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Monday, February 20, 2012

Vocabulary Spelling City- A Review

In school, I loved spelling tests. I would quickly look over the list of 20 or so words, tuck it away and I was ready to go. Spelling came easy for me and I didn’t really need to worry about it. Well, we can’t all be so lucky *wink* {and I’m finding that I’m not doing so well as I get older}.

Neither of my kids are exceptional as spellers {they do okay} and they don’t seem to enjoy those spelling tests as I did as a kid. So how to help them ‘enjoy’ spelling? How about games where they are having fun and learning the correct spelling? Works for me {and them}!


I was graciously given a Premium membership in exchange for an honest review. Vocabulary Spelling City is an online program to help with spelling and vocabulary (but they also have lists of math, science and geography words!) for all ages- Pre-k through high school. helps students study word lists using 25 different learning activities such as MatchIt Sentences, HangMan, and Word-O-Rama.  Parents can create their own spelling lists, find published lists already available on the site, or use any of dozens of  free teaching resources on topics such as analogies and compound words (from

Cost of the annual Premium memberships:

  • Family Unit - 5 Student Licenses for $29.99 {this is what I was given}
  • Classroom Unit - 25 Student Licenses for $49.99. Additional students are $1.67 per student.
  • For orders of 300 students or more, contact them at 954-357-1150 for discounted rates.

If you want to know the difference between Vocabulary Spelling City’s free membership and Premium membership, have a look at Premium Membership overview chart.


We’d used Spelling City a little less than two years ago but there have since been additions and improvements to the program. It was a good resource then but as I mentioned, they’ve expanded!

As you can read on the chart above, Premium members have access to gradebook, assignments, activity logs for each student, and no ads. There are a lot of other great benefits of having a Premium membership but those are perhaps my favorites. Both of my kids really like the games.

All images can be viewed larger by clicking on them. If they do not open in a new window, use your browsers back button/arrow to come back here.


It is easy to get started. Make a word list yourself or if you need a list that someone else created and saved in Vocabulary Spelling City, click on Find A List.


Or if you prefer, you can find a generated list on the sidebar:


There really is so much to Vocabulary Spelling City’s Premium Membership! I find it difficult to detail it all in this post. I will now refer you to a video on the website that shows some of the different features available. Follow this link and click on “See what one member had to say!”

What we’ve used mostly is 1) the Assignments feature:




These are all from the Teacher/Parent account. The first screenshot is from the Assignments link that is located in the Premium Teacher Toolbox (always in the upper right hand corner of the screen). The teacher/parent has the option to create assignments, delete assignments and/or view progress of assignments. Next you can see the progress. The last screenshot shows what activities/games I chose for my son to do before he takes the Spelling Test. If you hover your cursor over the name of the assignment, it shows what it includes. Hovering over the second title lets you know if you click it you can see the list of words in the list.


The above screenshot is from one of my 'students' accounts. It shows that he has 1 assignment (where the red arrow is) and also his progress (the green shaded box). He can see below this a note from me and also a list of all the Vocabulary and Spelling Lists that I have saved to our account {some of those I created myself}.


From this list, he can choose which he would like to study, take a test, learn, or play games. His assignment is based on the list “Asia” so he would most likely choose the games for that list first {or I would like to think so Winking smile}. Clicking on “Games” will bring up this page:

2) the Games feature


There are quite a few free activities but his favorite, Letter Fall, is a Premium Activity. Although the activity “Parts of Speech” doesn’t work quite the way intended {because all of the words in the “Asia” list are nouns} it works in another way; it helps him learn geography Smile 


The other feature we’ve used is 3) the literature based word lists. I’ve not made my own lists with my membership this time but have in the past. One of the ways I used to find the words is through the books that the kids were reading {for fun and for school}. With the literature based word lists, the work is already done for me for a few of the books. It’s a good start for now!

Interestingly, although this is part of our school day, my son doesn’t seem to view this program as work. The word lists we’ve used thus far are Asia, Canterbury Tales and Adventures of Tom Sawyer. I had previously made lists of my own (when we used it last) and they still show up; they are stored under our account. I like that so that we don’t have to make them again. 

There are only some things that, well, get to us while it’s being used. Sometimes the voice is difficult to understand {although it has greatly improved!}. Also, when playing the game Unscramble, the letters were difficult to place correctly.

It is a great value for the benefits that are available with the Premium Membership. This is a great resource for homeschoolers but would be a good value for public school classes as well. I’ve recommended this before and I will continue to recommend to those looking for spelling and vocabulary resources.

***Disclaimer: I received a free Premium Membership to in exchange for an honest review. All opinions stated are mine or those of my family members. No other compensation was received in exchange for this review. Thank you,!

1 comment:

  1. What a great, thorough review! We have been using the premium membership of VSC for more than a year now, and we love it. We have always been fans of online resources over workbooks and such, but switching from a weekly, written set of spelling words to this site made SUCH a difference in our homeschool, lol.

    Again, enjoyed reading your review. Thanks for sharing! :)

    Mom to a 2nd grader who is learning that a homeschool spelling curriculum CAN be fun!


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