Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Vocabulary Program for Homeschoolers

Wordela Homeschool vocabulary building program for kids

The following post is in collaboration with Wordela Homeschool. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

In homeschooling high school, nurturing a strong vocabulary is a key aspect of holistic education. A rich lexicon empowers students to communicate effectively, think critically, and succeed academically.

As a homeschool parent, I try really hard to find resources that aren't just academically beneficial, but ones that will help my kids throughout their lives. And building their vocabularies is one of those important skills that are at the top of my list. I'm excited to have found Wordela Homeschool as a resource, and wish I had found it sooner. 

Quick Overview

Program: Wordela Homeschool
Religious Perspective: Secular
Format: Self-Paced Online Program
# of Classes: Varies
Ages: 10 and up depending on course
Price: $67/Family - $97/Big Family - $197/Homeschool Co-op


The Power of Vocabulary

As a writer, I know that a rich vocabulary equips students with a diverse range of words to express their thoughts clearly and effectively. By mastering a broad lexicon 😃, our kids can articulate their ideas with confidence and precision, whether in written assignments, discussions, or presentations. The ability to choose the most appropriate words enhances communication and promotes self-expression.

Vocabulary development also goes hand in hand with critical thinking skills. As my kids encounter new words and their meanings, they expand their cognitive abilities by: 
  • making connections, 
  • analyzing context, 
  • and drawing inferences. 
A strong vocabulary empowers them to grasp complex concepts more readily, enabling them to engage in deeper levels of analysis and interpretation.

These are pretty important skills that I think my kids need before going to college. In my opinion, developing these skills can not only help them with the college application process (think SAT scores and essay writing), but also once they begin their learning journey at whichever college they decide upon.

Handwritten word lists are one way to boost vocabulary skills

Practical Strategies to Build Vocabulary

Here are a few strategies that I have worked to incorporate in my children's homeschool journey.
  1. Reading Extensively
    We've looked for ELA programs that encourage my kids to read a variety of literature, including classic novels, contemporary fiction, non-fiction, and thought-provoking articles. Reading exposes kids to diverse vocabulary in context, fostering word acquisition and understanding of nuanced meanings. Discussing unfamiliar words during reading sessions really helps solidify their usage and encourages curiosity.

  2. Word Games and Puzzles
    Make vocabulary-building fun by incorporating word games and puzzles into your homeschool routine. Crossword puzzles, word searches, and word association activities engage my kids in an interactive and enjoyable way. These games not only reinforce vocabulary knowledge but also strengthen memory retention and cognitive skills.

  3. Vocabulary Journals and Flashcards
    Encourage your kids to maintain a vocabulary journal where they can jot down new words, their definitions, and example sentences. Reviewing the journal regularly helps reinforce retention and serves as a handy reference tool. Additionally, creating flashcards with new words and definitions can turn vocabulary practice into a portable learning experience. I haven't done this very much with my son, and I wish I had. But you'll see below how beneficial it is. 
Wordela Homeschool has several vocab courses to choose from.

Introducing Wordela Homeschool: A Vocabulary-Building App

Wordela Homeschool is an innovative app designed to enhance vocabulary skills through an engaging and personalized learning experience. It offers various interactive exercises, quizzes, and word games to expand word knowledge. (So this fits into #2 listed above!)

Students can track their progress, set goals, and receive customized recommendations tailored to their proficiency level. We like its user-friendly program and comprehensive word database. So far, the site offers eight courses divided into two categories:

  • Overnight Vocabulary
  • Vocabulary Booster
  • Confidence in Context
  • ESL Vocabulary
  • Corporate Vocabulary

  • Productivity
  • Career Success
  • Brain Training

Wordela Homeschool vocabulary building program for kids

How It Works

My son has started with the basic course, Vocabulary Booster. He simply logs in to the dashboard and selects a word list. From there, he can choose how he wants to learn. There are four options:
  1. AutoLearn™
  2. Smart Flashcards
  3. Review
  4. Zspell
AutoLearn™ presents you with the definition, and you have to select the correct vocabulary word. From what we can tell, it presents 10 words at a time before introducing new vocabulary. 

Smart Flashcards give you the word on a digital flashcard and then you can "flip it over" and see the definition. This one is great for studying.

Review is really cool. It begins by giving you the basics: the word, definition, part of speech and additional definitions (if there's more than one). But what makes this option stand out is that you can select from the Dictionary, Wiktionary, or Wikipedia, and scroll around to read more information about the word. It also lets you track your progress with that word so you can see how you're doing with it. 

And finally, there's Zspell, which is just a really fun way to learn. It's basically a typing game and you "shoot" the spaceships and missiles by typing the word as it falls to the ground. Gamification at its best. :) My 17yo loves it, which I think is hilarious because it's like that first video game from when I was a kid called Space Invaders. 

Zspell from Wordela Homeschool makes vocabulary building fun!

Actually, Wordela Homeschool is owned by the same company that created Typsey Homeschool! So if you are a Typesy fan, you will probably love this program, too. 

Create Your Own Word Lists

The best part of this program, in my opinion, is that you can create your own word lists based on your child's interests or studies. I created one for his aeronautics interest and course. All I had to do was type in the list of words and the program automatically looked for them in the dictionary and added them to the four different learning paths I mentioned above.

You can do the same with your ELA vocabulary, if you want to make learning the words more engaging using the methods in this program.

Create custom word lists with Wordela Homeschool.

Get It For Yourself

If you're looking for a great vocabulary-building program for your kids, and want something more than just printable word lists, we highly recommend this program which takes word lists to the next level! 

If you're convinced, or just want to learn more, visit Wordela Homeschool!

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