For this review, I received a copy of the VocabAhead book. The book comes with information about how to download videos and MP3S for the words in the book. The book itself is aimed at building vocabulary skills for the SAT using cartoon illustrations to help kids remember the definitions.
I used this book with my older son, and I have to say, I was impressed with it’s effectiveness. The book is organized into sections of about 10 words each, with a review at the end. The vocabulary words chosen were difficult, some I had never even seen before (mawkish? that’s a word? really? 🙂 ). When I first looked through it, I thought it might be too difficult for my 7th grader, even though he’s a pretty advanced reader, however, I was wrong.
It seems the idea of using cartoon illustrations really resonated with my son. First, he thought they were funny, but they also really seemed to make the definition of the words clear to him, and he remembered them easily! We focused on doing one section per week. On the first day, he just read the words and looked at the picture, and copied the definitions down into his vocabulary notebook. The next day, we focused on studying the synonyms and antonyms listed for each word. My son recognized some of the synonyms and antonyms, which did make it easier for him to understand the word (i.e. a synonym for harangue is lecture!!). This was another effective tool in the book. We would then spend a day or two working on the review section, and then I would give him a quiz on the words. So far, he’s aced every quiz!
He also enjoyed using the company’s website, which has video’s for words, games and a study section students can utilize. In the study room, students can take quizzes, use flash cards, create their own word lists etc. You can also enter your email to receive a “vocabulary video of the day” in your inbox! Here is a link to the VocabAhead website if you want to check it out:
VocabAhead has been a very effective way to build my son’s vocabulary, without a lot of busy work and stress! The book sells for $12.95 on Amazon.com, and you can take a peek inside it here: