I am posting a sample Word Study today to illustrate how simple they can be for children. Remember Word Studies consist of 5 key elements, referred to as 5R-ing: Research, Reason, Relate, Record, and Revelation. Assign different steps to different days—it doesn’t have to all be done in one setting. A blank form is easy to create in Word and tailored to the ages and abilities of your individual children. Different ages may require fewer definitions, scriptures, or quotes. Older children could include whole articles in their research. This Word Study is just for reference. I prefer to have double spaced lines under each section for the children to write upon.
Definition: (from American Dictionary of the English Language (1828 Facsimile Edition) if possible)
Excel: v 1. To go beyond; to exceed; to surpass in good qualities, to out do.
Excellence: n 1.The state of possessing good qualities in an unusual or eminent degree; the state of excelling in anything.
2. Any valuable quality; any thing highly laudable, meritorious or virtuous, in persons, or valuable ad esteemed, in things.
Definition of Key Words:
Eminent: high; lofty; distinguished above others; remarkable
Laudable: a. Praiseworthy, commendable
Meritorious: Deserving of reward or of notice, regard, fame or happiness
“Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel” (Genesis 49:4).
“For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts. . .We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us” (2 Corinthians 4:6,7).
“Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him” (Daniel 6:3).
“None of us will ever accomplish anything excellent or commanding except when he listens to this whisper which is heard by him alone” (Ralph Waldo Emerson).
“We speak about ‘excellence’ a great deal, but by definition, excellence does not come easily or quickly . . . It is simply a truism that nothing very valuable can come without sacrifice and effort and patience on our part. . . Take advantage of every opportunity to learn and grow. Dream dreams and see visions. Work toward their realization. Wait patiently when you have no other choice. Lean on your sword and rest a while, but get up and fight again.” (Jeffrey R. Holland).
Excellence involves going beyond what the average person may do. It is the state of having qualities that will achieve more than what is usually done in any particular task. In Genesis it says we cannot excel if we are unstable—I think this means we need to be reliable and persistent. In Corinthians Paul teaches that the ability to excel comes from God. Daniel was chosen by a king because he had an excellent spirit.
I can do more excellent work by doing more than I usually do, by persisting and by asking God to help me. If what I do is commendable, other people will desire to have me use my abilities to help them. I can start today by being more conscientious in whatever I do and by improving on how I have done it before.
This Relate did not give specifics, but specific goals are always good. It could be working on producing more excellent penmanship, making a bed excellently, or excelling on a spelling test. The whole word study is an act of Recording. This increases the learning tremendously. To increase it further, have the child teach you what they learned. Also, if they begin Word Studies with prayer, Revelation occurs spontaneously.