I had the opportunity to
review a free copy of SpellQuizzer homeschool spelling software recently; the offer couldn't have come at a
better time, really!
For spelling, my daughter usually writes her words out multiple times,
and completes various activities and exercises to help her remember them
- spelling is included in our unity study curriculum.
Anyway, when I handed my fifth grade daughter her most recent spelling words that coincide with our current unit study, she looked at them and began to cry.
Each had to do with a part/system of the body, etc. like: integumentary, carbohydrates, lymphatic, endocrine, circulatory, respiratory, excretory, proteins, reproductive, etc. - eighteen words from our unit on the human body. After completing multiple homeschool spelling exercises, she still wasn't mastering her words.
I had my 18yo install our copy of SpellQuizzer and set it up on our family computer for our ten year old. It wasn't hard to download and install. After setting up the program, we, ok, she - our 18yo, created our first spelling list. The only downfall was our family computer doesn't have a built-in microphone and we haven't been able to find our headset, since we moved. It doesn't really matter though, you can use SpellQuizzer with or without a microphone.
Having a microphone is definitely a plus; you just type the word, record it, along with a short sentence, and move on through your list until you are done. Adding a list of words doesn't take but a few minutes. When your child goes through the list, they will hear the word, along with the sentence and then will type the word into the field on the screen.
You can also add spelling lists to SpellQuizzer, by:
1. typing in words with a definition, without recording (your child reads the definition and then types in the spelling word).
2. uploading spelling lists.
Since we didn't have a microphone, my 18yo typed in definitions for all the words. Although it was harder for my fifth grader to practice her spelling words - she had to know the definitions to be able to spell the word, it ended up being a blessing in disguise. She not only learned to spell all eighteen words, she learned their definitions too!
My 10yo daughter got really frustrated when she first started practicing her words on the SpellQuizzer homeschool spelling program. The words were already difficult to spell, and now she had to know the meaning of each word before she could type in her answer! Her first few times through the list, she got many wrong. Once she got over the fact that she would have to work on her words repeatedly, and it was okay if she spelled a word wrong, her attitude changed. After a few days, she actually enjoyed going through her list and I didn't have to tell her to do spelling; she just did it!
When she didn't know a definition, she would read the definition out loud to me and I would say the spelling word. (To be honest with you, sometimes I didn't know the definition and had to quickly look it up to tell her the word - it's been a long time since I took Biology!) Sometimes I would let her think for a bit - if she typed the wrong word with the definition, the definition would come up again. She started remembering the definitions AND got the spelling correct too.
For misspelled words, your child sees, "Sorry that was incorrect. The correct spelling is: _______________ " (the correct spelling is in green). Underneath the misspelled word, your child will see: "The word you entered is _____________________", in red text. This was helpful for my daughter, as she could find her mistake and see the correct spelling.
SpellQuizzer remembers the misspelled words. Once your child completes the list, the program asks them if they want to review the misspelled words. The student can click yes, or no. Misspelled words keep coming up until all words are spelled correctly. If your child makes no mistakes while going through the entire list, he/she hears the sound of clapping/cheering from an audience upon completion. My daughter loved hearing that sound; she would make everyone near her stop what they were doing on her last word, so we would all hear the "cheer" at the end. :)
After almost two weeks, she mastered all her spelling words and definitions! She even came to me and said she was ready for her (written) spelling test whenever I wanted to give it to her. She also asked if I wanted her to start on her next set of spelling words from our upcoming Ancient Rome unit (pretty impressive!). So, without her foreknowledge, I had her sit down the other day and I gave her a spelling test and... she got perfect! She knows the definition of each word and often talks about her words. I even caught her using the magnetic letters on our fridge the other day. After a few seconds she stepped away and said, "Look, mom! INTEGUMENTARY!"
SpellQuizzer homeschool spelling software will enhance any child's spelling lessons, but
especially those who struggle with, or hate spelling. The program is affordable
- only $29.98; you can use it for for the whole family and add an unlimited
number of spelling lists. You can also download a 30-day free trial, to try it before you buy it.
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