The original edition of Wordly Wise is also still available, although the tests have gone out of print. It has been preferred by some homeschoolers because it did not include the narrative passage found in the 3000 series editions. As you would expect, graphics and formatting in this edition are dated and there is less use of the accent color. The word lists (different from later editions) require the student to supply the dictionary type material for each listing (located in a glossary in the back of the book).
The A, B, and C books have between 10-12 lessons, each with 8-12 words. Lessons present words and brief definitions, include exercises in word usage, and culminate with a simple crossword puzzle. 12-20 new words are introduced in each lesson in higher levels. Varied exercises give students experience in defining words, including multiple meanings, and using the word in correct context. At each level, Exercise A requires the student to choose the phrase best fitting the meaning of the word as used in a phrase. In exercise B, the student must identify the sentence in which the word is used incorrectly. Exercise C (Levels 1-6) has students replacing italicized word in sentences with one of his vocabulary words, giving practice in actually writing the word in context. Exercises D and E in each lesson review the current and earlier lessons, providing reinforcement of previously studied words (use it or lose it!). In fact, each word occurs subsequently from 5 to 15 times in each book. Beginning in Book 4, there is an additional exercise dealing with roots, prefixes, and suffixes. Books 7-9 also include exercises with analogies, connotations, and literal and metaphorical usage. Each lesson in all levels ends with a discussion of words with interesting histories, distinctions between words commonly confused, and clarifications of possible misconceptions. In all, the 12 books teach 4,050 useful words, carefully selected to provide a core vocabulary useful in a variety of verbal contexts, appropriate to the student's level of experience and writing ability, and keyed to the level of available reading material. Levels 1-3 have word glossaries containing definitions. After level three, students will need a separate dictionary to look up vocabulary words on their own. Separate tests have students match words with definitions, find synonyms and antonyms, answer true or false, fill in blanks, and replace phrases with the correct vocabulary word. These provide an easy-to-score assessment of your child's grasp of the vocabulary learned at each level and give one test for each chapter in the book (30-40 questions each), as well as a cumulative final exam (100 questions). Tests are sold independently for most levels and include an answer key.