I've been trying out a neat spelling software with my boys. It's called SpellQuizzer. SpellQuizzer is a very simple program that allows you to test your children on their spelling or vocabulary words. The neat part is that you can record the words so that when your children practice their words, they hear you speaking. You simply record your spelling lists, name it, & then have your children sit down at the computer to take them. It really is that simple.
I must say that I had a lot of fun recording the spelling lists. We use Spell to Write and Read along with The W.I.S.E. Guide for spelling and phonics. Each boy has a list of twenty words that they work on at a time. Each word also has a sentence to give the context of the word. I sat down one evening in the living room where our PC is located and recorded seven lists. I even did this while my family was sitting here watching TV. There was no discernible background noise - well, as long as my five year old wasn't using his "outside voice" that is.
You will need a microphone attached to your computer to get the most benefit from the program, but there is an option for those who do not have one. You may add a reminder phrase to a word. For instance, if the word you are using is "house" then the reminder phrase might be "the place we live in." I had fun recording though & would highly recommend using a microphone. I used one that my hubby had kicking around but you can use any microphone that works on your PC.
So what are the details?
SpellQuizzer allows a free 30-day trial. Once you download the software, you will see the following home screen upon start up.
Creating a list is super easy. You just follow these prompts. This is the screen you would see while creating your list. You simply continue to add words, record the word with a sentence for context, and add it to the list. Simple.
When your child sits down to work on their lists, this is how it would work.
When they click "play word," the word (if recorded) is played along with your sentence. When they are done typing it in, they click on "check spelling." If the word is correct, it moves on to the next word. If it is wrong, then they are told so along with the correct spelling. At the end of the test, they are then given the option to requiz the words they got wrong. They can continue to test until they get them all right and at that point there is large cheering. ;-)
If you would like to see demonstrations of how this works, please click HERE.
SpellQuizzer comes with a few spelling lists already loaded. Plus you can go to their website to download more spelling lists. There is even an option to export lists to other users of SpellQuizzer. This would be a neat feature to those in a co-op or using a similar spelling program.
If you chose to buy SpellQuizzer, it sells for $29.95.
What I liked:
- I am able to quiz a boy on their spelling without having to give the other boy a break from school. One can be working on the PC taking their spelling test while I'm at the table working with the other boys. This is a huge benefit actually. Given to much leeway & my boys bolt. ;-)
- I can use it with my existing spelling program. It actually will work with any spelling program.
- It is extremely user friendly. I was up & running in minutes after the download was complete.
- The license you purchase is good for life.
What I'd like to see improved/changed:
- I'd like a way to track my boys progress on the tests. Some way to print out reports.
- I'd like a way to have a separate file for each boy.
Overall I really liked this program. It was super easy to start with which is a huge bonus for me. I don't have time to sit & figure out involved programs. This was really plug & play which was wonderful. My boys were even able to sit right down & do a test as soon as I had them loaded.