English From the Roots Up

English from the Roots Up

So, I must confess, I am a word nerd.  Once this got in my hands, I was enthralled by the knowledge contained within.  Would my children share the same enthusiasm?  I thought not.  It turns out I was so wrong!

English From the Roots Up (EFRU) is a 2 part resource with 100 Latin and Greek root words per level.  It gives you the word in Latin or Greek, then gives a large sample of English words that draw upon that root.  The program recommends having your student make a flash card for each word, and copy the long list of words from that root on the back.

The book itself isn’t a curriculum per say, but it does have all the information you need, and some ideas and bonus info to really flesh out the subject.  You can purchase the books themselves (around $16 each) or a set of premade flashcards for each level (about the same price).  You could get by with one or the other really, but the cards lack the bonus material from the book.  Also, since you are supposed to have your student make their own flashcards, they are by no means necessary.

Making a student set of flashcards sounded so dreadfully boring and like a death sentence to my oldest who hates to write and has the handwriting to prove it.  I wanted this to be educational, not certifiable torture, so I changed things up a bit.  Instead of copy work, I came up with a fun project for each word.  In no time at all EFRU was his favorite class.

For example, when we learned the word metron (to measure), we made a home-made barometer.  This was a fun way to tie in science and do a hands-on activity.  As an added bonus, whenever we review and he’s stuck on a word, all I have to do is mention the project we did and he puzzles it out.

EFRU might not be a critical part of a homeschool curriculum, but I think it will be of some use to my sons as they grow up.  I can certainly see the use in science education –  we have already learned all three roots in the word photosynthesis.  Since we are having so much fun, and the program is so affordable, I can say that it is worth the price for us.

Pros –
Information dense
Useful for science and history

Cons –
Could be dry
Not a critical subject
Not open-and-go


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