Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Review of VocabularySpellingCity

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If you are a sentient homeschooler, you have most likely used VocabularySpellingCity (which has resources for K-12) at least once. The odds are excellent that you have used it far more often. You have probably also wondered if, given how excellent the free features of the site are, the VocabularySpellingCity Premium Membership is worth the $29.99 price tag (which covers 5 individual kid memberships with 1 parent account). Well, we have been test driving the Premium version for the past six weeks or so, and I can assure you that my kids vote a definite YES!

What Differentiates the Premium Membership?

For parents, the accountability, differentiated learning, and record keeping are huge assets, but for my kids - honestly - the ability to play Hang Mouse makes the Premium Membership awesome. A premium membership that has something for both parents and kids? Yes, please!

The premium features available to parents may not be as fun as Hang Mouse, but they definitely enhance the already very useful teaching capabilities of VocabularySpellingCity. For example, with premium access, parents can assign both lists and specific activities to individual students.

Below are just a few of the lists I have assigned to my four children (12, 10, 8, and 8). All of these lists were already in VocabularySpellingCity. I didn't have to do any of the work of entering them in!

What some parents may not be aware of is that VocabularySpellingCity also has great materials for high school! Check out these math vocabulary lists, science vocabulary lists, an entire summer program for high school, and my all-time favorite: SAT vocabulary lists! The SAT lists are amazing because not only do you learn to spell the SAT words, but the vocabulary testing feature allows you to learn the definitions, too. What a great tool for Therese as she prepares to take the SAT in January! The vocabulary testing feature is one of those that is an independent justification for buying the Premium Membership. It is simply too good not to have once you have tried it out. If you are using a separate vocabulary program in your homeschool, get ready to get rid of it!

How We Use VocabularySpellingCity

There are two primary ways that we use VocabularySpellingCity. The first is where I assign lists and activities to my kids via the assignment process available with the Premium Membership. Then, whenever I tell the kids to work on spelling, which they love doing with VocabularySpellingCity, they log in with their own individual logins and do the assignments that they see there. They know exactly which games they are supposed to play for which lists and when they are supposed to test. I can assign sentence work to Nicky (10), but focus only spelling for the twins (8). Therese, as I explained above, focuses on SAT vocabulary (although there is a great Pride and Prejudice vocabulary list that we used as well! When you use the website this way all of your child's work is is "recorded." That is, you can see what they have done.

Alternatively, your kids can work without specific assignments. That is, you can just give them a list and let them play games to learn their spelling. The only thing that is different is that their progress will not be stored for you. Although we tried this out, I infinitely prefer the assignment process. After all, that's one of the huge benefits of the Premier Membership.

Also, you can use one of the thousands of lists stored in VocabularySpellingCity already, or you can enter your own words. Thus, you can use the site as a spelling aid to accompany the program you already use, or you can allow it to *be* your spelling program. I have been quite happy to use it in the latter way. For example, we don't use BJU's spelling program, but the words are perfect for where Michael and Mary-Catherine are. Hence, I sort of adopted the spelling program!

Therese's main activity (apart from learning the SAT vocabulary) was writing a paragraph using all of the vocab words. Her effort for one week is above.

Parents with kids of all ages have been using VocabularySpellingCity, so be sure to click the banner below to read all the reviews!

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1 comment:

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