Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Review of Vocab Videos

 Through my participation on the TOS Crew, I was given a year long subscription to Vocab Videos, a website composed of videos designed to illustrate the meanings of 500 SAT vocabulary words in a way meaningful to SAT-aged students.  Practically, this means that words are presented by way of short (less than one minutes) sketches designed to illustrate visually the meaning of the word.  The videos are short, pithy, and memorable.

Caveat: these are secular videos, and they do contain instances of "Oh my God" and "Shut up." I know many homeschoolers would disagree with me, but I let my seven year-olds watch these videos with my eldest daughter, and I didn't feel like it was a problem. I would strongly urge any parent to watch them first before showing them to any child!

In addition to the videos, there is a plethora of other resources for users of Vocab Videos.  These include a complete glossary,

BELLIGERENT eager to fight
BEMUSE to confuse, stun, or stump
BENEVOLENT inclined to perform kind acts
BENIGN kind; beneficial
BERATE to criticize severely or angrily
BOISTEROUS noisy; disorderly
BOLSTER to support; to reinforce

a grouping of all words by word type (like synonyms),

Definition Groups
Bad Blood
ABHOR to hate
ACRIMONY hostility
ANIMOSITY bitter hostility
CONTEMPT a lack of respect and intense dislike
DISDAIN intense dislike

worksheets, and quizzes.

Families could use Vocab Videos in different ways.  So far, we have not used the quizzes or worksheets.  Instead, my daughter watches the videos and I then ask her what the words mean.  Very simple.  You can use as many or as few of the site resources as desired (including digital flashcards).  I think this product would be excellent as SAT prep.  Although Therese is only 11, she will be taking the PSAT next year, and I know that early exposure to all of these great words is sure to help her score.  Plus, because there is such a strong visual component to Vocab Videos, even if she gets nervous on the test, she will likely be able to recall the *context* of a given word giving her a huge advantage.

Pricing for Vocab Videos is simple, although it might not make sense for some families.  In essence, homeschoolers fall under the category of "Small" with up to 20 students.  It might make great sense for a coop, though.  At this price it is kind of pricey for an individual family, but if you have a visual learner, it is probably worth it.  This approach is just so much fun!

We really like Vocab Videos, but this is one where you will definitely want to check out the other Crew reviews.  The format and the content of the videos have a huge impact on whether one likes them or not.


Disclaimer: I received a free subscription to Vocab Videos for the purposes of review.  I received no other compensation (apart from some laughs).

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