Monday, November 16, 2009

AVKO - A Review

Product: AVKO membership

Price: $25/year - basic membership; $100/year - deluxe membership

Owner: AVKO Education Research Foundation

Where to Buy:

Brief Description:
AVKO is a non-profit organization devoted to helping teachers, parents and researchers since 1974. AVKO represents the Audio, Visual, Kinesthetic and Oral learning styles. They develop books and materials that use this multi-sensory approach. The online membership is an essential part of this program.

In-Depth Look:
I received a one-year online membership to AVKO. You may choose from a basic or a deluxe membership.

Benefits of AVKO Basic Membership

Benefits of AVKO Deluxe 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 above)
  • 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

I do not own the popular Sequential Spelling program and wasn't at all familiar with AVKO. So, the whole thing was completely new to me. I spent time browsing the site, trying to familiarize myself with what it is all about and what it has to offer. I think a membership would most benefit someone that uses AVKO's programs, such as Sequential Spelling. But I also found many things that could be useful to the rest of us, especially those teaching students with learning disabilities, such as dyslexia.

One benefit is the ability to download several e-books for free. One is "To Teach a Dyslexic". I enjoyed Don McCabe's writing style and candor. He shares a very personal look at where he came from and how he got where he is. It is a great inspiration to those traveling the same road.

Another benefit is access to the member section. It includes dozens of readings to practice reading for comprehension (puns, humor, family, pets, history, etc.). As a side note, some of the sheets were things that I have read before through email forwards. I'm not saying that I didn't enjoy them; I'm just saying that these were items I have access to for free through my emails. I would also like to mention that some of the humor items are a bit crude, not things that I would read to my 10 and 7 yo girls.

As a member you will have access to some supplemental curriculum. Some of them are a sequential spelling word search (which would be awesome for someone using the curriculum). Also they have some advanced vocabulary flashcards (definitely advanced words!) and a vocabulary illustration worksheet (I think this is really neat).

You will receive the AVKO newsletter. It is very short and to the point. But it comes out on a regular basis and keeps you up-to-date on the company's latest news, announcements and special deals.

Workshop recordings are available as quick downloads. It is like a free homeschool convention in your living room.
"You Don't Need a Master's Degree to Teach Your Kids -- Just a Degree of Caring" offers a great deal of encouragement to those of us without teaching degrees that have taken on the rewarding task of teaching our own children. It gave me a lift that I needed.

Users of the curriculum will appreciate the free assessment and placement tests. Those using the Engaging Language Kits will like the online answer keys.

Members receive discounts on printed products. So if you are in the market for any of their curriculum, such as Sequential Spelling, this could be a big money saver for your family.

$25 for membership is a lot cheaper than individually paying for the different items, such as e-books and workshop recordings. Not to mention, the discounts on printed products. Some of the things that I looked at didn't fit our learning style, such as e-books with hundreds of pages of spelling words. But I did find several things I enjoyed, such as the items that I have mentioned above. So it all depends on your learning style, what you are looking for and what you need.

If you aren't ready to commit, try out their freebies page. You can access TONS of stuff and also get a better feel for the website and what it has to offer.

Don McCabe is an impressive man that has done an amazing amount of work towards helping others by sharing what has helped him and what he has learned along the way. I hope you will take some time to check it all out.

Click here to read other crew members' reviews.

Disclaimer: I received this membership free of charge to review, as part of the TOS Crew. The above is just my opinion. Please remember that opinions may, and do, vary.

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