Wednesday, September 29, 2010
TOS Review: New Monic Books
As part of my involvement with the TOS Crew, I was asked to try a new vocabulary book. It’s called Vocabulary Cartoons and it’s made by New Monic Books. This was good news to us because neither our Language Arts nor our Spelling offered vocabulary. We needed vocabulary and this book has fit in perfectly with our homeschool.
New Monic Books offer several different books for vocabulary and spelling and they range in price starting at $12.95. We reviewed the original Vocabulary Cartoons. It is priced at $12.95 and they offer a discount for buying in bulk. It could very easily be used by multiple children because it has about 250 pages and only about 20-25 are consumable. You could simply have them use a separate sheet of paper for those, or make a copy. It is best used with grades 3rd-6th. My son is in 5th and it has worked beautifully for him.
Vocabulary Cartoons offers a simple, fun way to learn new vocabulary without forcing the child to look up and write definitions. The amazing thing is that it seems to be working with my auditory learning child, and he’s doing it on his own, I’m not reading it to him.
Each day he learns a new word and after he’s learned 10 words, there’s a little quiz. The way you learn a word is simply by looking at and reading a cartoon. The trick is they use mnemonic’s (nuh MON ic) to teach. This is something we all use when we want to remember something. It means assisting the memory and it’s kind of like word association. Sometimes they use rhyming mnemonics just like we did when we learned this little rhyme: “Columbus sailed the ocean BLUE in fourteen hundred and ninety-TWO.”
Another form of mnemonics they use is called Visual mnemonics and that’s where the cartoons come in. They create little stories to go along with the word association they are trying to create. This is huge because for most of us we don’t forget what we’ve seen and studied with our eyes. So the child will spend about 60 seconds looking at the picture, reading the cartoon, definition and different ways to use it in a sentence and poof, they remember it.
It really worked well with my son. Here’s an example to help you see why it works so well:
Buffoon: One who amuses with jokes and tricks; a bumbling or ridiculous person, a fool. Sounds like: Baboon
Then there’s this little cartoon of a baboon doing playing tricks on two of his friends. They remember Buffoon and Baboon and then see the cartoon in their head and it all falls into place, they remember! Or at least my son did. Also under the cartoon there are a few sentences using different forms of the word.
They have some sample pages that will give you a good idea of what it’s like. Note: In the book the word is used in three sentences but the samples do not show the word being used in a sentence.
I tried to ask my son each evening what his vocabulary word was and he always knew what it was and what it meant. Then I would ask about some of his older ones and he remembered those too. One thing I did that is probably not necessary, but I felt like my son needed the extra handwriting practice, I had him write the word and definition in his vocabulary notebook.
I feel blessed to have been given the opportunity to use the Vocabulary Cartoon’s and we will continue to use it for the remainder of the year.
If you would like to read more about this product, click here.
**Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I received this product free of charge, in exchange for my honest opinion/review. For more honest reviews from real homeschoolers, visit the TOS Crew website.