Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.
Spelling is an area that requires constant practice and repetition to master new phonics patterns and difficult words. Online games can add an element of fun to a tedious learning task. My family was excited to try out Spelling Shed so that my 8 and 5-year-old could improve their spelling. We also were able to practice math facts in a similar game format through the Math Shed program!
When we started, I created each child a student account from my teacher account and then simply let them log in and play. They enjoyed the program until the words began getting harder and harder. Then, I knew I needed to adjust the difficulty levels on my end. This presented ME with the challenge. Spelling Shed allows teachers to formulate their own spelling lists and assign them to their students, but each time I would try to assign them something, they would go to play and it wouldn’t be the assigned content. Finally, I found all the spelling lists I had assigned to my students on the student's accounts, under the “more…” tab. The ability to make custom spelling lists is really helpful for adapting this to each student in a way that complements their current learning curriculum.
If you aren’t looking to assign spelling lists, you can simply select a spelling curriculum for your students to work through. I was able to assign beginner phonics for my five-year-old and I started my 8-year-old with “first 100 words.” They offer a variety of well-known spelling lists such as Dolch's, Fry's and UIL lists for grades 3-8.
The Math Shed program doesn’t require the teacher to select curricula or assign content. Instead, the level and topic is adjusted at the game level, so my students could log in and click on the topic they needed to practice. My five-year-old practiced addition from 1 to 10 on the easy level and enjoyed her work. My 8-year-old had many more options to explore. He enjoyed the multiplication and basic division and would work through the ten questions, focusing on speed and accuracy to earn more points.
Ultimately, this wasn’t a good fit for our family. My students didn’t want to play the games, and I felt the amount of stages, levels, and material made it overwhelming for me to sift through and make sense of for our family’s use. I can see how it would be beneficial to school programs or co-ops that are looking for some educational quiz games for larger amounts of students to play. If a larger group logs in at once, it seems that the children could play games against one another, which could be fun for students!
Many other members of the Homeschool Review Crew tried out EdShed and you can check out their thoughts on the program below to gain additional perspective!
is an author, blogger, and homeschooling mom of four, giving her excellent credentials to run her own circus one day!