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TOS Crew review — New Monic Books

September 29th, 2010

I had already decided that I needed to find a good vocabulary book to help my son boost his knowledge of words and to add into his Language Arts curriculum. When this book arrived in my mailbox we had found the perfect fit.

How could you ever forget that “abduct” means “to kidnap or carry off by force” when you have forever emblazoned in your memory a masked man running off with a duck under each arm? See their methodology? Take a word that rhymes with the vocabulary word, make a funny picture linking the definition with the rhyming word (the mnemonic device), and create an impossible to forget image.
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Product: Vocabulary Cartoons by New Monic Books
Details : Vocabulary Cartoons offers 210 words taught and reviewed in 21 quizzes using mnemonic devices geared toward students in grades three through six.
Price : $12.95 (bulk discounts available)

What we loved . . .

  • Easy to use. Older students can even use this independently. They can read through the page and quickly and easily remember the new word.
  • Really works. Each entry has the definition, a picture to help you remember it, a rhyming word that corresponds to the picture, and a few sentences to hear it in context. After seeing the page, you quickly associate the rhyme with the vocabulary word and have quickly added a new word to your vocabulary.
  • Built in review. Every 10 words the book offers a simple review test over the previous words. Answers are included in the back of the book in case your child’s vocabulary is surpassing your own at this point.
  • Word list available. To see if these words are on your radar for your student to learn in the months ahead, check out the full list of words covered in this text.

Some considerations . . .

  • Review tests are a little easy. I found the review tests a little easy, but they might be good for younger students. They have the word written along with the mnemonic device and then students must match them correctly to their definition. Then they must fill in the blank in sentences for each word. However, I felt that if the system was really working (which it did with my kids and myself), a quiz should not include the mnemonic devices. I preferred to quiz my kids by simply saying the word and having them write it in a sentence of their own creation. This was very easy and my kids came up with some creative sentences, even my “non-writers.”
  • Just a years’ worth. Although this is a great book for a variety of ages (3rd-6th), it has 210 words in it which would not last much more than one school year. So, it should definitely have a place in your homeschool, but you will need to find something else once your child has mastered these 210 words. Maybe then you could move on to their SAT vocab prep books.

Vocabulary Cartoons has been a great fit for our family and I definitely plan to look into buying the next book when we finish with this one. My students can easily learn the material on their own, and I check in with them and administer a quick quiz every week or two. And, they learn words that we might not come across in their every day reading, but they should begin to learn — cultured vultures, buffoons of baboons, etc.

For more TOS Crew reviews on this product, check out the TOS Crew blog.

Disclaimer: This book was provided to me free of charge through New Monic Books as part of my participation in The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew. I received no additional compensation and the opinions expressed here come from my personal experiences and sincere thoughts.

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