I’ve always thought that the best way to learn vocabulary was naturally. Students can learn vocabulary from their reading. They can also learn from hearing words used in conversation. My husband is especially good at using “hard” words with the children.We’ve also chosen to study Latin in our homeschool. (That’s not as much of a natural method, but it is different than vocabulary worksheets and an excellent way to boost English vocabulary.)
But my son is getting very close to the time to begin taking the SAT and/or ACT. (We haven’t decided for sure, but he’ll probably take both.) And he’s not as much of a reader as I had hoped he would be. (Unless you count computer manuals!) So he could use a some concentrated effort on increasing his vocabulary over the next couple of years.
This is my child who is totally allergic to workbooks or anything that has even the slightest hint of busywork. There are many things in school that I just make him do even if he doesn’t like it. But I’m not looking to add anything else to that list of “must-do’s” that causes conflict. I have found something that he actually likes! He is a super smart kid and trust me, there isn’t much that he likes and doesn’t find a million flaws with. (Not that being smart means you don’t like things, but in his case he’s extremely analytical and just naturally finds mistakes.)
I was given the opportunity to review Vocab Videos, a unique vocabulary study program designed with college entrance test prep in mind. Vocab Videos are short, quirky, funny videos that teach vocabulary words. The students log on to their account on VocabVideos.com to watch the videos. There are several different storylines in the videos. During the video, there are short breaks in the action to point out and define relevant vocabulary words. After the video, there are on-line quizzes available as well as crossword puzzles and a definition worksheet. Students can also create on-line flashcards. The extra practice helps the students retain what they learned in the videos.
I am happy to report that
He likes Vocab Videos!
(I’m suddenly envisioning the old Life cereal commercial. “He likes it! He likes it!”
I really wasn’t sure what his reaction was going to be. And truthfully, it all depended on the videos. Let’s face it, there are a lot of educational videos that are, for the lack of a better word, stupid. He doesn’t like anything that is too juvenile. He also loves film making and editing, so anything that is poorly produced is very difficult for him to watch.
But Vocab Videos are professionally produced. While the acting is not going to win any Academy awards, it is perfect for what it is. The skits are meant to be funny and goofy, and the acting is a bit goofy, but it works. I do feel that I must mention that this is not a Christian company, and these videos are used in schools across the country. There are some instances of people saying God and the way the characters treat one another is definitely not nice all the time. They’re written to appeal to typical high school students so there are topics, like dating, that some families might not like.
I was given a Small Educator account. This account gives me access to all the scores of my son’s quizzes in addition to extra resources for teaching. I also set up an account for my daughter, though she hasn’t used the program yet. I found the set-up process straightforward. We’ve had no problems with the site itself. The videos play well, and the site is well-organized and easy to navigate.
Overall, we give Vocab Videos 2 thumbs up! (Or should that be 4 thumbs up since there are 2 of us?)
Visit VocabVideos.com to sign up for an account. There are accounts available for single students for 6 months of access for $24.99 and 12 months for $39.99. The small educator account provides 12 month of access for up to 20 students for $74.99.
Disclosure: I received a Small Educator account on Vocab Videos for free in order to write this review. I was not compensated for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.