Friday, March 6, 2009

SpellQuizzer Software: A TOS Homeschool Crew Review

I'm always on the lookout for something that combines fun and learning, and SpellQuizzer spelling software fits my criteria! SpellQuizzer is a spelling program that helps us practice spelling words and vocabulary words. Priced at $29.95, the program offers purchasers the option to use pre-programmed lists of spelling words or to enter your own lists of words. We like the way we can customize it to a particular unit study or lesson in terms of vocabulary. I can imagine the software would be great for working on foreign language spelling and vocab, as well.

SpellQuizzer works with or without a microphone. I purchased the least expensive microphone at a nearby electronics store for about $12, and we have used the program with it and without it. We like using the microphone -- it's just FUN that way (*grin*), but the program is equally effective without the microphone.

The download was quite simple; I was able to put it on our two family computers with no problems, and we began entering lists of words pretty quickly. The software is very user friendly! The concept is simple: You use a pre-programmed word list or you enter your own list,--if you use your own list, then you enter the voiced recording of that word and save it, --enter an optional hint (a hint is required if you're not using the microphone), and begin! Students type the words after a spoken prompt or pre-programmed (by you) hint on the screen. The SpellQuizzer web site is quite descriptive in terms of showing potential buyers an inside look at the product, and the company offers a free trial download as well. Please check it out!

The ability to add your own voice recording makes the software very customizable. For example, with a child who needs experience on auditory discrimination of vowel sounds within one-syllable words, I can record exactly what I want to emphasize on the spelling lists for that child. Instead of saying "pet", I can customize that list and record "pet. puh - eh - tuh. pet."

Ya know, sometimes, you look at a product and you know if you buy it, it's not going to be useful to all of the students in the family, because some products are geared for older students or younger ones. SpellQuizzer spans the age and grade ranges -- because you have the option to enter your own word lists, this software isn't limited to a certain demographic in terms of users.
And because users type answers back to the program, our children gain keyboarding experience as well.

If you have a laptop, you can take your spelling on the road when you travel, without having to keep up with paper lists.

My kids crack up at my voice on the recordings (I still carry a southern dialect that my children have not grown in the midwest, much to my dismay, y'all) and they are able to practice "with" me (my voice, anyway) during times when I might need to be doing something else. I'm going to say "fun" again -- THIS SOFTWARE IS REALLY FUN!

For other Crewmate reviews of this product, check out the TOS Homeschool Crew blog here.

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