Friday, September 3, 2010

SpellingCity TOS Product Review

I will start by asking a very simple question: SpellingCity, "Where have you been all of my homeschooling life?"

I happen to be one of those old-fashioned people that think spelling matters. Now, that doesn’t mean I don’t make mistakes...I’m sure I due, alot. With all of the social networking sites along with texting and e-mailing, it becomes very clear that spelling isn’t a high priority for a lot of folks.

I know. It’s driving me crazy too. But I will leave it there just to make a point.

Spelling matters.

SpellingCity has taken the old-fashioned way of learning to spell and completely flipped it on its head.

When I look back on those early days of learning to spell, I remember a piece of paper with a list of words written down the left side with a fold down the middle. This allowed me to practice each word by covering the word list, spelling a word from memory, and then checking the written word for accuracy. Not exactly a great way to learn, but with persistence, it worked.

A number of years ago, my kids used a twisty contraption which allowed me to upload their spelling list each week. After pushing a button, it would say a word in a very robotic voice (sometimes the word was unrecognizable), and then allow the student to enter the word, one letter at a time. It was met with some resistance by my kids, but it worked as long as you could understand the robotic voice.

Enter SpellingCity.

Spelling is only one road that travels through SpellingCity. Check out this road map:

Vocabulary - Help for all ages and subjects.
Phonics - Import a SpellingCity phonics-based word list.
Writing - Parents can customize the writing instructions!
Handwriting - Handwriting practice with spelling lists is a perennial favorite.
Alphabetical order - It's hard with paper and pencil but easy with SpellingCity.
Spelling - TestMe, HangMouse, MissingLetter, SpeedySpeller and more!

SpellingCity began as a labor of love by a group of web savvy educationally-minded parents who felt there was a need to create a useful educational site. The site went live in January 2007. Future enhancements include thousands of more words (there’s already over 43,000), a variety of new games, simplified list saving, definitions, synonyms, antonyms, capability of saving student records, and a comprehensive spelling list/course.

Facts and features to consider:

Innovative interactive educational site used to help children of all ages improve their spelling skills and expand their vocabulary

Used by teachers and parents to teach students how to spell by creating and saving individual and unique spelling lists

Enforce the elements of spelling and vocabulary through interactive learning

Offers over 43,000 words and sentences

Each of word is spoken by a "real" human voice to offer the student more clarity

With each created list, a student has the option to: Teach Me, Test Me, or Play A Game
  • "Teach Me" allows students to reflect on each word of their spelling list while the list and coordinating sentence are being read aloud.

  • "Test Me" allows students to take a test from any spelling list at any time. This test option gives the students the ability to hear just the word or have a sentence read.

  • "Play A Game" allows students to play a variety of learning games with any spelling list. Games such as HangMouse, Word Search, and Unscramble.

Learning how to use SpellingCity is amazingly simple. I absolutely loved their how to videos, so I watched all of them! They were only a minute or two long and very easy to watch and understand. Honestly, I think they thought of everything!

With all of the features SpellingCity offers, I was certain it would cost a small fortune. I was wrong! SpellingCity is a free site. Yes, that’s right. It’s free.

If, however, you have the desire to...

Automatically track student test scores so you don’t have to grade tests or record scores
Track students' activities on SpellingCity
Provide a gradebook and individual records
Enable Premium Games, LetterFall and SpeedySpeller
Read the students’ writing exercises, respond to them, and keep records, all online

you may want to consider a Premium Membership. The Premium Membership is only $24.99 for an entire year for a family with up to five students. That’s about $2 a month. Classroom memberships are also available for up to 30 students for $49.99.

I think SpellingCity is a great teaching tool and highly recommend it. But don’t take my word on it. Just look at the list of awards they have received:

iParenting Media Award
Abacus Cool Tech Award
Teachers’ Choice Award for the Family
ClickSchooling Award
Teachers’ Choice Award for the Classroom
Parents’ Choice Award
Distinguished Achievement Awards Finalist
Golden Lamp Awards Finalist - Top 100 Site
The American Library Association – Great Web Sites for Kids
Larry Ferlazzo – Top 5 Choice for Best Online Learning Games

Here's the product scoop:

Spelling tests made easy

Vendor Name and Contact Information: SpellingCity.Com
Age Range: 2nd Grade on up
Price: FREE or $24.99 for a one-year Premium Membership

Happy spelling, my friends!

P.S. And just to clear things up...I'm sure I do, a lot! (Make mistakes, that is!)

I am a member of The Old Schoolhouse 2010-2011 Crew and receive free products and services in exchange for a thorough and honest review. Though I am compensated with free products, I am not compensated in the form of cash for my reviews. My reviews will always reflect my honest opinions, findings, beliefs and experiences on the products and services that I receive.


  1. Great review! Like all the colors! (and pics and links) Have a wonderfully blessed day!

  2. I love your spelling correction at the end!
    This is a wonderful review of a wonderful product. My boys loved it, and I did, too.

  3. LOL!!! Bravo, my dear. Bravo! ;) Excellent review...I really get a kick out of your sense of humor, too! :)