SpellQuizzer: A Review

SpellQuizzer is a spelling program for helping children learn their spelling words.  My little Jay loves to spell.  I helped him along, but he largely taught himself to read at the age of 2.5 years old.  We started reading with him by spelling with him.  We would talk about sounds and how they added up to words.  I really believe that the game of spelling is what spurred his desire to read so early.  I was excited to review SpellQuizzer, but to really take it to the test, I asked a Kami, a friend of mine to give it a try with her daughter Lily who is 7 years old.

I teach Kami's daughter piano lessons and know them well.  I know that spelling is a HUGE challenge for Lily.  I knew that Kami was already spending 1 hour EVERY NIGHT working with Lily on her spelling words.  Even with all the time and effort she spent with her Lily was definitely still struggling.  She never got good scores on her spelling tests at school.  Lily has mild dislexia.  Spelling can be a struggle for anyone, but was a real challenge for Lily.
(Note: the names of my friends have been altered to respect and protect little Lily)

Kami was eager to give the program a try.  She was thrilled to find out how simple to use and to enter the words in.  You are able to enter and save each spelling list individually.

Both Kami and Lily love the option of creating a sound recording to accompany each word.  With just a click of the button Kami says the word and a sentence that uses the word.  It takes just a few minutes for her to put Lily's entire spelling list with sound recordings into the computer with her computer's microphone.
  An added benefit seems to be vocabulary use.  With the each word that Kami inputs, she also records a sentence to go along with it.  It's VERY easy to add the recording that goes along with the words. Just click, speak, and click.  

SpellQuizzer chooses the words randomly and the recording is available for Lily.  She simply types in the spelling word that she hears.  If she is right, she goes on to the next word.  If Lily makes a mistake, it shows her the way that she spelled the word, as well as the correct spelling.  Kami said that this was a HUGE benefit for Lily.  She receives immediate feedback so she could correct the spelling.

At the end of each spelling list SpellQuizzer displays how many words were correct and asks if you would like to retry the list again.  Kami used to go through the list with Lily 3 times a night.  Now, Lily just goes through the list on her own until she gets all the words right.  Since they started using SpellQuizzer Lily has shown tremendous improvement in her spelling tests at school.  Kami also appreciates the benefit of not being tied to spelling practice for an hour each night.  Once she sets up the list, Lily is all set for the week and can practice on her own.  

Another benefit Kami has seen with Lily is that she has improved her typing skills by using the computer each night for her spelling practice.  At school, Lily's spelling test is also a handwriting grade.  So Kami has Lily practice writing the words in cursive as well each night, just like they did before.

Since Kami has been putting Lily's spelling lists into the computer for several weeks, she has them all saved there and Lily can continue to practice them through the summer, another benefit of the program.  Kami is hoping that by using SpellQuizzer through the summer too that Lily will find next year to be easier for her.  She can always add new lists in too.

SpellQuizzer has changed their family's life.  Kami said that before, life was miserable.   She was tied to Lily's spelling and neither was enjoying it.  Now, Lily is learning to take responsibility and work on her homework independently.  It also allows Lily to test herself and not rely on Mom to do it (but it's easy for Mom to check in).

SpellQuizzer allows you to download spelling lists too from their website.  You can also change your lists or come back and add more words into the list.  The flexibility of this program makes it useful for a variety of ages and levels.  Especially since it was so EASY to use!

The one downside for our family with SpellQuizzer is that it is only formatted for a PC and we are a Mac family.  Luckily, Kami has a PC that has a microphone in it so it worked great for her.

Homeschool families would also really benefit from this program.  Mom has a lot to do already with teaching the material.  Utilizing SpellQuizzer would allow the children to practice on their own with the different lists saved for each child.  Younger children would move up into lists already inputted for older children.  For more info about the benefits of SpellQuizzer for spelling practice to Homeschool families click here.

SpellQuizzer is easy enough to use that a child can enter the spelling word lists by herself/himself as she/he gets older.
SpellQuizzer is very affordable and you can also download a 30-day trail for free.  Lily said that she enjoyed using the spelling lists and doing the spelling tests.  There was less tension in  the mother/daughter relationship too :)

So, would I purchase it for my family?  The answer is yes, as soon as it is available on a Mac... In the meantime, we're over at Kami's to play with it :)  You can use it to teach/learn a new language as well.  We recently started Spanish lessons and it seems like SpellQuizzer would be beneficial there too, since it is so easy to customize.  I could have our Spanish teacher record the words with the correct pronunciation.  Hmmm...the possibilities!

SpellQuizzer was a fun and educational Little Project.  Go check it out :)

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