I so needed something to make our spelling lessons happen more frequently. Spelling seems to be the first thing that disappears in our week when things get busy. I just don’t always have the time or motivation to sit and quiz spelling words. More than once I’ve wished for a teaching assistance to take over this job for me. And…well…it’s not a terribly exciting task for my little speller either. But it has to be done as I wholeheartedly believe in the value of spelling practice and quizzes.
So when Daniel Hite contacted me I was thrilled. We downloaded the software straightaway, which was super easy. You can download it too for a 30 day free trial.
“Oh I already have a spelling program,” you might be thinking. Well I do too BUT that’s the beauty of this spelling program, it doesn’t necessarily have to replace your current program. You can use it to complement what you are already doing. At least that’s how I plan to use it. Of course, after using it for a while you could quite conceivably decide that you need nothing other than SpellQuizzer. I like this about it. It’s versatile enough to suit lots of different needs…a little helping hand on busy homeschool days, a total spelling program, a homework helper for those end of the week spelling tests at school or a tool to help motivate our little spelling apprentices.
So how does this program work? Easy! We create our own spelling lists and our children use the spelling software to complete their quiz. That simple! Nothing complicated or time consuming.
Of course we can also share spelling lists with other users. Check out the assorted free spelling lists you can already download. There’s also a SpellQuizzer community forum where you can meet and share with other users. So, for example, if you find another user who has already created the spelling lists for the program you are using you could import it to save valuable time.
SpellQuizzer allows you to record your own voice saying the spelling words (although you don’t have to but it’s so much better if you do!). As an Aussie I like this feature as our children often find it difficult to properly hear individual sounds in words said with a foreign accent. It also means that we can record amusing sentences to go with our spelling words or personal tips to help jog our speller’s memory. I even thought that we could use it for foreign language lessons. We could say the word in Latin, or French or whatever you’re learning and have your child type the answer in English or vice versa. I know, I know. It’s a spelling program. But a great program is one that can be used in multiple ways. We just have to be creative enough to see the opportunities. It’s certainly one of the ways that I would like to use the program.
There is also a spell checking feature to SpellQuizzer and the great thing about that is that the dictionary recognises both U.S. and U.K. spellings. That’s a huge bonus for Aussies who often have to adapt to U.S. spelling or miss out on using great products. But not this time! Oh and if the words you are quizzing are non-English words or proper nouns you can turn off the spell checker. How versatile and nifty is that! We could quiz state and city names, famous people’s names…all sorts of things.
My boys loved using our microphone to create their own lists. I can see that being a popular activity and, because they have to type in the word, it’s a great tool in further familiarising them with their spelling too. Plus the spell checker ensures that they accurately spell each word.
The quiz itself is a simple task. The children type in their spelling word as it is spoken to them. They then click, “Check Spelling” and wait to see if it was correct or not. You can set the software to create various fun sound effects if the answer is correct or incorrect and when the list is completed correctly. Of course, in true versatile nature, you can also turn off this feature if this doesn’t suit your learner. At present ours is set to cheer “ye-haw” when the boys spell their words correctly or set off a siren if they make an error. At the end of the test when their words are all correct it congratulates them with an “hallelujah”. How fun is that?! Well my boys enjoyed it…so did I! Hehehe.
I also particularly liked the feature that allows the speller to take the quiz multiple times in a row. At the end of each quiz SpellQuizzer asks the speller if they want to start over. The more practice the better I say and because it doesn’t seem like the “end” of the quiz my little spellers were happy to start again when I suggested it. And with each practice they became more and more confident with their words.
Of course I hardly have to mention, but I will, that this spelling software can appeal to our learners based solely on the fact that they get to use the computer. Let’s face it. Kids enjoy using computers so if written spelling quizzes are unpopular with your learners then SpellQuizzer could solve your headache. I know it will help mine!
As I have been dabbling with “Spelling Wisdom” I’m thinking I will use SpellQuizzer as our practice quiz tool and then continue with our usual end of the week dictation. With SpellQuizzer in my homeschooling mumma tool bag, my little spellers should produce correctly spelled dictation by Friday.
Is there anything that I didn’t like? Ummm…nope…can’t think of anything. Honestly! It’s a great, simple but versatile spelling tool. I wouldn’t say so if I didn’t believe it. You know me. I say it how it is. 🙂
And as a special treat Daniel Hite has offered one of my readers a free SpellQuizzer license valued at $29.95US. If you’d like to be included in the draw just leave me a comment describing how you might use SpellQuizzer or why you would like to win. I will do the draw on Sunday 21st November (that’s Sunday here in Australia) so get in quick. I will post the winner on my blog but please ensure that I have a way to contact you directly for your details if you win.
Update: Just wanted to say that I’ll be randomly selecting a winner and not judging a person’s worthiness or anything like that. Sorry I didn’t clarify that. So just leave a comment of any sorts and you’re in the running.
Disclosure: Yes I did receive this product for free for the purpose of reviewing it. But I freely chose to review it as I felt it was a worthwhile product that I would enjoy using and thought others could benefit from as well.
This Giveaway Closed on the 21st November 2010
The winner was announced here.