For over a year now, we have been combining using the Growing Dictionary with the Wordly Wise website. But as a homeschooling mom I have been lax in making sure Tom really "gets it" when it comes to vocabulary.
I love that the Wordly Wise site gives an audio on each lesson. Tom isn't great with pronunciation, so this gives him the audio that he needs, without me having to hold his hand and read them to him, or correct him constantly. One more step to independent learning.
I make him do his word cards for the vocabulary lesson that week, split up between Monday and Tuesday. We were doing sentences on Wednesday and Thursday, and that was it. Not much in making sure he truly comprehends the words and their meanings.
This past week I decided to go back to an old site I had used in the past for help: Spelling City. I created a free teacher account, and using his word list, made several worksheets for his list. I wasn't sure if this was going to work, but remembering what I had read from Dr. Fry years ago, that it takes approximately 15 times of being exposed to a word before a child remembers it, I figured it couldn't hurt. I love Dr. Fry books, and if you have a child that is struggling or just learning to read, I cannot recommend them enough! Both of my boys learned to read using those as workbooks, and simple readers from the library.
Well, Tom did his first worksheet from Spelling City this morning, and I was impressed. He only got 2 words wrong in trying to place them in sentences. He did a fabulous job, it made him look at his vocabulary cards again (exposure, exposure), and he had to decide based on the definitions, which word fit best in each sentence. I will definitely be doing this again! I doubt we will ever do vocabulary tests/quizzes, but I might have him play one of the games on Wordly Wise every so often to "test" him and see how well he remember the words and definitions.