3 Ways Your Child Benefits from Learning Greek and Latin Roots

Laura Kelley, 5th Grade Teacher and 4th and 5th Grade Supervisor
Did you know that learning Greek and Latin roots during the elementary years can enhance reading, as well as math and science, not to mention SAT and ACT scores?

1.  Roots are the building blocks of the English language. Each year, students in grades 5 and higher encounter about 10,000 new words in their reading! Most of these new words will be of Greek and Latin origin. Understanding root meanings will give students the tools to identify the definitions of new words that they encounter. They learn to look within a word to find its meaning!

2. The lack of a good working vocabulary is responsible for 70% of reading comprehension problems in elementary students. Content areas such as science and social studies have a great deal of unfamiliar vocabulary. Fortunately, most of these scientific or scholarly terms are grounded in Greek and Latin origins, which aids students in their understanding of these subjects

3. It is never too early to begin vocabulary development that will improve ACT and SAT scores! Numerous studies have demonstrated the favorable impact that understanding Latin/Greek roots and affixes have on grade point averages, reading achievement, vocabulary skills, and even math problem-solving skills.

Fifth grade  "word detectives" at our school readily accept the challenge of breaking down new words and puzzling out their meanings!  They mean it literally when they say "It is Greek to me!"

Laura Kelley has been part of the Pinecrest Academy family since its beginning. She currently teaches 5th grade and serves as Grade chair. Mrs. Kelley is married to husband, Phil, and they have four daughters, all of whom are Pinecrest alumni. She can be reached at lkelley@pinecrestacademy.org.
Pinecrest Academy is a private PreK3-12 Catholic school located in Cumming, South Forsyth, just minutes from Alpharetta, Johns Creek, Milton and Suwanee. We serve families of all faiths seeking a Christian education for their children. To learn more about our unique educational philosophy, visit our Welcome page.

The mission of Pinecrest Academy is reflected in the word Integer, which is Latin for “whole,” or “entire,” and reflects our goal of forming the whole child as an authentic “Person in Christ.” The school motto Semper Altius, means “Always Higher,” and challenges our students, parents, staff and faculty to strive for excellence in all areas of Integral Formation® - intellectual, spiritual, human and apostolic.