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WordBuild® Foundations ~ Dynamic Literacy {Review}

This post may contain affiliate or advertiser links. Read my full disclosure policy .

We received this product at no cost in exchange for our honest review. All opinions expressed are solely mine.


At our homeschool convention this year I had a chance to talk to the people at the Dynamic Literacy booth about one of their vocabulary programs called WordBuild® Foundations. I left with an armful of product and was so excited to start using it this year during our school time.

The program does not focus on drilling words and vocabulary into children but teaches them HOW words are built and put together. Just because a child can read and sound out a word {phonics} doesn’t mean that they can understand and interpret what it means {morphonics}.

The WordBuild program is divided into two series: Foundations and Elements. Foundations does exactly what the name implies ~ builds a vocabulary foundation with prefixes and suffixes. Elements then takes what children have learned in Foundations and builds on it, including more complex root families.

Based on the simple formula WORD = (prefix) + root + (suffix), WordBuild® is fun, easy, and effective.


The biggest question for me ~ “Would it work and would our children enjoy it?”  For the last two months we’ve been using WordBuild® Foundations and can honestly say that we are enjoying it! Want to know why?

~ Ease of use: One of the things that really attracted me to the WordBuild® vocabulary program was how easy it would be for me to implement it with the kids. I didn’t need to carve out a huge chunk of time from our already full day. All I needed was the teacher’s manual, activity books for the kids, and 15 minutes a day ~ tops.

Some days we work right up to the 15 minutes and other days take much less. Even if we have a word or two left to do, we stop and move on to the next section the next day. This is something that the publisher recommends ~ stop at 15 minutes!!

~ Fun exercises and variety: Each of the units follows the same format so once the girls became familiar with the layout, they jumped right into the routine. The word search and magic square are favorites in this house {and sneaking in some other learning too!}.

Here’s a look at what each day looks like in a week’s plans {you can view a sample lesson here}:

  1. Prefix square ~ build new words by putting the center prefix word in front of each of the words surrounding it
  2. Affix adder ~ create new words using the affix, write what you think the word means and use it in a sentence
  3. Magic Square ~ match the words to their definitions and they all add up to a magic number
  4. Word Search ~ find and circle words within the grid
  5. Review ~ a review of the words/concepts from the week

~ Solid lesson plans: Nothing makes me happier than well-laid out plans. Each unit gives objectives, hints, materials needed, week-at-a-glance, discussion ideas and more. View a sample lesson here.

~ It’s working! The kids are carrying over what they are learning into everyday life. When we were talking about compound words in the introduction booklet, they made up games for us to play in the car together…and the learning spilled over into everyday life.

~ Humor: As we were talking about compound words and I was trying to help Zachary come up with words that started with the word ‘head’, I pointed to my head and said “This is something that Mommy gets a lot.” His eyes got big and he said, “OH! That’s right! Head lice!”  More like headaches…but he did get a new word, right?

~ A great guarantee {and discount}: If you aren’t completely satisfied, the company will refund your money {including s/h}, no questions asked.

As an added bonus, Dynamic Literacy is offering Homeschool Creation readers a 25% discount until 12/31/2011 when using the code HSC2011.

Recommended Ages

If you aren’t sure where to start, Dynamic Literacy has a great placement chart to use. Their rule of thumb ~ always start with Foundations Level 1 or Elements level 1 regardless of age {and I agree!}. You can also view samples of both the Foundations and Elements levels here on their website.


At first I thought we would be able to pull Zachary {Grade 2} into this with us. While he did understand the concept behind much of what we were doing and was able to complete the introductory booklet for Foundations Level 1, once we started into the actual student workbook, he was really in over his head. His reading and writing comprehension level are definitely not at the same level as the either of the girls {4th and 5th grade}, so we will be holding off on the workbook for him at this point.

Find Out More

Visit the Dynamic Literacy Homeschool site to find out more information about the program. I’ve also included a few more links for you to check out.

~ Informational video about the WordBuild® program

~ Scope and Sequence and State Standards information

~ Purchase information {don’t forget to use the code HSC2011 for 25% off your order!!}


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I was provided this curriculum by Dynamic Literacy in exchange for my honest review and opinion from our family’s use. All opinions expressed in this review are my own {and my kid’s}.

This post may contain affiliate or advertiser links. Read my full disclosure policy .

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