Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Best Vocab Program, ever!

Septimus Heap

My 13yo likes to read aloud to me.  She calls it "adding meaning to my life", because many of my tasks seem pretty mundane and meaningless (dinner, cleaning, laundry).  Listening to a story makes the tasks seem easier.  It really began, however, when my daughter wanted me to read the same books she was reading.  That's an awesome thing, but I found trying to fit in pleasure reading was impossible for me.  I used to be an avid reader.  Enter 3 kids, one of them being 4, and I don't take much time to read, these days.  I did read a lot during my breastfeeding years (what else was there to do while stuck in a chair?), but I digress...

She reads to me, and this way, I get to enjoy the books she'd really like for me to read.  She reads to me, and I get to correct her pronunciation if she stumbles over a word.  She reads to me, and I get to discuss what a word means.  It's a pretty great system.

Right now, we're slowly chugging through the Septimus Heap series.  I actually love the stories; I just have to chose my listening time wisely.  If the household is falling apart and a certain 4yo is having a meltdown, well...end of story.  I have found the Septimus Heap books have been a great springboard for vocabulary.  The author, Angie Sage, uses some rather genius words.  We also get to talk about characterization, literary devices, what makes the story work, etc.

A word of warning: if you have a strict ban on books with magic, wizardry and witchcraft, you'll want to avoid these books, because its full to the brim.  But if you like fantasy worlds with fantastical, magical plots, than this is a great series for you!

And...if you happen to be looking for the perfect vocabulary program for your child, might I suggest having your child read aloud to you?

1 comment:

Lisa Wagner said...

Like so many other skills, vocabulary is best learned in context. And what better context for vocabulary than a great book?