Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.
WHAT IS IT?:
Words Rock Online is a new game-based language skills program that lets kids practice their basic grammar, vocabulary, spelling, and advanced grammar skills while playing a Battleship-style game with a slug-capturing theme!
This is an adaptive learning program, so the difficulty level of the questions adjusts automatically based on student performance. Parents can log in any time and check on their students’ progress and performance level with just a few clicks.
This program is intended for students age 5 and up (including teens!) and is available for annual subscription for just $90/year, or you can subscribe monthly for $10/month. Additional subscriptions for multiple students are substantially discounted.
To begin the game, we could choose a smaller quick-play board or a larger board with more options. Holden and I both enjoyed playing the Battleship-style game, and it was nice to be able to choose the board size based upon how much time we had available to play. Holden had the choice to play against the computer or to play against other randomly selected students from around the world. He could also host a game for others to join. Each time he successfully hit a target (which was a slug body part), he was given a language arts question to answer. How many points he earned for his target depended upon whether or not he answered his question correctly. Play continued in this manner, taking turns between himself and the computer players, until all of the slugs on the grid had been successfully captured.
Throughout the game, the adaptive learning technology would adjust the difficulty level of his questions based upon his success in answering them. If a question was too hard, he could click on “too hard” to be given another question in its place. That was a nice option to keep him from getting frustrated in case there was something he didn’t yet understand.
The variety of questions seemed endless to me, and the questions all had a playful, fun presentation and context that made them just right for kids. Holden got to enjoy the backdrop of the game, and with the questions just sprinkled throughout his game play, I think he didn’t feel so much like he was doing school and learning language skills so much, even though he was.
If your child is older, you don’t have a lot of time for play, or your student simply tires of the game, there is an option to simply do questions only, without the game itself. I personally found that format fun for myself as an adult. I was always the “class grammarian” in school, so I enjoyed brushing up on my advanced grammar skills, which I could choose from the “questions only” menu. There, I could choose grammar and punctuation, spelling, vocabulary, advanced grammar, or all content.
Students can do the “questions only” mode for as long as they like. It doesn’t come to a specific end. They can simply stop when they are ready by clicking the arrow to go back. And again, the adaptive technology continues to “learn” what level is most appropriate for the student and automatically adjusts throughout the process.
Parents can view a student’s progress in the form of an instant, on-screen achievement report, showing what skill level and what age group of questions the student has completed and how they did. Parents can also view which days and weeks the student worked on the program and how many correct answers they achieved during that period. In addition, parents can view strengths and weaknesses that may have been identified over time. This is obviously useful information to see! Parents also have the ability to print certificates for their students.
Overall, we felt this was a fun, easy-to-use program that isn’t too time consuming and does an excellent job of getting students to practice and hone their language skills. The game mode is great for younger children and those with ADHD (like my son) who get distracted easily and have difficulty focusing on one thing for too long, and I feel like the “questions only” mode makes this an age-appropriate tool even for high school students (and parents) to practice their grammar, spelling, and vocabulary skills. It’s a great fit for the whole family!
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