Review: Er-u-di-tion

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What in the world is Er-u-di-tion, you ask?  Well, lucky for you (and me) the makers of this fun new game for beginning and early readers have printed the definition right on the instructions page for us.  Erudition is the “extensive knowledge acquired chiefly from books.”  And the developers of this new board game want to ensure that kids have the reading skills necessary to acquire that knowledge.

If you’ve read my blog for any length of time at all, you know how much I love hands-on learning, especially when it’s in the form of games.  Er-u-di-tion reminds me of some of the homemade games I’ve made before — except with a much nicer game board.  And really nice, thoughtfully organized game cards.  And, without all the work.

Featuring over 300 sight words, Er-u-di-tion is perfect for the beginning and emergent reader and can even be adapted for more fluent readers.  The game includes four sets of playing cards, which falls in line perfectly with my practice of allowing kids of different skill levels to enjoy the same game by using different sets of cards.  The four sets of cards include alphabet cards for the very beginners and three sets of sight words cards in increasing levels of difficulty for emergent readers.  There are also suggestions in the instructions for how to adapt the game for more fluent readers.

Even if you prefer phonics-based instruction, I see the value in learning sight words.  Although I use a phonics approach in reading instruction, I have always taught my kids sight words, as well.  It’s always been my opinion that they need to learn phonics in order to decode unfamiliar words, but a solid base of sight words improves reading fluency and gives emergent readers greater confidence as they encounter these high-frequency words.

I love that the alphabet cards show both the upper and lower case letters and include words using that letter so that kids can hear each letter’s sound.  All the vowel cards feature words with the short vowel sound, which is typically taught first and the X card has words with the /ks/ sound that X makes, rather than words like X-ray and xylophone, which don’t help kids learn the correct sound at all.  The cards featuring irregular verbs include both the present and past tense (i.e. see/saw and tell/told).

Josh surprised me by enjoying the challenge of the more difficult words (not the most difficult set, though he and Megan knew a lot of those, too).  While he did enjoy the game itself, he was more likely to ask me to play with the game board.  Want to guess why?

Yeah, it’s way cool to drive toy cars on.

It didn’t surprise me at all  that Megan enjoyed the game.  She loves stuff like that.  The first time we played, we weren’t quite sure what to do with these two extra paths on the board.  I read the instructions three times (they’re not long) trying to see if I’d missed it, but didn’t see anything specifically addressing them.  Were you supposed to land on the one spot exactly to take the short cut?  I assumed so and I was the first one to land on it, so I took it.  Then, Brianna and Josh followed suit without landing on the one spot by an exact role.  (Yeah, I didn’t quite catch that at first).

So, Megan, who had been following the main path, got way behind.  I could tell she was disappointed and I don’t think she caught what had happened, so she didn’t quite know why she was so far behind.  So, after Josh and Brianna (who was playing with us just for fun, btw) got the the library (the end of the game…are we the only family who has to see who comes in “second” and “third”?), I made up a new rule, because, you know, I like doing stuff like that.  I told Megan she could “fast track” to then end by reading one word out of the most difficult pile.  She loved it!

When Brianna baby-sat my six-year-old niece and her friend last week, she asked if she could take Er-u-di-tion with her so she could let the kids play it.  They loved it, too!  She told me that my niece said she’d play the game all the time if it was at their house.  I guess I’ll have to start taking it when we go to dinner at my sister’s house.  She and Megan would have a great time playing.  Nobody has to tell them that they’re doing something educational.

I was really impressed with the game.  It’s exactly the kind of game I would have designed for my kids if I’d ever thought to do anything serious with the homemade games that I used to create for them.  I even love the size.  Like many of the newer games, the board folds into a perfect square, which makes it easy and compact to store.  (Did I just give myself away for being a little OCD about how the games in my game closet are stacked?)  Er-u-di-tion, winner of four awards is available for $24.99 plus shipping and handling.  They also offer a money-back guarantee if, for some reason, you’re not satisfied with the game.

I appreciate the makers of Er-u-di-tion for allowing us to enjoy their game.  I only wish they’d created it a few years ago.  I hope you’ll visit the site to learn more and see what you think of this fun new way to practice sight words.

I wasn’t so impressed that I bought the company (I’m pretty sure it’s not for sale), but I was impressed enough with this product to sign up as an affiliate, so, in the interest of full disclosure, I will receive a portion of any purchases made through links from this blog. 

I received this product free for the purpose of reviewing it.  I received no other compensation for this review.  The opinions expressed in this review are my personal, honest opinions.  Your experience may vary.

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One Comment

  1. We have this game too! I bought it earlier this year, b/c like you, I'm always looking for fun ways to work on basic skills. I love its adaptability. For my 6-yr-old, we combine some of the blue letter sound cards with some of the simpler sight words, to create his own personalized deck. My 12-yr-old can read all the words, so he has to spell them to get the extra move. And when it's my turn, my kids spell the words to me (looking at the card) and then I have to guess the word.

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