Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.
I’m trying to find ways to make spelling, grammar, and other Language Arts topics more interesting. When we were offered the chance to try out a program from EdAlive, I decided to try Words Rock Online, which includes a spelling course. Mr. Sweetie doesn’t have too much trouble with spelling most of the time, but Mr. Imagination, well, uses his imagination when he spells! It’s a big challenge for him. So, I decided we would try out this program to see if it would help at all.
There are a lot of different types of questions that cover a wide variety of spelling patterns. Some cover high-frequency words, others offer practice with consonant digraphs or consonant blends. The questions are set up as a game, with different ways to answer each one. With some, you have to reorganize letters or syllables; with others, you have to click on the misspelled word and then correct it. Sometimes you add letters to or take them off of words to make other words. The variety helps to keep this from getting too boring! Here is one question:
Mr. Sweetie has been using the Grammar section of Words Rock, as well as the Spelling section. Proper pronoun use is covered, and there is also practice with verbs, conjunctions, and prepositions. Farther on, all parts of speech are covered. Once again, there is quite a variety of types of questions and ways to answer them.
I checked out some of the questions in the Vocabulary on my own account, and found practice with labeling objects with the correct word, identifying synonyms and antonyms and homonyms (without calling them those names), and choosing the correct meaning of a proverb. There are also questions in which I had to choose the correct meanings of Greek and Latin words. They made me think!
All these programs use Adaptive Learning. In other words, if the questions seem quite easy for you, you are advanced to a higher level. If they are too hard (and you always have the option to click the “Too Hard” button if you don’t understand a question), you will be moved to a lower level.
The parent’s dashboard is very useful. It shows what the students have been doing, in several different ways and with varying levels of detail. These screenshots show some of the things I found there.
I asked Mr. Imagination and Mr. Sweetie what they think of Words Rock. They aren’t impressed! (Am I surprised? No. It’s school work.) Mr. Sweetie says that “You aren’t taught anything. You’re just expected to know it, and it’s a review. You have to be a good reader to do it. I struggle with reading it.” My response to him is that with this program you learn by getting things wrong and trying again later, in a different way! Mr. Imagination doesn’t like the alien-type pictures. I liked that the concepts they have already learned in their regular Language Arts books are reviewed and reinforced with this program. We’ll continue using it for awhile, anyway, because we need something for Language Arts for Mr. Imagination. I really don’t know if it is doing any good, but extra spelling and grammar practice sure can’t hurt!
One thing that we have not used is the games that are built in. There is the option to choose “Questions Only,” and that’s what my boys always do. The games are typical video games, I think, and we just aren’t interested.