Spelling… I have one child that was born spelling out words with no problem; it was an instinct. I have another child who needs the review and extra time spent. So, I volunteered to review the SpellQuizzer spelling software program. We had a lot of fun trying this out! It is geared toward elementary through high school grade levels. It is easily downloadable to Windows platforms and simple for parents and their children to use. We were up and running within ten minutes after I downloaded the software.
When you open the program, you will see a screen of options from which to choose:
choose a list and let your child type in the spelling word the program requests.
create a list from your own words that you want the program to test your child on. Here you type in the word, say the word into a microphone you provide (you can also dictate a sentence using the word), and save it to a list. If you do not have a microphone, you can type in the word and a descriptive hint for the word, so your child will know what spelling word he is to type in during the quiz.
edit a spelling list. Here you can add or delete words from the list, and change hints, audio files to go with the words or spellings of the words.
sample lists for grades 1 – 8
frequently misspelled words for grades 1 – college
holiday themed word lists
Dolch Sight words
Religious themed words
Season, Months, Days
US States and State Mottoes
Or, you can import spelling lists from other SpellQuizzer users. They can be friends you know or co-op members. There is even a Yahoo Group!
export spelling lists. Here, you can send another user one of your lists you created.
use the Help feature to answer questions you may have.
How did this work?
After I chose a sample list or created my own from words that I knew my son was having problems with, we selected the “quiz me” option. From there, the program took over. My son heard an audio file say the word (in a human voice – pleasant) and a sentence using the word. He typed the word into a space on the screen. If he got the spelling right, the program went on to the next word. If he spelled the word incorrectly, a box came up telling him how the word should be spelled, and beneath this was a short explanation of how he spelled the word. My son would then proceed to the next word and move on to complete the quiz. After he had spelled the last word, the program then asked him if he would like to try to spell any of the words he misspelled again. I had my son always click on yes, and he tried again until he got those all correct. The next day I had my son do the same list to see if he remembered all the correct spellings, and he repeated the same procedure again. By the third day, my son was able to spell everything correctly the first time. When he tried the fourth and fifth day as well, he was still able to remember all of the correct spellings.
What did I really like about the program?
I really liked this program because I can customize it with words I know my son is having trouble with. This program allowed me to create a word list one time that my son could practice for a few days on his own, that gave me some extra time to do other things I needed to do. I also liked the fact that it only took about 5 – 10 minutes and it was effective. It gave my son a different venue in which to learn his spelling that he enjoyed. I especially liked that the program immediately corrected my son when he misspelled a word and showed him the correct spelling for that word before he could move on to the next word. The review of all misspelled words at the end was also effective. My son and I enjoyed the applause at the end of the list when he did a good job, too! This is a program I can use throughout their schooling year after year; so I think it is a good investment.
What are some other uses for SpellQuizzer in my home?
I love thinking of new ways to use things and multitask as well. Being an eclectic Charlotte Mason homeschooler, I appreciate the audio files with this program and I can have my child write out the sentences using the spelling words as a form of dictation and review of his spelling if I wanted to. I used this program with my older son for SAT word review and it was very effective for that as well. As an experiment, I also created lists and imported them into my program that asked for answers to math facts (I would type in the answer where you would type in the spelling word, then verbally record the equation), states and capitals, Latin and Greek prefixes, and vocabulary terms and definitions. As long as you can type in the answer, verbally record the question or type it in the hint box, the possibilities in using this program as a way to review facts are endless.
You can find a demonstration and full explanation of the SpellQuizzer program here. It comes with a guarantee and you can download a 30 day free trial offer to see if it works for your family! Or, you can purchase it for $29.95.
I plan on joining the Yahoo Group for SpellQuizzer and upload some of my lists, and hope to share lists with other users. Maybe we can exchange more ideas in using the program for other lists as well!
If you’d like to read more opinions about this product as well as others, please visit The Homeschool Crew blog for more reviews!