Thursday, August 16, 2012

Vocabulary Videos


A great idea but poor in the presentation.

Vocab Videos is an online website that helps students prepare for the vocabulary portion of tests like the SAT, ACT, GMAT, and LSAT.  A description provided by marketing states, "In addition to vocabulary videos featuring entertaining characters and outrageous plotlines, our website contains extensive review material including digital quizzes and worksheets, a multimedia flashcard maker, and downloadable crossword puzzles for each episode."

I would agree that the plot lines are outrageous.  I would go so far as to say they are too outrageous for the typical homeschooling family.  The concept behind Vocab Videos is a super one.  I agree that the retention rate of vocabulary increases after watching the videos; however, the story lines in the videos were inappropriate for my children.  There were many times when they took God's name in vain.  I cringed each time I heard that.  Also, when a story of two people who crash on a deserted island includes lines like, "Are we lovers?" and "You want to be the mother of my children," I draw the line.  I had my 14-year-old son watch the first series of videos.  He hated them.  I spent the next couple of weeks watching them myself and even taking the quizzes.  I did retain most of the information because I was able to remember that portion of the video where they used the word and the context surrounding the use, so they were good in that sense...that sense alone.

One story line included a young girl home alone at night studying her vocabulary words when a "Jason" character (Friday the 13th) came banging on her outside bedroom door and then broke into her house.  After about 17 words, the story line ended innocuously (to use a word I learned from that video); however, I can't imagine one girl, or even young boy, who wouldn't have nightmares after watching that video.  What were they thinking?  I would rather have wholesome videos that use the same words.  It can be done.  Perhaps Vocab Videos needs a homeschool line of videos.  Like I said, I LOVE the concept.  It works.  I just don't like the way they presented it.

Each section of videos has worksheets, crossword puzzles, flashcards that can be made, and quizzes that can be taken.  There are cumulative tests as well.  Other study resources included in a subscription are a study guide, a glossary of all the words, definition groups that list words by common themes.  There are also PDF quizzes that can be printed out.

Vocab Videos has four different subscriptions.  For the homeschooling family, most likely only the first two pricing options would be of interest.  There is a one-month educator free trial.  The second one is a membership for up to 20 students and is $74.99 for 12 months.

There is also a workbook that can be purchased for $11.99.  The link for the workbook also shows the flash cards, definition lists, category lists, and has appendices.  As an educator, you have the ability to register multiple students, view their scores, view their progress, download materials that you can then print out, and manage data and login information.

Hopefully Vocab Videos will create a new line of videos that would be more kid-friendly.  I think they would have a lot of new subscribers, even more so if the price were not so high.  It is prohibitive for us right now.

If you are interested in reading what others have said about Vocab Videos, please go to

DISCLAIMER: I received this product free of charge so that I would provide an honest review.

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