Can I get any tips on "Vocabulary" in Bigger?

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Can I get any tips on "Vocabulary" in Bigger?

Post by krazzymommy » Fri Apr 26, 2013 9:19 pm

So, my son Loves HOD, loves with a capital L. When I was trying to decide what to do this coming year, he was just devastated anytime I suggested anything other than HOD. :) The ONLY thing he doesn't like is when he has to do vocabulary (he's doing Bigger). It's kind of borderline ridiculous how he gets in regards to it. He asks me every morning if he has to do vocabulary that day. (But it's not tears; if I say "no", he says how relieved he is. If I say "yes", he just groans, "aw!") I found a printable PDF that I've been giving him vs. doing index cards - it gives him a spot to put the definition, the sentence, and the picture. I only make him do 1 word right now. He has no problem with the dictionary, except that he gets VERY distracted, finding all kinds of words of things we've been studying that week. :p

I would love some suggestions on how we can make this a little less daunting for him! I've read a lot of people say that the kids should be doing the 3 words no problem by the time they get to Preparing, so I'm scared, because I just ordered Preparing! Every other thing in the guide is great, he does the science writing no problem, it's just the Vocab; I think he's psyched himself out!

Any suggestions?
DD8 - Bigger
DS10 - CtC

We've enjoyed: Little Hands to Heaven, Little Hearts for His Glory, Beyond Little Hearts for His Glory, and Bigger Hearts for His Glory - took a break from HOD for awhile; excited to get back into it!

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Re: Can I get any tips on "Vocabulary" in Bigger?

Post by creativemommy » Fri Apr 26, 2013 9:36 pm

My son wasn't fond of his vocabulary cards either, he was also distracted using the dictionary. He would just start reading any word and off on a rabbit trail he'd go. :)

We switched to using the dictionary app on our iPad. That made it a lot more time efficient for him to look up words. I also had him shrink some of the definitions, but he will always draw a picture. It helped.

He now enjoys looking back through his previous words.
Used & Loved LHTH, LHFHG, BLHFHG, & Bigger

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Re: Can I get any tips on "Vocabulary" in Bigger?

Post by lissiejo » Sat Apr 27, 2013 7:03 am

Maybe offer an incentive if he accomplishes the assignment diligently? I've done that with my daughter for math because she just doesn't like it as much so she dawdles around. I also make her do it first to get it done. Our girls aren't aloud a lot of time on the computer, so sometimes I'll set a timer and say, "If you get this assignment done in 15 minutes you can have 15 minutes of computer time." You can just adjust the amount of time. I also would encourage you to get him to the three words a day. My daughter finished up unit 29 and we started doing 3 a week about 4 units ago. Before then we were only doing 2 because she is on the young end of the guide. It isn't her favorite either, mostly because of the copying down. I am the one who created the pfd you are talking about because it worked better for her. :)
Melissa (Pastor's wife in NC)
Rose (12-years-old) - Revival to Revolution
Beth (10-years-old) - Creation to Christ
Grace (8-years-old) - Bigger Hearts for His Glory

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Re: Can I get any tips on "Vocabulary" in Bigger?

Post by daybreaking » Sat Apr 27, 2013 7:25 am

For my ds, the more he did the vocabulary cards, the easier it became. We're currently on unit 28 and I am amazed at the difference in how he approaches the cards. I think he just needed an adjustment period. I am glad we stuck it out, as I am pleased with the variety of skills he is gaining - using context clues to discover the meaning of words, finding words on his own in a dictionary, deciding which definition fits the context, putting the definition in his own words, designing sentences that fit the definition, alphabetizing (when he files the card in our card box), etc. I will admit that I've never had him do all three cards in one day; instead, I have a fifteen minute block on our schedule devoted to vocabulary, during which time my ds completes one card. Part of this is because my ds has always been meticulous, so his pictures take longer. (He carefully draws each picture, with detail, and then uses colored pencils to color it in.) I plan on following this approach in Preparing, as well, as it just seems to work for my ds.

