Home » Blogs » Always Learning » Try Some Vocabulary for Breakfast!

Try Some Vocabulary for Breakfast!

blog photos NYC, etc May 1 2010 005Words are the raw materials the brain uses for thinking.

People with with paltry vocabularies not only have more trouble writing and understanding what they read, they are limited in their abilities to formulate deep and complex thoughts.

Meanwhile, a rich vocabulary gives a person ample fodder with which to compose thoughts and develop sophisticated reasoning.

Vocabulary development is not just for school, not just for the SAT and ACT, not just for students. It’s a  terrific way to promote brain health by staying mentally active. Plus, vocabulary study helps people of every age to stay connected to literature, science and current events, because the more words you know, the easier and more enjoyable reading is. Vocab study ought to be a lifelong habit!

I’m on a campaign this summer to get  my students AND their parents working on increasing their vocabularies.

Vocab study can be easy and fun. I’m a big fan of, a free, easy and powerful tool that makes it simple to study ten words a day in only a few minutes time.

Create a free account (you will receive a word-of-the-week, but no barrage of annoying promotional e-mails), select a vocab list, click on LEARN THIS LIST, and you’ll be quizzed in sets of ten words, in a variety of formats and contexts.

The assortment of word presentations on is great practice for the variety of questions found on the SSAT, SAT, ACT, GRE and other standardized tests making it an ideal tool for high school and college students. This format also improves recall and helps rehearse critical reading skills.

The students in my SAT class will be working on our Amazing SAT Vocab List You can also browse for other lists geared for younger students, or lists for specific books (extremely helpful when reading a challenging book!) or work on the Top 1000, or create your own list. is another popular site for flipping online flash cards. Here’s a great list of 100 words to get you started. I also really like their test generator; just click on the blue box marked TEST and Quizlet will create a test for you, and then score it and give you a grade! (Frequently testing yourself is one of the top most effective ways to learn, and you need not show your “grades” to anyone).

The best way to make any habit stick is to perform the new habit side-by-side with a well-established routine, such as eating breakfast. Pour your Cheerios, then click on and learn those ten new words as you chomp; in 20-40 days the vocab habit should “stick.”

The idea is this: Use this summer to create a vocabulary habit. It will pay off in innumerable ways, over a lifetime!

[photo of sidewalk in front of the New York City Public Library, main branch]

Try Some Vocabulary for Breakfast!

Leigh Pretnar Cousins, MS

Leigh Pretnar Cousins, MS is an educator, counselor, writer and speaker. She's been a tutor, test prep coach and home school teacher for over thirty years. Click HERE to visit Leigh's website and to subscribe to her newsletter, "Learning Something New."

One comment: View Comments / Leave a Comment



APA Reference
Cousins, L. (2013). Try Some Vocabulary for Breakfast!. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 14, 2020, from


Last updated: 4 Jul 2013
Statement of review: Psych Central does not review the content that appears in our blog network ( prior to publication. All opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the author alone, and do not reflect the views of the editorial staff or management of Psych Central. Published on All rights reserved.