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Jensen's Vocab vs Vocab from Class. Roots

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but here is ours. I want to make clear that *both* courses are very good, but definitely differ in presentation.


Jensen's is *not* a single one year course. The current Jensen's book is a compilation of his three previous books (2 focusing on Latin roots, 1 focusing on Greek roots) each designed to take a semester or more, depending upon how much time you want to spend on vocabulary studies. When we used it many years ago, it was still three separate books and we used the first one. My daughter did well with its straightfoward, puzzle-piece approach and found many of the words reinforced in her literature studies.


Jensen's Vocab works extensively from a list of roots, prefixes,and suffixes. Each week the student works with a particular set, *figuring* out which word means what based on the roots/affixes sheet. There are four differing exercises each week, and the roots/affixes are used/reviewed in words throughout the course. Some kids like the "puzzling" approach, others don't. My daughter *did* learn a lot; I think all the puzzling out helped cement her thinking and understanding. I didn't continue to use it because of cost and it doesn't fit all my children's learning styles--(However, I am tempted every year because *I* like the puzzle-it-out aspects....)


The Vocab. from Classical Roots booklets are slim and can easily be completed in half a year. Each lesson focuses on a few roots, includes definitions, related words, and examples of use from literature. There are also exercises as well. Although highly recommended by many, for some reason, this series did nothing for us and I dropped it after using 2 levels (we gave it a good try). If you are willing to add more exercises (SWB advises making flashcards and reviewing them), then I think you could get a lot out of this series.


I have since moved to WW3000 because it is easy to use, contains worthwhile exercises, and reinforces words that show up in the literature my children are reading. Each book contains about 20 lessons, meaning one can complete 3 books every two years. I like my children to finish the series by 11th grade and use Vocab. for the College-Bound for 12th which is my favorite of all the vocab texts I've tried--it has a large section on Greek/Latin roots, words of other origins, words grouped by context, and more with varied, worthwhile exercises.



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My oldest is using Jensen's. He enjoys it, and I like it because not only does it teach the roots, it forces you to learn how they transfer over into English. Not every word is as obvious, and they don't have the full root in them. By using the "puzzle" approach, ds is learning how to apply this information himself, instead of simply learning a stream of words.

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