Thursday, March 4, 2010

Spelling with SpellQuizzer

We've been using some new software to help with spelling. Mostly our seven year old has been using SpellQuizzer to help him get through spelling lists from school. I did a little experimenting to see if this helped or hindered his success in spelling and came out with some interesting results. SpellQuizzer is a spelling program that helps kids learn their spelling and vocabulary words.

He has struggled a little with spelling when we first transitioned from home school to public school. Traci and I found he just wasn't spending time studying his word lists and we started keeping after him more closely, making sure we ran through the list every evening and reviewed his words. It helped. He quickly turned his spelling grade around. We were able to get him to start trying the 'challenge words' at the end of the regular spelling list. He was starting to even get a few of the challenge words correct.

We were then approached by SpellQuizzer to try their software and give our opinion here on the blog. SpellQuizzer is spelling software for children that need help learning their spelling and vocabulary words. We had been homeschooling but our children had recently returned to public school. It was a great time to try a different way to help Shane learn his spelling words.

SpellQuizzer is a piece of software, easily loaded and run on any PC or Mac running the windows operating system. We downloaded the software and had it up and running within about ten minutes. The concept behind SpellQuizzer was to enter the spelling words and provide a sentence using the word and Shane would type in the word with attention to correct spelling. The software grades his spelling and notifies him when he has missed a word.
The software is simple to set up. With six buttons at the start menu a person can create a spelling list, be quizzed on a spelling list, import or export lists or edit current lists. The buttons are self explanatory. I was able to set up Shane's first list with only a few minor hiccups due to learning the ins and outs of the buttons.

The creation of the spelling list flows quickly. I could enter Shane's fifteen word list and record the sentences using the words. I tried to keep the sentences funny and entertaining for Shane. He enjoyed listening to the sentences and I enjoyed watching his reactions to the silliness. The list creation can be navigated by the mouse or through tabbing and using enter. There is an area on the SpellQuizzer where you can discuss various techniques for education and download spelling lists or add your spelling lists for others to use.

The SpellQuizzer web site has pre-made downloadable spelling lists that you can download and use with SpellQuizzer. I browsed through the website and found some discussions about homeschooling.

The big question I had was would SpellQuizzer work. It did help Shane get better grades on his spelling tests. He has gotten 100's on all of the tests we used SpellQuizzer for. He had to be reminded strongly every night to do his SpellQuizzer. I didn't notice him getting up on his own to do his spelling. He was able to start the program and pick out the list for the week on his own. My only concern was we had had some interaction when studying the words together without SpellQuizzer. When he started SpellQuizzer we weren't studying together but he would often laugh and talk about the sentences I had made up. I asked him if he liked SpellQuizzer and he looked at me, smiled and said with perfect seven year old articulation, "Yeah, I guess."

I liked SpellQuizzer. It was easy to use for me and for Shane.

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