone enjoys.  Sometimes everyone is gathered up together working on it.  For a bit of competition we will have the puzzle up on two computers and it is a race to see who finds the six sets first.  Even younger children can grasp the concept and play along.

Logic Puzzles – I love these!  These can be very challenging and take a bit longer that the Set Puzzle.  These puzzles do give you an option to print the puzzle out which is a great option.  I can print out the puzzle and children can work on them throughout the day. We can gather at the table and work through them together. It would be great to print them out for car trips as well or  a doctor’s appointment when you could be waiting around a bit.

 

What do you use for logical thinking skills? Do you have a free resource that you love?