Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Schoolhouse Review: VocabularySpellingCity

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Spelling . . . you either love it or hate it.  I really don't think there is an in-between.  I, for one, like spelling.  It bothers me when words are spelled incorrectly.  I always think about pulling out my red pencil (you know the one, right?) and "fixing" those mistakes.  Because I feel so strongly about the importance of spelling, we've focused on spelling lists for several years now.   We had the opportunity to use VocabularySpellingCity last year and have been reviewing the VocabularySpellingCity Premium Membership this year.  As a result, spelling is definitely improving at Long Leaf Academy.  Priced at only $29.99 per year for a family of 5 users, this is a remarkable resource for homeschoolers. 

VocabularySpellingCity is an award-winning program that can be useful for spelling, vocabulary, writing, and language arts.  The game-based format takes the pain out of learning and introduces fun along with a variety of skills to all school-age children.  With special formats and lists for Kindergarten through 12th Grade, there are benefits to be had for all families.  And it's not just spelling skills.  The printable handwriting worksheets have helped my 7th and 9th graders gain extra practice in cursive writing.   (I realize many traditional schools no longer teach cursive writing, but I still think it is a very important skill to hone.)  My Senior has enjoyed the sign language worksheets, as well.  She decided that she would like to be able to sign by the end of this school year in order to help a specific camper at a special-needs camp where she volunteers each summer.  Pretty neat, huh?

Super easy to get startedVocabularySpellingCity allows you to create personalized spelling and vocabulary lists for each individual child and assign gaming activities that teach the assigned words.  It's really that simple.  Training Videos walk you step-by-step through everything you need to know and do to be successful, but it's really an easy process that you can figure out without the videos if you'd like.  Once you sign up and log in, you can easily control what each of your students do and set the timeline for how often they are to work.  At my house, we work on spelling activities Monday - Thursday.  What I especially like about the VocabularySpellingCity program is that after the initial set up, all of the work is done for me.  With my Premium Membership, tests are automated and the grade is recorded.  If they have missed any words on the tests, students are allowed additional practice before re-testing.  

The spelling activities are spot-on and the Teaching Resources are remarkable.  (We've had quite a bit of fun with the Idiom Worksheets.  Make sure you check them out.)  There is a myriad of word lists available to assist you in teaching multiple subjects.  For my Princess and Boy Scout, we've been using the geography word lists of states and capitals as they practice learning the capital and geographical location of each state -- perfect for our American History studies. And VocabularySpellingCity makes it easy to test yourself with the WhichWord game.  Utilizing both visual and auditory learning processes, WhichWord helps students study by having them fill-in-the-blanks of sentences based on the word lists chosen.  After they have correctly done so, the sentence is read aloud for reinforcement.  

The ease with which I can use VocabularySpellingCity makes for a happy momma and teacher.  The Literature Lists (divided by grade level) has been an invaluable resource for both Book Club and Theatre.  The lists are ready for importing and assignments can be made instantaneously.  We went to the theatre today to see The Grapes of Wrath (included on the 9th grade reading list) and my 7th, 9th, and 12th graders all found the vocabulary words helpful in understanding the play.  Words from the list were spelled, sounded out, defined, and used in a sentence for them.  Pretty neat, huh?  I have to admit, there were a few words I was unsure of myself.  It's not everyday that I use the word querulous.  You've certainly got to give kudos to Steinbeck.  

Another of our favorite features of VocabularySpellingCity is the app available to take school on-the-go.  We have each downloaded the free app on our iPhones and iPads.  (There's even a new app available for android platforms and Kindle.)  This allows each of my children to work on the uploaded spelling assignments wherever we are.  After I've set up their word lists and assigned due dates to each activity, they are free to do their work on their own time.  The beauty of this is that the computers are not tied up continually (we share three computers between the four of us) AND there is no excuse for boredom.  The iPhone app is ready to be used as we wait at the orthodontist, at the dentist, in line at the bank, or on the road to our next activity.  

VocabularySpellingCity truly offers so very much for families with students of all ages.  From sight words and lists of months for the little ones to paragraph writing, SAT Word Lists, and science lists for each high school science course for my high schoolers.  It will be easy to justify the purchase of a Premium Membership for your family and offer a bit of respite for your mind.  Enjoy the ease of preparation and wealth of support available to you.  

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I was given the opportunity to review the Premium Membership from  VocabularySpellingCity as a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew.   You can check out the Crew Review  and  see  what other members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew thought of this and other products as well (or just click on the banner below.)

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1 comment:

  1. I love how you customized this to meet your needs. Yeah for encouraging cursive writing! And I didn't realize that this included sign language, too. I love your senior's sweet goal.


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