WordBuildOnline {Schoolhouse Crew Review}

My seven year old second grader has started becoming more interested in reading. She’s grown out of early readers and has shown a desire to seek out more age appropriate materials.  I know that since she can sight read quite well that it is important to ensure that her reading comprehension grows along with it.  I wanted an approach to Vocabulary that would appeal to her learning style.  My preferred  features would be a no pressure, fun independent online program, that teaches a number of concepts at a pace that wouldn’t be rushed and could adjust to the skill level of the student. You can’t imagine my joy when I discovered that such a vocabulary program exist! 

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In being part of the Schoolhouse Crew Review team, I was introduced to  WordBuildOnline by  Dynamic Literacy.  I watched the two introductory videos on the site to know what to expect and was impressed with what I saw. I asked my daughter what she thought and if it was something she’d feel inclined to commit to and she replied that she was pretty excited to implement the program into her weekly homeschooling lessons. The fun character, neat color schemes, and the exciting looking vocabulary activities explained and seen is what really sealed the deal for her.

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– About the Program – 

WordBuildOnline teaches children  how to study unit meanings, -roots, prefixes, and suffixes based on morphology. This method eliminates the need  to memorize longs lists of words and allows for a more interesting and  fun approach to learning vocabulary. The program is available in two levels, the first being Foundations for 2rd-5th grades (or 5th-9th for remedial work) and the second Elements for 6th-10th grades (or 7th-12th for remedial work).  The grade appropriateness  depends mainly on the skill level of your child. If a child sight reads very well, chances are they’ll be ready for this program.  Every child is different, so I encourage watching the introductory videos and to use your best judgment in moving forward.
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Each of the levels in WordBuildOnLine are designed to last for an entire school year.  However, students can  complete as many activities as preferred . This option allows for students to do more if they need to catch up or if they feel the inclination to move further ahead in their studies. The activities for each day have a  built in 15 minute time limit. The program will adapt to the needs of the student if they struggle to complete an activity within set time frame because no lesson should ever exceed that.
In purchasing a level for a student, a free teacher or parent account is included.  Under a teacher or parent account, you are given the options to monitor each unit completed in the progress report section. Data offered includes how long it took for a student to complete an activity, answers given for specific problems, current student average, and ratings .  The dashboard also allows for managing students, groups, and e-mail notifications. There is a video tab in which you can view videos for current or upcoming lessons.

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Each student activity will begin with an introductory video  and be followed by  prefix squares, affix adders, magic squares, word searches, and a review of the words and concepts learned in each section. In beginning, they’ll meet a fun dog character that walks them through the activity and offers motivational encouragement throughout.  Student will be creating words, giving definitions, using matching skills, and so on throughout their studies.  The lesson are all laid out for parents and teachers and students can work independently.

You will need to purchase levels of the program separately for each student. Students will have their own separate log ins and progress reports. You can not share or reuse a single student account. Student accounts cost a one time fee of $30.00 and once purchased you’ll receive immediate on-line access.


-How We Are Using WordBuildOnline-

My daughter has taken quite well to WordBuildOnline. The eagerness to do the activities in each unit on the days we do school thrills me. One of my favorite features is that she’s not going to lose any ratings or fall behind due to a set schedule . The pace is completely determined by the needs of my daughter.  Everyone schools differently so I am sure this will also be an appreciated feature of many.

When she first started using the Foundations Level 1,  we did three activities a week. I sat down with her and we did the work together.  Prefix and suffix activities include clicking words to build new ones, writing definitions in indicated box, choosing a correct answer from multiple choices, and so forth. Once she was more comfortable and knew what to expect, she’s completed the lesson and activities on her own. The instructions received were easy to understand and she not once asked for help nor  exceeded the 15 minute time limit. If she had  missed numerous problems, I could easily sign into my account and reset the lesson for her to try again.  I appreciate the fact she can work independently in this area, it freed me up for things like housework and  having one one on teaching time time with her younger sibling.

The navigation is top-notch and the activities loaded quickly. We ran into zero issues with the website using Google Chrome as our main browser. The videos are well done and the sound worked just fine. My daughter prefers doing much of her work on the computer so I was quite glad WordBuildOnline  is so easy to use for the whole family. I appreciate the ease of use in making sure everything is organized under our accounts. My only suggestion to improve the program further would be if there was an option to print out a progress report of activities completed and dates done for schooling records.

Since using WordBuildOnline I’ve definitely seen an improvement in word comprehension from my daughter. She’s been very excited to share what’s she been learning. I most certainly recommend this program to those who feel their children are ready to start  expanding or improving their vocabulary skills.

*Special Discount*  Use the code connected to recieve 10% off at wordbuildonline.com and 25% off the books through dynamichomeschool.com.

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