Spelling is not my sons’ favorite subject.
They know it’s a necessary one, but still, not their favorite. To combat boredom, we began using a site called VocabularySpellingCity.com several years ago. A basic membership is free, and allows you to enter and save your childrens’ spelling lists, and to access lots of activities that help them practice them. My favorite feature of this program has always been Test Me! Yes, they can take their spelling tests right online using their own spelling lists. I LOVE THAT.
Once complete, they click on Check Me! and it scores their test, showing which words were incorrect. They can print out their graded test, which is great for record-keeping. I always have my boys go back and do Teach Me!, which walks them through the spelling of their misspelled words, and then they have the option to retest on just their missed words.
We have used the basic membership for years. I had considered a Premium membership, but when we first began looking at it, all they had was a classroom teacher’s license, and at $49.99, it was out of our price range. Just recently they created a Family Membership which is affordable, and allows up to five children to access it. I had the opportunity to try out the Premium Membership recently. I decided not only to try it out on our computer, but to also try it out on our new iPad2! I will go over iPad compatibility at the end.
Here is a graphic that illustrates the differences in the memberships. The red check marks indicate the most recent additions to the activity lineup.
VocabularySpelling City gives you some fantastic tools with the Premium Membership. I love that I can create Assignments for my kids, with due dates! We use two different spelling programs. D1, who is in 6th grade but has developmental delays, uses Sequential Spelling. For him, there is a new word-family based spelling list every day. I enter the lists online for him, create an assignment (“Day 15” or whatever list # it is) and set up activities for him to do. His assignments are due daily. You can save an assignment list as a preset, to be used over and over, or create different ones. The presets are also easily edited. to add or remove activities.
For D2, our 4th grader, we use The WISE Guide for Spelling, which gives a list per week. His assignments have many more activities than his brother’s do, but his due date is always Thursday rather than daily. It’s up to him how many things he completes each day, as long as he completes his spelling and vocabulary tests on Thursday afternoon. (We have co-op on Fridays.) The site not only helps them practice but it also scores them on all activities and tests, and keeps track of their scores. Both boys use VocabularySpelling City exclusively for spelling. We no longer use our spelling programs as written. *Grin* It’s my school and I make the rules here. 😉
VocabularySpelling City is sort of compatible with the iPad. We have the iPad2 and bought Photon, a Flash browser, so we could use the site. Even so, there are certain games that will not work. We tried out everything on the iPad. All the activities that require either typing, clicking or both work just fine. Any activities that require you to drag and drop or swipe something do not work.
Five games do not work:
- Sentence Unscramble
- Letter Fall
- Word Search
- Crossword wouldn’t even load