It is curriculum buying season in the homeschooling community, and my goal is to write reviews of all of the curriculum we’ve used. This falls vaguely into the homeschool reading curriculum because it’s a root word curriculum.
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How English From the Roots Up* works
English is derived from two root languages, Latin and Greek, and many of our words come straight from those languages. Mostly from Latin though. The idea behind English from the Roots UP is to learn the Greek and Latin words our language is based on. So you learn geo means earth in Greek. Then you write down several words that have that root word in it: geometry, geography, etc.
To keep the two languages straight you write the words in either red for Latin or Green for Greek (get it, green/Greek). It’s a quick visual reminder for you. The English From the Roots Up book has you outline the cards with the respective colors, but it made more sense to me to just write the whole card in that color.
This is one of the recommended curriculum to use with Illuminations*, and so they give you a schedule for introducing new words. If you’re not using Illuminations then I would recommend 2-5 new words a week.
How we used English from the Roots Up
We used English from the Roots Up as part of our morning time. I used to call it calendar time, but about 2 or 3 years ago we quit using the calendar really and turned it into a cyclical review system using the Mystery of History Challenge cards, but that’s a different post.
Every day I would introduce 1 new word. I would write it on a giant 5X7 index card in either red or green sharpie, and tape it to our wall. Eventually I figured out that size was too big, and switched to the normal 3×5 index card*. It makes for a great visual reminder for the kids of where the roots of our language came from, and can be used as a quick review method.
On Fridays I would call out words in Greek or Latin and ask the kids what they meant, and their eyes would rove all over the cards until they found the right card and would yell out the answer. Eventually they just knew the answer, and didn’t really need the visual cue.
Then I made it even harder and started using the words from those words, going back to my GEO example, I would ask, “What does geometry mean, and give me the root words?” They would think for a minute and say “Geo- earth, metron- measure; to measure the earth.” Which is technically what geometry means, which always makes me laugh for some reason.
I’d also say if you have a high school student preparing for the SAT or ACT they might want this, because it’s full of all those great SAT words, when I was buying it from Mardel several years ago, the store employee told me they frequently got high school students buying the flashcards to review SAT words*, which makes total sense to me, it’s an easy way to review, and much less expensive than many of those silly SAT prep classes.
Buying English From the Roots Up
I bought my copy from Mardel on their homeschool sale day (and then a second copy from Amazon* when I lost my first copy, only to return it the next day when I found the original copy), but you can also buy it at Amazon, or whoever your preferred curriculum seller is.