Wife to one amazing husband and mother to two precious blessings from above:
ds18 & dd13

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Re: Can I get any tips on "Vocabulary" in Bigger?

Post by arstephia » Sat Apr 27, 2013 10:34 am

I made a sheet for vocabulary with a place for the word, picture, definition and context sentence. My dd needed the larger drawing space. Then we will make a book out of it at the end of the year. For the dictionary, that skill has progressed through the year. At first she had to find the correct letter. (If the word was telegram she had to find the "T" section and then I would find the word. After awhile she started getting closer - the "te" section and then I would find the word. Now (week 31) she can find the word all by herself. There was only one word we had to use the computer dictionary for because our hardcopy didn't have the word in it. I don't use the computer regularly because I want her to have the alphabetizing skills and the search skills. Once we find the word we use post-it arrow tags to mark the word so she doesn't get frustrated and loose her place. Also, we only do 1 of the words in the book, but we will look up the other 2 for information. I usually look those up for her, but she reads them and then we talk about when that word was used in the story for contex. That way we get the vocab skills but we aren't getting bogged down. I don't have any concerns she will be able to keep up with the Preparing work, but I have already been through Preparing with another child, so that is probably why. Preparing is a nice gentle progression as well.
I've done all the guides now with at least one child and still feeling the HOD LOVE. LOL!
DD 9- Preparing
DD 13- Rev 2 Rev
DS 15- Geography

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Re: Can I get any tips on "Vocabulary" in Bigger?

Post by countrymom » Sun Apr 28, 2013 4:13 am

As another poster mentioned, there are so many skills with the vocabulary activity. I very quickly found this was not an activity that he could work on while I folded laundry :) I would start with one card and work your way up. I always went over all of the words with my son, but we worked our way up to 3 cards, which is how we are starting the beginning of Preparing 1/2 speed. The skill of looking a word up in the dictionary (without getting sidetracked) takes time for sure. I have really worked with showing my son on how to look a word up and giving him tips. One thing I did wrong in the beginning was verbally spell words for him. Now I use the marker board and I keep the definition short and to the point. Now as we have progressed I highlight the definition in the dictionary and put two sticky notes on the top and bottom of it. We have an old dictionary and will be able to pick up another one at an auction real cheap for our next son, so I am able to do that. If not I would stick with the maker board. I use the marker board for the sentence also. I did cut back his reading passage on vocabulary day and still do that sometimes.
Wife to J
Big J - LHFHG, Beyond, Bigger, Preparing, CTC, R2R, Rev to Rev, Modern Missions, beginning parts of World Geography
Little J - LHTH, LHFHG, Beyond, Bigger, Preparing, working in CTC

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Re: Can I get any tips on "Vocabulary" in Bigger?

Post by my3sons » Sun Apr 28, 2013 8:45 am

These are all great suggestions already! :D I found I could not do laundry during vocabulary times either, countrymom - thanks for the laugh there - I too am always trying to work laundry in somehow. :lol: But NOT during vocabulary - you are so right. :wink:

I looked back at my oldest ds's vocabulary cards and was appalled. His first vocabulary cards had itty-bitty stick people in the middle, were in black and white, and were pretty messy. :shock: My oldest ds now just finished Missions to Modern Marvels, and has impeccably neat work. I share this to encourage you! :D With HOD, skills are built gradually through the years, and though the start may not be pretty, the finish is worth it. :D

