This is how we learn vocabulary in our house when the mind just can't take any more and the clock is ticking down. Kids are given a word bank and a list of definitions and must match the two. It's all about connections.
Vigorous: strong; energetic
I hold my big guns (biceps) up in the air - "Look Stephanie, my arms are strong and energetic and are in the shape of a V - just like Vigorous."
Illogical: contrary to the rules of sound reasoning.
"Do you know what logical is?"
"Most people just study - they follow the study guide that their teacher sends home. Tonight you are crying and pitching a fit. That is illogical. ILL - means sick. Your logic about studying tonight is sick. We need to get it well like it was last night. Ill-logical."
Subdued: quiet; not as active as usual.
"Ships are on top of the water - moving quickly and loudly. Submarines are quiet and sneaky under the water, like subdued. Now what is the word?"
"Think about the time a kid pooped in the pool last summer. Sub - like a submarine; dooed - like an underwater poop."
Invariably: constantly; always uniformly.
"Dad, the word uniformly reminds me of my uniform."
"Well, you invariably wear a uniform to school. And the "v" in invariably looks like the "v" in your uniform collar. And the "n" sort of looks like a pair of short pants, just like your uniform."
Vantage: favorable or advantageous position for observing.
"I hate to have to point this out, but the word vantage is in the middle of advantageous. Take advantage of that."
Laboriously: with much labor, toil, or difficulty.
"Do you know what labor means?"
"I and Us go with Lee to do labor. Labor is done by I, us and Lee. Labor-I-US-LEE. "
Loped: Moved with a long swining stride.
A big, funny, daddy lope across the den floor. Arms dangling like a monkey. "I'm lopin' baby, I'm lopin'."
Warily: In a careful, cautious manner.
"Let's all sing...Warily we roll along, roll along, roll along; warily we roll along in a careful, cautious manner."
Rancid: Unpleasant odor or taste.
"Your uncle's feet smell rancid. Remember the smell. Remember the word."
(By the way, rancid is one of my all time favorite words.)
Respite: a temporary period of relief or rest.
"You tired of this?"
"Me too. We need a respite."
"Let's go to bed."
My kids are going to fail the SAT.