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Membean vs. Wordly Wise


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Hi all,

I'm wondering if anyone here has experience with both Membean and Wordly Wise and can chime in on the pros and cons of both, and how effective of a curriculum you find it to be. I have one child with mild dyslexia and another child with a very slippery mind. Both children need vocabulary reinforcement so they can advance their reading level. I'm also advising a friend of mine who is foreign and the primary language of the house is not English. On top of the ESL, her child has slight cognitive impairments and ADHD. I'm leaning toward Membean because it appears to me it might catch their attention more.

Here's a link to Membean for those not familiar with it: https://membean.com/

Thank you!

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We used Wordly Wise 3000 level 3 last year.  It was just ok for my kiddo.  It wasn't very hard for him, but after a while he found the exercises to be kind of tedious and like busy work after awhile.  The reading comprehension part of the weekly lesson was probably the best part of it.  Aside from that, it seemed to be a collection of random words without any explanation for why they were important to know.  We decided to skip WW3K this year, even though we were given several levels for free.  

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Both of our DSs gained the bulk of their vocabulary through all of our read-alouds (sometimes through context, sometimes through me stopping for a moment to explain the word), but I know that does not "stick" for some students.

Can only speak about Wordly Wise. Not a fit for us. DS#2 has mild LDs in Writing and Spelling (Stealth Dyslexia), and does not learn/retain by writing, so workbooks are not a good fit for him. DS#1 used Wordly Wise one year, but didn't seem to get a lot out of it. The word lists in Wordly Wise are random collections, the exercises do not seem to make connections or "hooks" for remembering. While I'm sure DS got something out of it, WW was mostly "busywork" and we dropped it after a year.

We went with a roots-based vocabulary program instead (English from the Roots Up). Roots-based vocabulary works by learning the meaning of a Greek or Latin root and then using that to be able to decode unfamiliar words by knowing what the root means. Example: "auto" means "self" and from there you can figure out words like autograph (signature - "self writing"), automatic ("self operating"), autocrat (person ruling with sole power - "self ruling"), etc. We were able to use both levels of the program over several years; we did it aloud together as a game, 2-3x/week as part of our together time. There are other roots-vocabulary programs that are workbook-based.

Another option that would probably have worked, esp. for DS with mild LDs who is a very visual-spatial learner, is Cartoon Vocabulary, as the images try and make a visual connection with the word for remembering.

I had not heard of MemBean before. I'm always cautious about educational computer use. For some things it can be great -- like games and apps for learning states and capitals, or math facts. Computer software can also be good for memorizing other things, like basic language vocabulary. However, I'd be a little hesitant to make it the *sole* way of learning vocabulary because language is so very interactive. I could see using it as one of several ways of working with words and learning vocabulary, with other ways being very interactive (i.e., not another solo/independent method such as a workbook).

Just my 2 cents worth! BEST of luck in finding what works best for your family and for your friend! Warmest regards, Lori D.

Edited by Lori D.
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