My daughter turned 13 over the weekend. It’s hard to believe I’m the mother of a teenager already. I know that the next few years will fly, and before I know it, she’ll be ready to head off to college.
Though I’m not quite ready to begin thinking about the SATs, as a wise mom, I know we should start preparing sooner, rather than later. Reviewing VocabAhead SAT Vocabulary: Cartoons, Videos & MP3s gave me the opportunity to get my feet wet.
VocabAhead is a company that produces many resources for helping kids of all ages increase their vocabularies. The specific product I received for review is their book, VocabAhead SAT Vocabulary: Cartoons, Videos & MP3s. The book itself contains 300 difficult SAT words. Each word has a dedicated page, which includes the word, part of speech, the definition, a cartoon illustration, a few sentences using the word in context, synonyms, and antonyms. Sprinkled throughout the book are reviews, so students don’t forget what they’ve learned.
As the title suggests, though, VocabAhead SAT Vocabulary: Cartoons, Videos & MP3s is more than just a book of words. With the book comes the ability to download videos and MP3s of each word contained in the book. You can watch and listen to the videos and MP3s on your computer, or they can be downloaded to an iPod (or any MP3 player) or iPad for use on the go. Here’s an example of the video. The MP3 sounds exactly like the video.
Our Experience with VocabAhead SAT Vocabulary: Cartoons, Videos & MP3s
We’ve slacked on vocabulary a bit this year, so VocabAhead filled a hole in our current curriculum. We decided to keep our lessons short, so as not to overwhelm Stargirl, who keeps a pretty busy schedule. VocabAhead was easy to fit into an already crowded day.
I assigned Stargirl two words a day, and we just worked our way through the book. Her MP3 player is broken, so she opted to watch the videos, which corresponded to the words. Stargirl loved that the lessons were short and that the cartoons were funny, helping her remember the words. The reviews also cemented the new words she had learned.
At two words a day, it will take us a while to work our way through the book, but we have the time. The lessons are so short, though, it would be easy to do much more than two words a day for an older student, who has less time to prepare for the SAT.
For kids who are adverse to doing the lessons, putting the videos on the iPad increases the coolness factor. At least that’s what Stargirl thought. And as a mom, I appreciated the extra visual of the videos for my visual learner. The MP3s would be wonderful for an auditory learner.
The Nitty Gritty on VocabAhead SAT Vocabulary: Cartoons, Videos & MP3s
- Lessons are short and easy to incorporate into a busy day
- MP3s and Videos add another dimension to the lessons
- Downloadable material means you don’t have to be connected to the internet to use the material
- MP3s and Videos are perfect for using on the go
- Humor makes the lessons memorable
- The MP3 and Video download is a big file, so you need a good internet connection and some time to download it.
- You need an MP3 player or iPad to make the best use of the program. This isn’t necessarily a con, but it’s important to know before you buy.
My Overall Opinion: VocabAhead’s SAT Vocabulary: Cartoons, Videos & MP3s was a good fit for my family. It fit Stargirl’s learning style, and it was easy to incorporate into our day. Will it help her on the SAT? I guess we’ll find out in a few years.
Important Information About VocabAhead
Price for VocabAhead SAT Vocabulary: Cartoons, Videos & MP3s: $12.95 at Amazon.com
Recommended Ages: Those preparing for the SAT, though the lessons are easy and entertaining enough for younger kids. Even my 8 year old could learn the words, though he might sound funny speaking them at such a young age.
Learning Styles: Appeals to all learning styles. Though not “hands-on” for kinesthetic learners, lessons can be listened to while the student is working out or involved in some other activity.
Other Products by VocabAhead: Many. There are iPhone apps, online videos, a DVD-ROM containing 1000+ words, and more. You really need to explore the website to get a good feel for VocabAhead products.
To find out what the rest of the Homeschool Crew has to say about VocabAhead, visit the Homeschool Crew Blog!
*Disclosure: I was provided a copy of the book and downloaded material in exchange for my honest review.