Monday, August 20, 2012

Vocabulary, Spelling, & Games - A New TOS Review!!!

I know that sometimes making sure you get your spelling lessons in or working on vocabulary definitions takes the back burner.  You have your children/students write them in a notebook or on index cards for the purpose of reviewing through the week, but inevitably the cards get torn, lost or spilled on and the notebook gets misplaced.  Either way the idea is great, but when it comes to true and intentional follow-up the process is sometimes lacking.
The Product:
Well, recently I was able to review a program that could fix the process and truly help your students.  It's an online interactive program called Vocabulary Spelling City. The program has been created for grades K - 12  and can be used for multiple children for one price of $29.99 per year for a Premium Membership.  The Premium Membership can be used for up to 5 children and come with a ton of benefits and features - like no advertisements, individual student logins, premium learning activities, and the ability to group students and their lists.  There are other pricing options for schools and classrooms.
With the premium membership your student(s) can be working on vocabulary, spelling, writing, parts of speech, alphabetizing, and even handwriting.  Here's a chart that shows the benefits of both the basic and premium services.
And there are many features that you will be able to access like:

  • a real person who says the word aloud and then reads a corresponding sentence
  • free printable handwriting worksheets
  • free teaching resources that have both lists and lesson plans
  • teacher training videos
  • free home pages for teachers and parents to save lists
  • a free forum and newsletters
  • and it comes with over 42,000 words with customizable sentences and definitions!

I mentioned the FREE basic membership, but it does not come with all the bells and whistles of the premium service - no games or vocabulary - but you can still get an idea of whether this program will work for your family.  All you have to do is start entering your words!!
Once you've tried out the basic service you can try out the premium membership which is at a great price($29.99) for one full year of access, from the time you login.  There's even a 30 day money back guarantee where if you aren't totally satisfied you can get a full refund! So there's no worries about being able to choose which service will work best for your family.

Our Experience:
We have been using this program for a while now and I really love it's adaptability.  You can add your own words or choose from a list that is set per grade.  If you choose a word that isn't in their system you can even add your own definition.  So the program is very customizable which makes it great for multiple children at different areas.
I used it with Audrie for mostly spelling.  She loved the games so that made doing her work fun.  And the voice is real which makes it VERY easy to hear and understand.  Arianna was able to use more of the program and I have seen some progress in her ability to remember what certain "hard" words means.

One thing I appreciated was the ability to see all their grades and all assignments (whether they have been completed or not).  The grades can also be printed off for a hard record in your portfolio or whatever you may use to keep track of your grades and reports.  You (the teacher/parent) can also see what activity was selected for each assignment as well as its score.

My Thoughts:
I like the ability that I can use my own list, add whatever activities I want to each assignment, or I can just use predetermined lists.  The choice is all up to me. Some of the lists are long and the process of modifying their lists is a little time-consuming (or I may have just not found the right way to do it), but overall I think this is a wonderful tool for any homeschooling family.  So why not give it a try!  You can email them if you have questions, find them on Facebook, and even on Twitter.

Head on over now to choose your membership at Vocabulary Spelling City! And you can take a few moments to see other Crew members have used the program in their homes just by clicking the banner below.


*** I am a member of The Old Schoolhouse 2011-2012 Crew and receive free products and services in exchange for a thorough and honest review. Though I am compensated with free products (and a one year premium membership to this program), I am not compensated in the form of money for any of my reviews. My reviews will always reflect my honest opinions, findings, beliefs and experiences with the products and services that I receive.***

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