Friday, October 22, 2010

Vocabulary Cartoons

SAT Word Power – Book 1

New Monic Books, Inc. –

Cost - $12.95

Ages: 7th to 12th Grade

My background is in English, so I was very excited to receive a vocabulary book from New Monic Books. I firmly believe in the importance of a broad vocabulary for my children. What intrigued me most about this book was their approach – they use cartoons and mnemonics to help students learn and retain the words.

I decided to test drive the book by putting it in the back of my car. I know – that sounds crazy. However, we spend a lot of time in the car. I keep a set of books that the boys can grab and read while we travel. They love cartoons, so I had the feeling they would be interested. Sure enough, Noah grabbed and started reading through it. Ben was interested too. The first litmus was passed – the boys were interested. What solidified my liking of the book is when Noah told me he was "truculent" because I wouldn’t let him use my computer. :-) While the sentiment was a little excessive, I appreciated his attempt to incorporate his new word into everyday conversation.

I like the fact that the cartoon is funny, making it memorable. More than that, I think each word is presented well. The word, definition, several usages and the link (mnemonic) all work well together to help the reader understand the term. My older son is very visual, so the cartoon works well for him. My younger is very imaginative, so having a link really helps him learn.

We will definitely be incorporating Vocabulary Cartoons into our studies. I especially want Ben to use it as he starts high school next year; we need to be thinking about the SAT’s. One thing I will supplement is the work around the words. The book provides matching and fill-in-the-blank exercises every ten words. While this is helpful, I think they need a little more reiteration for retention. This is easily done. I can make exercises, tests, and have them use the words in sentences and paragraphs. Additionally, I would include accumulative review as well.

To me, one of the most important things about using a book in our homeschool is the boys’ interest. If they are interested, they will be motivated to learn. Using cartoons for vocabulary has certainly caught their attention.

To see additional reviews by the Homeschool Crew click here.
** I received this product free of charge for review purposes. **

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