Vocabu-Lit Review

Vocabu-Lit is a multi-level vocabulary program.  Each book contains a year’s worth of vocabulary units.  Each unit takes its words from a passage of real literature.  Then, worksheets and dictionary work follow to teach the words.  Levels B through D are geared towards younger students in 2nd through 4th grade, with levels E through L for older students.  Each level features a teacher’s manual and a student book.  The teacher’s manual costs around 15$, and the student text runs about 10$.

We’ve only used the program geared towards the lower grades.  It seems that things do change a bit in older grades, so this review is for lower levels only.

The first thing I noticed was the strong parallel to Wordly Wise 3000.  The structure is slightly different, but at the core, both programs are very similar.  Both feature reading passages, worksheets, and reading definitions to learn the words.  Most of the differences between the program come down to minor changes between the two.

I did really appreciate the fact that the vocabulary words were taken directly from real writing.  The passages came from literature geared toward children of the approximate grade level.  Introducing the words in context was a great idea.  Once the words were introduced, the student then looked them up and copied them onto a worksheet.  This approach seemed like a logical way to build familiarity with new words.

The workbook featured dynamic layouts complete with pictures and fun designs.  My son told me he liked Vocabu-Lit more than Wordly Wise for this reason alone.  It certainly added interest to the page.

Although the teacher’s manual is available, it certainly isn’t necessary to use the program.  At lower levels, the worksheets are easy to grade without a key.  The teacher’s manual does have tests, but they really aren’t necessary either, just nice to have it you prefer to test.  I think the program would be perfectly fine without it.

Unfortunately, with Vocabu-Lit being so similar to Wordly Wise, we had all the same problems with both programs.  After each unit had been finished, my students promptly forgot the new words.  Going back even a few weeks might as well have been new material.  I fully admit that I could have added more review to help with that, but the program, when used as intended, just wasn’t enough practice for us.

I did find a lot to like with this program.  I loved the reading taken directly from real literature.  I enjoyed the friendly layouts of the worksheets.  The word lists were grade-appropriate.  However, it just didn’t work for us, even though I really wanted it to.  I know the fault does not lay with the curriculum itself; I think this style just doesn’t work for our family.

For those who can work with this style, Vocabu-Lit can stand well against competitor, Wordly Wise.  It lacks online games and support, but it boasts better reading, fun graphics, and a lower price.

Overall –

Pros: Great price, well designed, real literature

Cons: Might not work for everyone