Liam's memorization skills are solid. It's something we share. I can memorize quickly and easily (my favorite being 800 lines as Rosiland for "As You Like It.") But for me, there are associations with all of the words, passages and images. For Liam, it is a direct 1-1 thought. In other words, Liam could memorize the fact that "doubt" is the opposite of "belief" and still have no clue as to the meaning of either word.
We've been working through a 3rd grade workbook with nice, easy to understand pages. For him, much of this is review, but it reveals the cracks to me. We were playing with antonyms and he came upon the word "doubt."
"What does it mean?" he asked. Negative concepts are hard. I tried to give an example. "Do you remember when I said I didn't want you to walk on the rug with muddy boots?" I asked.
"You could say, 'I doubt you want me to walk on that carpet with muddy boots.' It means you don't think I want you to." Wow. Liam's way of thinking in the positive has it's advantages - who needs to say it that way? I know he didn't quite get the concept, so I found an online thesaurus.
Dictionary definitions are great, if you know all of the OTHER words and concepts described, but most often, Liam doesn't know them either. Since we were working with synonyms and antonyms, a thesarus made perfect sense. In almost every case, Liam knew at least ONE of the synonyms and/or antonyms. This may be the launching place for all definitions.
We took a break at Sherman Oaks Park -first chance in days to get outside. And we got home just in time to attend the tree lighting ceremony for Universal's Merry Grinchmas celebrations. His dad perched him on his shoulders to get a better view of the tree and fireworks.