Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Review of Ready to Teach

Ready to Teach Review
It is not an exaggeration to say that ever since I took Latin in high school (Salve, Magistra Optima!), I have been looking forward to teaching it to my own children. I have a very vivid memory of having the word lachrymose on the SAT and never having seen it before, BUT I knew that lacrimare in Latin was "to cry," and so figuring out the meaning of lachrymose was easy. Now, I know that Ready to Teach's excellent program Greek Morphemes Lessons (It's NOT Greek to Me!) (Student and Teacher books with CD and flash drive) is a Greek roots program, and not a Latin one, but the premise is the same: learn your roots and conquer the world (of vocabulary, that is)!

Ready to Teach Review

Greek Morphemes Lessons (It's NOT Greek to Me!), developed by Alene Harris, Ph.D. is different from any other Greek roots  (or Latin roots) program that I have seen (and I make it a point to see just about all of them). First of all, it is really, really fun. Second, the presentation is very professional and visually appealing. There is nothing remotely amateur about this program (not to denigrate some other programs - but we have all seen programs that sort of scream "homeschool!" This program definitely does not fall into that category.). 

There are several components to these Greek Morphemes Lessons. The most important part (subjectively speaking) is the PowerPoint presentation lessons.

The lessons make teaching the morphemes a no-brainer. You are walked through the process step-by-step. Not only is it easy...it's fun! 

Each of the 12 lesson follows a similar format. First, you learn a series of morphemes and their meanings using the PowerPoint presentation. During the course of the lesson, your student copies down the meaning of each morpheme in her student book. Then, she completes the work for half of the words in the lesson. For each assignment, there is a series of words. For each word, a student completes the following process: write the word, identify each Greek morpheme in the word and its meaning, using knowledge of the morphemes, write a possible definition of the word, and then look up the word in the dictionary to write the actual definition below the possible definition.

On Day 2, the student checks the worked words from the first assignment and completes the second half of the worked words.

On Day 3, the student checks the second half of the worked words and then uses 8 of the assignment words to create sentences using specific kinds of context clues to help identify the meanings of the words. Additionally, the student uses the morphemes from the current and past lessons to create two new words - this is the really fun part!

On Day 4, parents review the sentences and new words with their students and students do review exercises for the lesson. 

On Day 5, students go over the review exercises and study for the test, which follows the short review period.

The Instructor's Manual contains the following:
  • Background, Introduction, and Lesson Plan
  • Greek Morphemes Lessons
  • Transparency Masters
  • Review and Answer Keys
  • Test and Answer Keys
  • Pre-made Study Cards

The Student Book (Consumable) contains all of the lessons with space to write all of the things I enumerate above.

You also receive a CD with the PowerPoint presentations (both instructions and review lessons), but the program is to begin shipping with a flash drive (which I received) that has the same things on it, in recognition of the fact that many computers now come sans CD drives (mine included!). I love that Dr. Harris recognizes this fact and has updated her business model accordingly!

The complete package with Instructor's Manual, Student Book, and CD/flash drive is $69.95 + $12.75 s/h. If you need an additional Student Book, it is available for $9.95 +$12.75 s/h. 

There is slightly more to the program than this (for instance, students create study cards while they are learning the morphemes), but the above is essentially it. If only that recitation could begin to convey how very much meat is in this program! Your student will learn over 200 Greek roots, suffixes and prefixes! Now, sure, we all know words like telegraph and bibliophile, and I always describe myself as a misanthrope, but do you know what a symphobiac is? What about eumania? After a few weeks, your student will know these words cold. I can't imagine not acing the SAT verbal section, if that's your goal. For me, though, it's all about the love of words, and it's that love that makes me completely enamored of this program. So I love it...but what about my kids?

The Munchkins and the Morphemes

I initially wanted this review for Nicholas (11) because I have noticed that, of all my kids, his vocabulary is the most wanting. My other three kids (10, 10, and 13) are all voracious readers. Their love of reading, coupled with my propensity to sesquipedalianism, has ensured their expansive vocabularies and love of language. Nicholas...not so much - on all fronts. I thought a program like this would spark his interest in language. Dissecting words to analyze their meaning sounded like something he would like. It turns out that of all my kids, he was the one who was least taken with the program. My plan of having him be the primary consumer (i.e., the one who actually got to write in the book - you know, the fun part!) fell through in a hurry. Little did I know that Therese (who has had plenty of "roots" programs, who has actually taken the SAT and scored very well on the verbal section, and who has the biggest school work load), would be the one to insist on "doing" this program. She absolutely loves it. All of the kids watch and enjoy the PowerPoints and I verbally quiz all of them on the morphemes, but Therese is the one who formally does the curriculum (according to the schedule above). It is, unfortunately, not very challenging for her (for the reasons I state above), but she really enjoys it, and she does benefit tremendously from certain aspects of it. Even if she knows many of the morphemes, learning to write sentences with context clues inherent in them has been a great exercise for her.

Essentially, if you have any inkling toward a Greek roots/morphemes program I can't recommend this one highly enough (I just saw that Dr. Harris also has a Latin morphemes program for a similar price! I am really excited about that!). The presentation is flawless and the execution is thorough and easy to follow. Don't take my word for it, though. Click the banner below to read all of the Crew reviews!

Koru Naturals Review
Crew Disclaimer