As I've mentioned before, my boys don't have any natural talents in the language arts department. Spelling is another area where they sometimes struggle. I've tried dozens of spelling programs and what I've finally decided is that the only "perfect program" is consistency. Though I agree with Charlotte Mason on most things, she did contribute to the theory that students will spell well if they read well. This is true for visual learners, but visual learners make up just over 30% of the population. For other students, this is a bit frustrating. Good spelling requires extra effort for non-visual learners, but they still need to master it.
Vocabulary Spelling City is huge in scope and easy to use. I'm astounded at all that I'm able to do with this program.
I registered my 4 students and began browsing lists. I can easily create my own lists, or I can use their pre-made lists. The site has some basic lists for teachers to import into their assignment pages such as Dolch Sight Words, Compound Words, and Homophones. They even have science, math, and geography terms.
I was able to easily build my own spelling lists very quickly. I began by making a spelling list of colors: Blue, Green, Orange, etc. Before I finalized my list, Spelling City gave me options to clarify my words. Did I mean Orange as in a citrus fruit or orange as in the color we get from mixing red and yellow? I can keep my lists private or I can add them to a database of lists created by other teachers. These lists are available for other teachers to share and download to their assignment pages.
With the Premium Membership, I can assign different activities to different students. Students can try the "teach me" button to have each word shown to them while a pleasant, very UN-robotic voice says the word, spells it, and shares it in a sentence. They can also generate flash cards or play a variety of games to help learn the words better. The Premium Version offers more games to students. After this, students can take their spelling test, or their vocabulary test if that is what I've assigned.
Something I was excited to discover is the Teacher Resource Tab. There are helpful articles for teachers to equip them for more effective teaching methods. There are also incredible helps for reinforcing language arts lessons including lots of great worksheets and lesson ideas for nouns, verbs, adverbs, etc.
I haven't tried out the Vocabulary section, but it seems to work very similar to the spelling activities. Also, there is a new section on writing that I haven't explored. It looks like Vocabulary Spelling City is growing and growing. The newest additions include instructions and help in sentence writing, paragraph writing, and revision of writing.
Vocabulary Spelling City has a free site membership, but if you want the extra features, including personalized assignments, automatic grading of tests, and record-keeping for each child, the Premium Membership is $29.99 a year for up to 5 children. The site has no distracting advertisements, which is very nice and makes it much easier for me to be willing to send them my money.