Wednesday, October 30, 2013

VocabularySpellingCity Review -TOS Crew #hsreviews

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What do you do for spelling at your house?  Here we never had a set spelling list or spelling book.  I would just randomly choose words each week and we'd use them. Sometimes I'd theme them but most of the time it was just words that I knew my kids needed to learn.  Now enter my joy with a Crew Review we got to participate in!  VocabularySpellingCity is a neat little website that we got to try out for our kids that I can highly recommend!  This game based program focuses on vocabulary, spelling, writing, and language arts.  We received a year of the Premium Membership for free in exchange for our review.

This website offers a standard membership which is free or a premium membership which costs $29.99 per year with up to 5 students.  It is geared for ages K-12 so really any of your homeschool kiddos can use this.  We used it for grades K, 1, and 2.  With it you have the ability to use their word lists or input your own.  Because of the input your own feature I think you could use it with preschool as well(just my thoughts not the websites) as long as your preschool child was capable of using the computer.  I know with my kids my preschoolers can do a lot more than I think just from watching their older siblings.

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VocabularySpellingCity offers learning through fun.  One of my boys dubbed it as "they tricked me into learning"!  Yeap that is the truth!  It "tricks" them into thinking they are having fun and just playing games when in reality they are learning as well.  These fun games teach them how to spell words, what words mean, how to use them in sentences, and so much more!

The free account offers you the basics while the premium membership(what we received) offers so much more!   Check out the photo below from the Premium Membership page to see all the extras you can receive.

VocabularySpellingCity Premium Membership Features

I have to say that we loved the fact that there weren't ads on the pages.  My kids get distracted easily and far too often would click on ads and such that might be moving on sidebars just because they want to see what they are and what is going on.  They're kids, they're curious and I wouldn't have them any other way, but those ads are distractions.  I am a huge fan of flashcards as well so those are an added bonus as you can print those off.  We also are fans of laminating said flashcards for reasons I'm sure you can relate to.  My littles often get their hands on them and laminated in the mouth stays together longer than just paper in the mouth!  Yes it has happened.  Yes I have learned the extra money is worth it!  Now for the totally selfish part. . . . I love that I don't have to write down their grades!  Yes it keeps track of that for me so I don't have to grade them or record them.  I can simply print their records for our log books and tada I'm all done!  Easy is good when you are homeschooling this many little kids!  I have 8 in school from prek on up to 2nd grade and that extra time can be used for other things.

I do want to note that the free option is still a good deal if you can't afford the premium.  I know several people that might not have that extra money right now, so sign up for the free and purchase the premium when you can.  I do have a question in about what happens when you have more than 5 kids for premium so will let you know that answer when I get it.  With the free you still get the handwriting helpers, the printables, and spelling testing/spelling help.

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Free apps can be downloaded to your phones or Kindle even as well.  We don't have that technology here in our house, but for those that do this is a great thing!  Makes learning on the go much easier without having to take a laptop with you.  As homeschoolers that flexibility is something we normally tout and this makes us continue to be able to school on the go.  For my family it would be taking the laptop and working on it when we stopped for breaks or at night since we don't have smartphones, Ipads, or Kindles, but for those that do you might want to check into their free apps.

This is a great daily use website.  I highly recommend doing even a few minutes on a daily basis.  The more they do it the more they learn. We do one list a week.  Each day we do a different game to help us learn more about the word and practice spelling the word.  I print off pages where they actually are writing the word as well because I'm a stickler for penmanship and am determined my kids will learn how to not only spell but write legibly too!  And then we test on Fridays.  If you only do a 4 day week instead of 5 testing on Thursday would be your ideal.  That gives them the rest of the week to learn their words and learn how to not only spell but use them.  We also do double testing.  They are required to do the tests online, but then we also do some oral testing where they have to write down the word.  I either give them sentences and have them put the correct word in or I tell them the word and they must spell it just like the tests we used to do.

My kids love this program.  I'm giving it five stars because I love it too. Makes homeschooling simpler which in this busy time of life for me is a good thing.

Please hop on over to the Main Crew Blog post and read all the other reviews.  There were many of us who reviewed this website and we all have different thoughts and feelings so you won't read the same review twice.  It is a great program and I think we will continue to use it with my kids for the years to come.  Really the money it costs for the website versus what the spelling books would cost is a great deal to me.

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