Don’t underestimate the power of cuteness

to charm an unenthused and skeptical student into learning his least favorite subject — vocabulary.

At our big Thanksgiving get-together, Prairie was running outside with her cousins after the big meal.  She paused beside Sid, clutching her side and commented, “Daddy, I wish cramps were not so ubiquitous.

While writing this post, I hear the sounds of industry in the kitchen.  Sid and the kids are cleaning up, making popcorn and hot chocolate in preparation for watching Elf.  I also hear Rachel mock-scolding one of her brothers.  “You are treating me like an insolent bully, and here I am making you popcorn!”

I am especially thrilled because those two vocabulary words — ubiquitous and insolent — were not part of this week’s list.  We studied those words weeks ago, so they are retaining their new words long term.  An added bonus — when one child uses a vocabulary word within hearing of another child, it reinforces the learning for the hearing child as well.

Another added benefit to studying vocabulary as a family, with varying ages —– the older, non-enthusiastic student thinks his little sisters using their big words are so darn cute that vocabulary study seems less onerous, and the memory of their cuteness reinforces HIS learning.

I label our vocabulary studies a success!

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