Wednesday, November 18, 2009

TOS Homeschool Crew Review - AVKO

First you might want to know what AVKO stands for....

AVKO helps with Reading and Spelling for students, especially good for students that struggle in these areas. I was given a basic membership for this review. With the basic membership I had access to a bunch of material. I do not have the Sequential Spelling program that is the center of this curriculum. I was wondering, "What good would this membership do us?" Well I looked at and downloaded a lot of stuff. Here are some of the benefits of an AVKO membership.

Institutional Membership is open to individuals as well as tutoring centers, schools, learning centers, homeschool resource centers, etc.   
  • Access to all of the benefits of AVKO's Basic Membership (see below)
  • 25% discount off all materials ordered
  • Read-only access to ALL AVKO curriculum materials (except for Sequential Spelling and Engaging Language Kits)
  • Access to AVKO's newest e-books: 
    • Word Family Supplements 1-7 for Sequential Spelling 
    • Spelling Remediation Test Kit

    • Discounts on AVKO printed materials
    • Hundreds of dollars worth of FREE e-books (PDF) 
    • The Patterns of English Spelling (All 10 Volumes) with Word Families in Sentence Context  
    • To Teach a Dyslexic 
    • Starting at Square One 
    • The Teaching of Reading: a Continuum from Kindergarten through College.
    • The Reading Teacher's List of Over 5,500 Basic Spelling Words

      • Access to the Member Only section
      • AVKO Newsletter with freebies, discounts, resources, and promotions
      • Supplemental Curriculum Materials including word games, worksheets, activities, and more!
      Freebies in the Supplemental Curriculum Materials section
      • Popular Workshop Recordings in MP3 
      • Puns and More Puns 
      • Humorous quotations for comprehension or dictation
      • Short humorous stories with moral attached
      • Inspirational stories
      • Military Humor
      • Pets
      • Poetry
      • Puzzles and Quizzes
      • Family humor
      • History
      • Religious Humor
      • Stupid humor
      • Placement Testing for AVKO Spelling
      • Sequential Spelling Word Searches
      • Vocabulary Illustration Worksheet
      • Advanced Vocabulary Flashcards
      • Links to external resources   
      • AVKO and Spelling City have teamed up to provide you with diagnostic and multimedia spelling resources (from the members page you can access AVKO lists on the Spelling City website)
      So what to do with all this stuff?? One of the first things I did was do an overview of the e-books I got to download. Then I listened to some of the mp3 downloads. There is so much information here. The five e-books in the top section under where it says, "Hundreds of dollars worth of FREE e-books," contain 2,444 pages of material to read and study, and that does not count some of the other items or the "extra's." The mp3 downloads contain over 5 1/2 hours of audio teaching.

      I gave the boys the placement tests and found that they are very strong in their spelling skills. There are 7 levels of books for the spelling curriculum, they test 5 words in 5 different sections for each level. That is 175 spelling words. We took the test over a 3 day period. Nathan only missed one word in the whole test. He is in 10th grade and he clearly is not in need of this, or any other, spelling program at this point in his education. Christopher missed a few words in a couple different sections but overall he did very well. I may go back to the books and look up those words and work on those and other similar words in those sections.

      The e-books I received have enough information that you can understand and implement the way of teaching AVKO uses. If you are a member you can get all you would need to create your own spelling program. There are even pages on how to do just that using only the e-books you get with the membership. If you decide this method of teaching is just what your child needs you can get 25% off your purchase of the Sequential Spelling books, or any other puchase, if you have a membership. They lay everything out and do more of the work for you if you can't spend the time developing your own program. So if you are planning to buy the Sequential Spelling program a membership to the website would be a very beneficial thing. If you want to give your hand a try at making your own program using the e-books you cerntainly get your money's worth with the ammount of materials the membership gives you.

      There are free samples of a lot of the material on the website so you can check out the way AVKO does things and see if the membership is something that would benefit your family, they are on the Materials page that lists all the things AVKO sells. There is also a Freebies page.

      AVKO's way of teaching is supposed to be very good for struggling readers, spellers, and children with dyslexia. If your children fall into this category or you are in need of a new spelling program check out the membership and books AVKO has.

         includes 25% discount on all printed AVKO materials 
         includes 25% discount on all printed AVKO materials

      Out of five stars we give AVKO:

       I give this product my good value icon:

      since it's cost is only $25 and the website advertises that there is over $400.00 worth of e-books when you become a member You get a whole year of access to the many freebies on the site, a very good price for a years membership to an educational website.

      Check out the other reviews of AVKO here at the Homeschool Crew Blog.

      I hope you enjoyed this review and that you will check out all that AVKO has to offer.


      Note: if you buy this membership there are some items in the "fun" activity downloads like "A Pun In Ten" and "Grounds for Divorce" that I would consider not suitable for children at all, or have elements in them that I feel are not suitable for children. These are downloaded as .doc files and so, for example, the pun document could be edited to take out the objectionable material so you could present it to your children if you so desired. Please be aware of this. This is not in the actual spelling programs but in some of the "extra's" that come with the membership. There are other items in the "extra's" section that are great like "History Lesson, Lincoln-Kennedy" and "Daddy's girl" , which may bring tears to your eyes. Please read all the extra materials carefully before printing and giving them to children.

      ***AVKO provided me with basic membership so that I could do my review. Though I received these products for free I have given an honest review of them here in this post.

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