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Review: SpellQuizzer

Some parts of homeschooling are repetitive, necessary, and, let’s face it, just plain draining.  Dictating spelling lists comes to mind.

I don’t do much of that anymore, though.  Instead, our family uses SpellQuizzer, a simple, streamlined, and very effective computer spelling program.

For several months, my younger girls (8 and 10) would sit down at the computer regularly and listen to their brother’s voice reading their word lists. 

Now we’ve downloaded some of the free spelling lists that come with the program—enough for many years of spelling—and the Little Misses are working their way through them as well.  We are all pleased with the program.

How it Works

SpellQuizzer is very easy to use.  The main screen is uncluttered and totally self-explanatory.

SpellQuizzer Main Screen

To begin, the child clicks on “Quiz me on a list!”  Then he chooses a list from the ones you have downloaded or created, and learns the words as shown in the video “Practicing with a spelling list.”  Basically, the computer reads the word (and the accompanying sentence or definition if there is one) out loud and the student types it.  If necessary the student can listen to the word again. When a word is spelled incorrectly, the correct spelling is immediately shown.  After completing the list, a student can choose to redo any misspelled words.  Cheers reward a perfectly spelled list. 

Parental preparation is minimal. All a mom has to do is enter the spelling list, as shown in the screen shot below, or import a free list from SpellQuizzer.  I think entering the words using the audio feature, so that the child can hear the words, is best.  However, if audio doesn’t work for you, you can just type in a reminder phrase instead.  You can apparently share lists with other SpellQuizzer users, either privately or using the forums, but we have not yet tried that. 

All I have had to do, besides making sure that the lists have been downloaded or entered, is to prepare a written check-list for my children so we will know which spelling lists they have mastered and which ones they still need to work on.

List Creation Screen

SpellQuizzer Possiblities

SpellQuizzer can be used as a supplement to another spelling program, or it can be used on its own.  To use it as a supplement to your current spelling program, all you have to do is enter the word lists, and that’s simple.  To use it on its own, you can download the free spelling lists, and that is even simpler.  These lists include the first two levels of AVKO as well as several years of a public school spelling program, both of which present carefully considered word choices.  Spelling bee word lists are available for older students.   

Currently, no one in our home is preparing for the SAT test, but I am already making SpellQuizzer lists of vocabulary words for next year, using Barron’s SAT word lists. For each entry, I type in the word and then read it and Barron’s example sentence out loud. (Yes, I know the SAT is not really about spelling, but to me SAT prep work is mostly about learning for real life.)

We were considering using SpellQuizzer for French vocabulary as well, but we have not yet memorized the locations of all the accent marks on the keyboard.  This, of course, has nothing to do with SpellQuizzer itself, but the extra effort that would be required has stopped this project for now.

Our Opinions

Our family highly recommends SpellQuizzer.  It is streamlined, easy-to-use, effective, and versatile.  Besides being a convenient time-saver for busy moms, it actually has advantages over traditional written spelling practice and tests, since misspelled words are corrected immediately.  The children enjoy using SpellQuizzer, and Mr. 16 enjoyed entering the word lists.  As a computer geek, he is very impressed with the technical aspects of this program and repeatedly told me to give it a very good review.

We have encountered only one problem with SpellQuizzer:  During word entry it can be very time-consuming to access the data base if it is quite full.  However, since accessing the data base is unnecessary, most homeschoolers would not even face this difficulty.

If you are looking for spelling software, do try the 30-day free trial offered by SpellQuizzer.  A license costs $29.95 US and includes a 60-day 100% satisfaction guarantee. 

Disclosure:  Our family received a complimentary license of SpellQuizzer from Dan Hite of TedCo Software in order to prepare this review.  As always, the views expressed in my reviews represent my own honest opinions.

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2 Comments

  1. JoAnn says:

    We’ve used that for over a year now and we really like it. It helps out great for my son’s spelling words & multiplication review. 🙂

    JoAnn

    1. Annie Kate says:

      Oh, you’re using it for math! Now there’s an idea! I can see so many possibilities with that!

      Annie Kate

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