Latin vocabulary is the bear that you don't want to hibernate over summer. Just like any muscle, if you don't use it, you will lose it. Therefore, taking some time to keep that vocabulary refreshed over school breaks will be one of the most fruitful endeavors you can pursue. Here are 10 ways to keep it fun and fresh:
1 - Flashcards
Flashcards are a simple yet effective method for review. If you just focus on 10-15 flashcards over the 10 weeks of your summer break, you can have anywhere from 100-150 vocabulary words fresh for the school year to start back up again.
You can make your own flashcards, or download and print the Latin with Andy flashcards (included in a membership).
If you've been studying Latin for a while, take this time to focus on the vocabulary that you struggle with the most. It will really pay off when you're back into translations again.
2 - Flashcard Videos
3 - Memory Matching
There are other ways to use the flashcards to help you practice. Print them off single sided, cut them out, and play that old fun matching game with them!
4 - Hangman
Classic games like hangman work well because they involve attention to spelling as well as vocabulary review. You can play hangman by choosing any of the possible forms of nouns or verbs. This expands your game play by having to sort through all of the possible endings they know.
5 - Spoons
Spoons is a fast paced card game that requires players to pass cards around in a circle until they have four that match. When they get those four matching cards, they try to subtly grab a spoon as the others keep searching for four cards. Once someone grabs a spoon, the other players can grab one even if they don't have four matching cards. The one who is last is out.
You can play this game with Latin vocabulary with those same one-sided vocabulary cards you used in memory matching. Just grab some friends/family and start looking for two complete sets of vocabulary words, like this:
I don't like the idea of getting out of the game because that means that you'd stop practicing vocabulary, so I usually just have the same number of spoons as players, and the spoon grabbing just livens up the vocabulary review!
When one person finds matches, they grab their spoon, then lay down their vocabulary words to announce their success. Then they draw four more cards and everyone else keeps playing with the same cards they had.
6 - Pictionary
Another fast-paced and playful Latin vocabulary review game is Pictionary. Students can draw one of their vocabulary words and see if their friends can guess it and then translate it into Latin.
7 - Word Pictures
Sometimes the Latin vocabulary word is just a little more challenging to memorize, so drawing pictures to help them remember the forms of verbs or the Latin word for a particular noun can be a great way to review vocabulary.
8 - Vocab Quizzes
A quick way to get in a little review is to offer a vocabulary quiz. Focus on one lesson at a time and have your student take the same quiz every day. They can complete as many as they know and then use the answers to add two or three more answers to their list.
As time passes, they will get faster at taking the quiz and eventually master it. At that point you can move on to the next lesson. Every once in a while, you can bring the old lessons back as a review.
9 - Make a Dictionary
One of my favorite ways to really practice the forms of your Latin vocabulary is make your own personal Latin Dictionary. This isn't so much for actually looking up words when you're translating, even though you could definitely use it that way.
The beauty of copying all of these forms and translations over and over is that you build muscle memory. As the forms become familiar, it makes translation work faster.
10 - Word of the Week
If all of these vocabulary review ideas just feel like too much work, you'd be surprised at how many words you can really internalize by just focusing on a word of the week. Write it on the family chalk board, or post it on the fridge to get it out in front of your family. Make it a point to bring attention to it throughout the week.
If you can find ways to keep Latin vocabulary fun it will make it easier to keep reviewing. The rewards of your efforts will be worth it!
Betsy Strauss is an unexpected homeschooler, mother of three, who is in a relationship with a sweet man for life. She loves reading books, drinking coffee, and learning anything with her kids.