Thursday, March 10, 2011

SpellQuizzer Software

My kids think it is strange when I tell them that when I was growing up we didn't have a computer. When I was in junior high, I took a "programming" class on an old Apple computer and in 8th grade math, we used a TRS80 to do some math work. I was a senior in high school when my dad got a used computer from work. I don't remember it having much more than word processing on it and that was what I used to type my senior term paper. I didn't learn to type until I took typing class in high school - we didn't have a typewriter, so there wasn't much need to know before then.

Having access to a computer offers a lot of different learning opportunities for children. There are educational games, software and websites. When they ask questions that we don't know the answer to, we can quickly get some information on line - and we both learn in the process.

Recently, I had the opportunity to download and review a copy of SpellQuizzer spelling software. SpellQuizzer is a spelling program that you can use on your home computer to help your child practice his spelling skills. With SpellQuizzer, you create spelling lists by typing in the list of words that your child is learning. Then, you use a microphone to record the word. Newer laptops comes with a built-in microphone, but the computer that the kids use doesn't have one, so we had to dig up a microphone.
My son's teacher typically sends home six spelling lists at a time, so we were able to create several spelling lists at once. When he wants to quiz himself, my son is able to open up the program and select which list he wants to try. The list can come up in the order you typed or you can check a box to have it randomized. For each word, the program will play your recording and then your child types in the word. Once they are done typing, they select the check spelling button and the program will let them know if it is right or wrong (along with the correct spelling) and then move on. At the end, it gives them a chance to try the words that they missed again.

Overall, I really like the program. I like that I can create my own custom spelling lists. Once you have added a word to a list, it is added to the database and then you can create new lists by selecting any of the words from the database. This is great for those mid-year or end of year cumulative tests and to just keep them practicing on the words that are more challenging.

My son, who is learning to type at 7 (like I said I was 16 or 17 when I took typing in high school), used the program to create his own list of words - a list of words that all can be spelled on the home row. This was actually a very beneficial and creative exercise from my perspective. First, he was using the letters to try to create words - I love Scrabble and other word play games. Plus, he was using the software to learn more than it was designed for, which was very creative on his part. I certainly wouldn't have thought of it.

Some other facts about the program:
- There are several free downloadable spelling lists for SpellQuizzer on their web site at These lists include pre-made sound recordings.
- There is a page on the site specifically directed toward homeschoolers:
- SpellQuizzer's built-in spellchecker recognizes both US and UK English spellings. The spellchecker warns the user when creating a spelling list if they enter a word that appears to be spelled incorrectly. Because of this safeguard it's reasonably safe to let children create their own spelling lists guided by the curriculum they are working on.

Blog Tour, Product/Book Name: SpellQuizzer.

Price: $29.95.

Put out by: TedCo Software.

You can check out a video demonstration of the software here.

You can like SpellQuizzer on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.

No compensation was received for this post. All opinions expressed are my own. I did receive a complimentary copy of the software for our use and writing this review, through my relationship with MamaBzz.