Saturday, March 7, 2009


As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I have been given the wonderful opportunity to review many homeschool products over the next several months. I feel truly blessed to be participating in this review group and I'm looking forward to trying out the products and giving you my honest opinion.

While attending a cottage school during our first years of homeschooling, we used a program that focused heavily on Spelling beginning in Kindergarten. To be honest we felt a little bogged down by all the spelling and this year I decided to step away from it for a time to simply focus on the joy of reading. I'm happy to say that our children's reading fluency and comprehension have improved by leaps and bounds this year! Spelling, however...well, not so much.

For that reason, I was totally excited to try out a fun spelling software called SpellQuizzer. You can use it with any spelling program you own and it is so simple. SpellQuizzer is designed to quiz your student on their spelling words, making spelling practice fun.

This shows the main menu of SpellQuizzer. Students will either choose "Quiz me on a list!" or "Create a spelling list". That's right...if you don't have time to enter the weekly spelling list in, let your student enter in their words for even more practice. SpellQuizzer has a built in spell-checker, so there's no need to worry about misspelled words. You can even import or export spelling lists to other SpellQuizer users (great for homeschool co-ops) or from the SpellQuizzer website.

Now here's where I think this program gets really fun. When you are making your spelling lists you will need to do one of two things for SpellQuizzer to do its job. First, you can type in a reminder phrase to prompt your student to type in the correct word. OR you can use the microphone on your computer to record a sentence that will play to quiz your students. If you don't have a microphone on your computer, you can use the "reminder phrase" option, but I highly recommend purchasing a $10 microphone because this is the true gem of this program! My kids love hearing my voice, or their own, and the silly phrases we come up with for their spelling words. I always try to use their names in the sentences as well, which they especially like. They can't wait to type in the word correctly and hear the next sentence.

Finally, the student is quizzed on the words. If they need to hear the sentence again, they can hit "Play Word". They type in the word (and my kids really appreciate the option of typing rather than writing the words over and over) and click on "Check Spelling". If they spelled the word wrong, they will immediately be shown the correct spelling and will have the option of repeating the word at the end of the list.

While not its specific purpose, I have found other creative options for SpellQuizzer as well. You can quiz your students' on Vocabulary words or even dictate sentences to them using this software. Pretty cool.

Check out video demonstrations of SpellQuizzer or try a FREE 30 Day Trial. You can purchase the downloadable program for only $29.95. Even with the purchase of a computer microphone, I think that's a pretty good deal.

Check out other reviews of this product at the TOS Crew blog.

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