May 25, 2009

Spelling Software for Children.

Recently the developer of SpellQuizzer software contacted me about trying out his spelling software. SpellQuizzer is a spelling program for helping children master their spelling and vocabulary. After looking at the demo on their website, I agreed to try the program and a copy of the software was provided to me.

As I have said many times before, I like my teaching methods, like my life: simple yet complete. SpellQuizzer is just that. This program allows parents to create their own personal spelling lists based on whatever their criteria may be.
According to their page for homeschoolers:

SpellQuizzer is ideal for...

1. Practicing the words in your homeschool curriculum. Just input the words in the spelling curriculum you are using and SpellQuizzer will help reinforce your child's lessons.

2. Preparing for spelling bees. You can create practice lists from the preparation materials provided by a spelling bee your child is entering. Also, we will be adding free, downloadable spelling lists for SpellQuizzer, complete with sound recordings, specifically for the purposes of spelling bee preparation soon. Watch our Downloadable Spelling Lists page for new lists soon.

3. Practicing the problem words that your child repeatedly misspells. Everyone has their own problem words that they have difficulty getting right. With SpellQuizzer you can create one or more custom lists of the words that your child struggles with. As the saying goes, "practice makes perfect". SpellQuizzer makes practice easy.

4. Learning words that can not be sounded out phonetically.
Dr. Edword William Dolch, PHD identified 315 "sight words" which can not be sounded out phonetically and therefore must be learned on sight. We have all 315 Dolch Sight Words (220 "service words" and 95 nouns) available in free download lists, organized by grade level, for SpellQuizzer at our Dolch Sight Words page. Just download the lists, import them into SpellQuizzer and you're all set. The lists come with pre-made sound recordings just for SpellQuizzer.

The software sells for $29.95 and they offer a 30 day free trial. Considering how many years of school you can use this for, I think the cost is very reasonable. Your computer will need a microphone to record your voice. If yours did not come with one, they are very inexpensive to purchase.

The part that made it the most fun for my son was that I could use the spelling words in personal sentences that he could relate to. I even told a complete story to him, using the words on the spelling list in sentences. So as he practices his words, he is also hearing me tell him a story. After he finished spelling practice, I asked him to re-tell the story to test his memory. Also making sure I verbalized the punctuation at the end of the sample sentences, he learns about sentence structure as well.

The program is very user friendly and even young children (my son is 4) will be able to navigate the lessons with ease. I have a feeling I will be using SpellQuizzer for many years to come and I will probably find more than one way to use it!


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