Take a Look at WordBuild by Dynamic Literacy
By: Beth Redmond
Since November, my daughters have used a vocabulary curriculum called WordBuild in our homeschool, published by Dynamic Literacy. (For FTC disclosure purposes: I offered to review the curriculum and Dynamic Literacy provided the product at no cost to me.)
The promotion for the program says: “Based on the simple formula WORD = (prefix) + root + (suffix), WordBuild is fun, easy, and effective.”
We've found this to be true. Take a look at some reasons we recommend WordBuild:
1) Comprehensive Scope: The curriculum covers 5 years and will carry you through many years of your homeschooling journey. The skills taught spill over into many other areas such as reading, writing, science, languages, and SAT prep.
It's segmented into two series, Foundations and Elements:
- Foundations - “Foundations is the first in the WordBuild series of vocabulary products designed for students from third grade through college and adult literacy programs. This series contains two years of morphics based instruction and teaches students the grammatical roles and meanings of prefixes and suffixes in ordinary English words. Foundations activities are designed to encourage conversations about words, and lead to an awareness of morphics.”
- Elements - “Elements is the second in the WordBuild series of vocabulary products.. This series contains three years of morphics based instruction and instills students with a deep understanding of the most common Latin and Greek root families.”
There's also WordBuild The Game® CD for online reinforcement, compatible with Mac and Windows.
2) Simple to Implement: I admit it, I love workbooks. As a visual learner, I personally would rather read instructions and examples than listen to a CD or lecture. And as a work-at-home parent, I need homeschool materials that are fairly self-directed for some subjects, and workbooks often fit the bill. But they can also be dry and boring for the kids. Not so with WordBuild.
WordBuild has a simple structure with activities meant to fill about 15 minutes a day, 4-5 days a week. Instead of memorizing lists of words, students learn how to uncover the meaning of the words by looking at their parts. My 12-year old twin daughters thought many of the activities felt like games, and loved completing their work so quickly. They sometimes asked to go longer than 15 minutes, although the publisher discourages this.
The teacher's guide is substantial and provides lots of useful tips and instructions. However, there were days when I didn't use it, and the girls were able to complete their work without me.
3) Effective: Soon after starting the program I began to hear my daughters apply what they learned from WordBuild when reading aloud or trying to figure new words in other texts. When we watch the news together, they point out examples of words with the morphemes they have learned. Any painless program that results in skills applied in new situations is a winner in my eyes.
4) Consumer-Friendly: Dynamic Literacy provides extensive samples on the site and a 30-day money back guarantee. Since the program is not inexpensive, I appreciate the large number of samples provided.
The cost is about $80 per level for the teacher guide and student workbook. Additional student workbooks are $12.99. Dynamic Literacy is offering a discount to Homeschool Frederick readers for 25% off, bringing the cost to around $60.00. Use coupon code REDMD at checkout, good for one year.
Dynamic Literacy will be at the MACHE curriculum fair at the Frederick Fairgrounds April 15-16 with additional discounts (up to 37%) so stop by and take a look!
Home Educator site for WordBuild
Dynamic Literacy site - with more info on the developers of the product, videos and testimonials.
Photo Credit: Dynamic Literacy, Copyright Dynamic Literacy