My favorite part:
Vocabulary is the biggest part of the Critical Reading. The entire reading section (passages included) is a vocabulary based reasoning test; vocab is MORE than just those fill in those blank questions. The more vocab she knows (as in the "I can use it in a sentence and define it for you and tell you the 2nd and third def's" sort of way), the better.My other favorite part, from the P.S.:
The New York Times is a GREAT way to learn vocab IN CONTEXT. I've been reading the newspaper every morning with Daisy and we get at least 10 words per day that she can't define. We started with a half hour every morning and her mission was to find ONE article that she wanted to read in it's entirety and tell me about it and pick out a few vocab words.
She is now up to an hour and often reads 3-4 full articles and LOVES it.
She asks me vocabulary as we go along and I define the words and she writes them down with a little memory jogger. And as I read the paper next to her and I find words, I ask her the def's and she adds them to her list if she doesn't know them.
I'd say she's up to about 100 words now just from the NY times for the last 5 months.
Then, whenever doing anything (e.g. cleaning the kitchen, driving, etc.), I have her break out "the list" (it's handwritten plus on our phones), and she uses them in sentences and I tweak them for her.
This exercise will help with the speed of the reading passages too. A large part of the challenge in that section is the sophisticated vocabulary. They are college level reading passages (i.e. not what high schoolers are used to reading).
That's why the "as long as they read it doesn't matter WHAT they read" line of thought doesn't stand up in this context.
3) Don't ask her, "Are there any words you don't know?" because she will say "No. I know them all." They all do. After she tells you the 1-2 words she thinks doesn't know, look through the article yourself and ask her words. You'll add another 3-4.Beautiful!
People don't know what they don't know -- especially teenagers.
4) If she rejects this whole idea at fist, ignore. They ALL say they don't want to do "SAT Work" -- especially with a parent. That will change very very quickly.
These are great, too: