A Blog Devoted to Encouraging Homeschooling Mothers

A Blog Devoted to Encouraging Homeschooling Mothers
The Burts in 2013

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Schoolhouse Review Crew ~ Vocab Videos

My son is a college student. He worked hard to get where he is today. And he would tell you that preparation for the SAT is enormously important, sometimes more so for homeschooled students than for their public or private schooled peers. He not only had to take the SAT in order to be able to apply to the colleges of his choice, he also took the ACT, and several SAT II subject tests. And he didn't just take the SAT with a "one-and-done" attitude; he took it as often as he could in order to attain the best possible score. The result? Google Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois...

Done scoping out my son's college on the world wide web? If so, then you discovered it is widely considered to be the only Christian college that is ranked as an Ivy. My son's freshmen micro-econ class included lectures from econ profs from Harvard. He is receiving an education from people who attended and/or taught at places like MIT, Oxford, Yale, Princeton, and Harvard. Even staunch non-Christians concede that Wheaton is a life-changing college. And my son would not be a "Wheatie" if he had failed to put in the necessary work during high school.

What does all that have to do with this product review? Well, vocabulary is a key part of the SAT. And the product I am reviewing is a test-prep resource that aims to help students score higher on the vocabulary section of the SAT. If you happen to have a high school student that plans on attending a college in the mid-west, perhaps the ACT is the only test they'll need. Either way, vocab prep is key to a good score.

Vocab Videos is an online resource that uses short videos to teach vocabulary words. One word is covered in each short video - they are about 30 seconds long. The videos are nicely divided into groups, which allows students to make steady progress without feeling the full weight of 500 frequently tested vocab words. Each video opens with a vocabulary word and it's definition, and ends by reviewing the word. After the student views a "set" of about 20 videos, a quiz with SAT-styled questions appears. They then take the quiz and have a chance to correct any mistakes. It's that simple!

From the teacher's Dashboard you can view student's progress, see quiz results and view worksheets. You can also create customized lists of vocabulary words, create flashcards, and print any of the worksheets. I love the worksheets that categorize the word lists! Vocab Videos also has an easy-to-use glossary, unique options for "sorting" words for easier memorization, and the ability to download and print quizzes.

Vocab Videos goal is to help students experience, learn and master vocabulary. I believe this is a resource that can really help with all those things.

Having said that, I must tell you honestly that I was not at all impressed with the "attitude" displayed in many of the videos. For example, the phrase "oh my #@*!" was used frequently. Our family sees that as taking the Lord's name in vain and we don't tolerate it. There was also some "leering" at females in these videos - and I have four daughters that have not been raised to be "leered" at or to find anything humorous in that type of behavior. I realize the aim is to appeal to the masses and have videos that resemble popular TV series of the day, but this type of behavior is not acceptable in our family and I could not post this review in good conscience without informing my readers of these issues. I found myself adjusting our use of Vocab Videos to avoid the attitudes and language mentioned above, and for the most part the pdf resources were what we used. Sadly, it was hard to gain the full benefit of the resource without being able to freely use the videos, but the standard for our homeschool is non-negotiable and so we simply made do.

For some of you none of the aforementioned may be a problem at all, and in that case I highly suggest you take a look at Vocab Videos. It's so important to be prepared for the SAT, I commend any company that aims to help young people face a daunting test. You really do get a lot of bang for the buck with Vocab Videos, and it's as good a tool as I have found for teaching vocab words.

To take a look at Vocab Videos for yourself, visit them at www.VocabVideos.com.

A single student subscription is available for $39.99/year.
And a Emall Educator yearly subscription (which is what I received for this review) allows access for up to 20 students is $74.99.
A 6-month subscription costs $24.99.
And a companion workbook is available for $11.99.

You can take advantage of a free one month trial and download a free SAT word list online - remember the website is www.VocabVideos.com.

Reviews of Vocab Videos from other Crew members can be found HERE.

Disclaimer ~ I received this product free of charge for review purposes. All opinions expressed here are solely my own.

Day 215 done :)

Jan L. Burt


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