Saturday, August 18, 2012

Vocabulary Spelling City: A Schoolhouse Crew Review

My son spells very well for his age.  Every year I have started out the year with a spelling program planned, only to barely use it. I would end up dictating the list to him, he would spell every word back to me perfectly, and I would mark the week's chapter done and move on.

There are, however, gaps and holes in his spelling ability, so I cannot entirely abandon the effort to cover this subject. I was hoping for a new, innovative way to cover spelling so that we could continue to pound away to fill in those gaps.

This summer the Schoolhouse Review Crew had the opportunity to try out  Vocabulary Spelling City. It looked like just what I'd been hoping for, so I jumped at the opportunity and asked to be picked to do the review.

Well, let me tell you from the start, I had know idea I was getting such a wonderful, comprehensive program!  This program not only hits on spelling and vocabulary, but also grammar and handwriting, with handwriting pages I can print out at the touch of a button! Plus the program allows me to enter the words I wish to use, or I can select from their massive topic list of vocabulary and spelling words. I will also be able to use SpellingCity this coming year to give my son much-needed work with alphabetizing, sentence writing and paragraph writing!

I have a great plan for how I will use SpellingCity this coming year, plugging our SAT Prep words into the word lists to correlate learning the definitions at the same time as the spelling. But for our initial trial in July and August, my son and I have been looking at words from the provided lists.

I found Spelling City so easy to use, thanks to the extensive video training page that they provide at their website. Using SpellingCity does, of course, require that you set aside a little time to familiarize yourself with what is available, and time to input your own words if you choose that option, as I plan to do.

What amazes me is what is available at this website if you get a free account! Your students can set up an account, you can set up a parent can input the lists, the program will teach the student, the student can play games, do word searches, crossword puzzles, and more. Of course, the Premium Account gives much more:
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For my review I received a Family Premium Membership, access for 12 months for up to 5 students, valued at $29.99. Classroom teachers might prefer to select the Classroom Premium Membership, which costs $49.99 for one year's access. To see why you would want a Premium Account, look at the Premium Account Overview. 
There is so much depth to this program that my son and I have just barely begun to scratch the surface of it. I am so, so happy with SpellingCity, and when my subscription expires I may very well renew for another year, as I get my son ready for high school. There are so many words he still does not know how to spell, and I have been at a loss as to how to find which words they are and how to teach them. For me right now, SpellingCity is definitely the answer. What a great experience this has been! 
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  • This product is appropriate for all grade levels. I am not sure, personally, that I would have used it much for K, 1st or 2nd. I think it depends on the student and the situation.
  • This program teaches in a way that will benefit both visual and auditory learners.
  • This game has fun learning games to play that reinforce the learning goals.
  • This program can be used with absolutely no preparation, or it can be used very helpfully with teacher input of words and assignments.
  • I really, really like this program! JD doesn't like much of anything that he knows is school work.
  • I would recommend this product to everyone without reservation.
  • I have found nothing on this website that would be offensive to secular or religious educators.
 DISCLAIMER:  As a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, I received a 12 month Premium Family Subscription to SpellingCity in exchange for my honest, uninfluenced review. The opinions expressed herein are my own. I was not told what to say.
 This has been a Schoolhouse Crew Review. 
To see more Schoolhouse Crew Reviews of  SpellingCity, go to the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog page for this product.

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