A few tips for vocabulary - start with 1 card and do it well. Quality over quantity. :D Sit by ds and help him find the words - if in a big dictionary, use post-it notes to section it off for him to copy the definition from the 'sea of words' more easily. :) Or, use an Ipad, an app on an Iphone, or anything else that works well for ds. :D Help him make a plan and jot it on a markerboard if need be. For example, quickly talk through what he'll draw and sketch it quickly on the markerboard. Jot on the markerboard the sentence he makes up. Section off the definition and put lines on the markerboard to show where it will go. Often times, dc have trouble putting it all together. Modeling the layout has helped our dc. :D Last, clip along with it. Accept what he does and try to gradually work up to 2 cards if possible. Finally, maybe try the other format mentioned in the "Introduction" of the guide. Rather than index cards, maybe give the notebook a try. Switching it up may be good! As far as doing 3 at the close of PHFHG, that was my suggestion, and it is totally a personal preference, not an HOD suggestion. :wink: I just try to build endurance and skill level at the close of a guide to bolster for the next guide. It is NOT totally necessary, nor is it even good if dc are too pushed by it. My middle ds, for example, did only 2 vocabulary cards and then 3 towards the end of PHFHG. But, his vocabulary cards were BEAUTIFUL! He put in more effort in a few, and that build 'endurance and skill' for him. My oldest ds did FAST, yet well done, vocab cards. He did 3 at the end of Bigger Hearts, and 4 at the end of PHFHG. This was a way to build 'endurance and skill' for him in this area. So, be flexible, follow your ds's needs, and he'll be just fine!!!! :D :D :D HTH!

In Christ,
Enjoyed LHTH to USII
Currently using USII, MTMM
Wife to Rich for 25 years
Mother to 3 sons, ages 20, 17, and 13
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Re: Can I get any tips on "Vocabulary" in Bigger?

Post by lucsch » Sun Apr 28, 2013 11:33 am

I'll just be repeating things other moms have said, but my daughter hated vocabulary at first. I had her do only one card at the beginning. Then, her creative mind kicked in and she created a serial using the words in sentences that related to previous card with a story-line that carried over. She loved illustrating her little story. By the end of Bigger, she still didn't like starting the task, but she did all three words and a card for each. Since we did Bigger over 2 years, it was a test of endurance for her, as well. LOL I saw growth in many areas with Bigger, and this was one of them.
Wife to Gary for 31 years
Mom to ds26, ds21, ds19, and dd11
Grandma 4yo, 1yo, newborn
dd11: CTC
Finished BLHFHG, BHFHG, Preparing & DITHOR 3x

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Re: Can I get any tips on "Vocabulary" in Bigger?

Post by Army Wife » Sun Apr 28, 2013 1:53 pm

I can completely relate. We just started HOD Bigger in Feb. My dd10 disliked vocabulary day and made a big scene every time that day came along. So I sat down with her and discussed the things she liked about school and didn't according to a article I read on She likes everything except when it required writing. Currently, she writes her vocabulary on notebook paper. I purchased alphabetized notebook dividers, and so she is able to keep them organized that way. Based on her age, I wanted her to do all three but did not require them to be done all in one sitting or even in one day. She decided she was okay with doing two in one sitting on the day assigned and the 3rd one by Day 5. Vocabulary day still arrived with lots of groaning, I finally told told her vocabulary came only one day a week and no more. Apparently, she was testing me or did not realize that it fell only one day a week, because after that we have had no complaints on vocabulary day and she completes what she originally agreed to. Although she is a struggling reader, she actually enjoys looking up the words. She gets frustrated with looking back and forth from her paper to the dictionary, so I just write the definitions on the board after she finds them.
Elsa, mother of 3

dd12 CTC, Completed Bigger, Preparing
ds10 CTC, Completed Bigger, Preparing
dd7 Bigger, Completed LHFHG, Beyond

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Re: Can I get any tips on "Vocabulary" in Bigger?

Post by krazzymommy » Sun Apr 28, 2013 8:44 pm

Thank you ladies, for these suggestions. The change we're going to make this week is that I am not going to assign the vocab with his other independent work. (Yes, I am guilty of trying to get that laundry done, too!) I will sit with him and see which of these other things will work with him, as well.

Glad to hear we are not alone; it is such an important skill, but I guess it's not the most fun!
DD8 - Bigger
DS10 - CtC

We've enjoyed: Little Hands to Heaven, Little Hearts for His Glory, Beyond Little Hearts for His Glory, and Bigger Hearts for His Glory - took a break from HOD for awhile; excited to get back into it!

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