Every so often you come across a product that is so neat that you just sit back and say, "That is so cool!" Lone Star Learning's Greek and Latin Roots Vocabulary Cards are such a product. When you see them on the website, you immediately think what a great idea they are. When you see them in person, you realize that you are holding in your hands works of art.
What are Greek and Latin Roots Vocabulary Cards?
These great cards, consisting of 30 Latin roots and 30 Greek roots, illustrate the roots they teach visually. The "answer" is not on the back of the card because it doesn't need to be! With a modicum of imagination, kids can guess the root without knowing anything about it. Mine were right the majority of the time (N.B.: while my oldest daughter has had several years of Latin and half a year of Greek, my three youngest kids have only had one year of Latin). Don't worry, though, if you can't guess the root of if you want to, understandably, verify that you are right: the first card in the group is a master list of all the roots and their meanings!
What is hard to discern about these awesome cards just from their picture is how big they are! The cards are 5.5" by 8.5" and are printed on very heavy card stock. These cards are meant to be used and are meant to last. This is one time that I wish a review could convey show-and-tell. There is a tactile element to these cards that should be experienced in order for one to understand the price (see below). These are not index cards.
How We Used Greek and Latin Roots Vocabulary Cards
Originally, I anticipated that my oldest two children would simply memorize ten roots per week (five Latin and five Greek) by laying out the appropriate roots, studying the picture, writing the root and the translation, and then writing them out for me at the end of the week (either the Latin/Greek or the English depending on the word I gave them). I figured that my 8 year-old twins would simply look at the cards and assimilate the roots through the pictures. I assumed that my 8 year-old son, Michael, would want to draw the cards, as he is my artistic child. As always, though, the best laid plans of mice and men go oft astray!
Clearly, my other kids were taken by Michael's idea. They, too, wanted to draw the roots. The cards are so well-done and the roots are so evident by the illustrations that you almost want to copy them. Of course, as every good teacher knows, when you write something down, you retain it. By the time my children were done copying a card onto their own index card, they had learned the meaning of the root. I don't think they are likely ever to forget them.
Honestly, I had intended to display the roots around the schoolroom, and I would still love to do that, as each card is its own little work of art, but I can't do that any time soon: my kids keep removing them to draw them! I think the cards are like the best possible combination of multi-sensory activity, perhaps without even meaning to be.
- They are over-sized and smoothly glossy, making them a pleasure to handle.
- They are brightly colored when they need to be and monochromatic when it makes sense.
- They almost invite you to imitate them by copying them.
- They require you, as all good language study does, to say them out loud.
Actually, when I saw the way my kids chose to use the cards, I thought of other homeschool products that combine handwriting, history, and drawing, thus integrating multiple subjects in a reinforcing manner. That's how I think of these cards. For that and for all of the other reasons listed, I just love them!
How You Can Get Them!
Lone Star Learning offers a variety of amazingly cool products, including these Greek and Latin Root Cards. You can also get Science and Math vocabulary cards, as well as a wide variety of other computer and even iPad based products. The Greek and Latin Root Cards that I reviewed are available for $39.99, which I know is expensive. Again, I have to emphasize the high quality of these cards. They are not going to fall apart on you.
My kids and I love these cards (which are intended for grades 3-8, but are certainly adaptable for younger or older kids), but don't just take our word for it; be sure to read all of the Crew reviews of Lone Star Learning's creative offerings!