Friday, August 17, 2012


One of the things that I decided I wanted to work on this year is Thoughtful's vocabulary.  Our science curriculum is heavy on the vocabulary, but I wanted something for real life.  I really don't foresee him discussing the earth's axis and revolutions, etc. with his buddies. 

So, what's a Momma to do?  She finds the cheap way, of course.

I found this Children's Dictionary at a local homeschooler's delight, an annual used-curriculum sale.  There are lots of deals to be had, and this year I found this beauty!

Do you see the price?  That's right, a whopping $1.50!!
Please don't be jealous. (smile)

Here's how we use it:
Thoughtful opens the workbox to find the Dictionary and his vocabulary book with a sticky note telling him which look to look up.

I always look in the Dictionary to choose a word to assign.

Thoughtful looks up the word,

and completes this fill-in-the-blank worksheet that I created for him.

He writes the word, defines it (simply as you can see), finds a synonym and an antonym, and draws a picture describing the word, if possible.

Last, he cuts off the borders of the page and glues it into his book.  He loves to cut and glue.  That in itself makes this a fun activity to him.  I would much rather punch holes and slip it into a binder, but that would take away his fun.

We always discuss the word and its possible meanings.  He uses it in a sentence with me, but I don't require my dysgraphic guy to write it. 

Dictionary Skills are one of our "extras" that we squeeze in a few times a week, but not everyday.

What do you use to enhance vocabulary for your younger kiddos?
I'm linking to Learning All the time's Favorite Resources of the Week, where you can find other great ideas to enhance your children's homeschool days.  Just click the button!

Favorite Resource This Week


  1. Donna, this is an excellent way to incorporate dictionary skills. What a deal to find such a great book for. This is something that I definitely need to do with all three of my children. This is a perfect example of what I hope that people would link up to on the linky. So inspiring! I think the link up will be up the second week of September. I am so looking forward to your link ups. Also a bonus by joining in Linky Hops can increase your followers, right now I can clearly see that others would be happy to find a blog like yours. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thank you for the encouragement!! I'm a brand new blogger, and started out writing about all kinds of things. As the school year has kicked in, I've taken a serious turn towards a labeled Homeschooling Blog. I very much look forward to participating in your linky! Thanks again!

  2. I am stopping by after seeing your comment at We dont need no education. Love this idea for incorporating vocabulary and dictionary skills! What a steal for the awesome dictionary!

    1. Thank you! This was a super easy item to throw together, and I've actually heard him use some of the words in general conversation (also not his strong point, being a boy of few words).

  3. Replies
    1. Thank you! We actually have an update to the post, ALREADY, which includes a Thesaurus. Stay tuned!

      Thanks for reading!

  4. This is a great idea, and it sounds like it's working really well for you :) It might sound a little funny, but I love dictionaries...they are fun to hold, and it's so neat to think of the possibilities of new words to be learned! Since my daughters are very much independent readers, we often look up words that they come across with which they are not familiar. Thanks for sharing this with Favorite Resources.

    1. Absolutely! Thank you for stopping in to read!

  5. That's neat what you're doing.

    Are the words normally ones that he would be able to use in sentences beforehand, or are they completely new to him?

    I haven't been doing any vocabulary exercises with my children yet, just reading to them tons and tons. One of the many reasons I like older books (like the Wizard of Oz series) is that they tend to have a broader vocabulary than modern children's books.

  6. Hi, Christy, thank you!

    We always stop reading when we come across words we aren't familiar with; however, my boys rarely remember what they mean. Thoughtful (my 8yo ds) is a very hands-on learner, and anything language arts related doesn't come easily. This is an activity to help him remember the words.

    I have so far chosen a variety of words. Some that he can use now, and some that he might hear us use, but wouldn't necessarily use on his own.

    I completely agree with you regarding the older books! I typically choose older books for our read alouds for that very reason.

    Thank you for stopping by!