Saturday, March 7, 2009

SpellQuizzer


Looking for a supplement to your favorite spelling program? Or maybe spelling quizzes for multiple kiddos with different spelling lists takes up a chunk of your morning? Maybe you're looking for a painless way to reinforce the parts of a flower, animal classification, or to remember the names of Renaissance explorers? SpellQuizzer might be just the tool you're looking for.

SpellQuizzer is a simple and easy to use little program designed by Daniel Hite, founder of TedCo Software. The program enables you to create custom spelling lists with recorded clues for each word. You can use your PC's microphone to record the word and a sentence for each word using your own voice. Make it fun by using a silly voice, or tell a joke using the word...it's all up to you. For added practice, have your child record his own spelling words. There are some prerecorded lists available for download from the website, as well (including graded, frequently misspelled words, the months, the days, and the 50 states). And, you can export your own spelling lists to share with fellow homeschoolers using SpellQuizzer. If you don't have a microphone for your PC, you also have the option of typing in a clue up to 100 characters long.

When your child takes a "quiz," he gets immediate feedback for any incorrectly spelled words (a window pops up with the correct spelling in green and the spelling he gave in red). When he's completed the quiz, he'll get a fanfare if he had 100% correct, or the option to retry any words he spelled incorrectly.

The latest update has added the ability to use symbols like +=<>/, which has really opened up the application possibilities for this neat, little program. Here are just of a few I've come up with on my own:
  • math facts
  • math vocabulary
  • science vocabulary
  • people in history
  • homophones
  • books of the Bible
If you have a reluctant writer (and I sure do), typing the answers on a keyboard may help with "quiz resistance." While quizzing of spelling words is not a high priority for us as a family at the moment, as David seems to be a natural born speller, this program will definitely come in handy for some of these other applications.

The only real disadvantages I see are:
  • There are not many prerecorded lists available, though more are being added.
  • There is no progress report or any other "proof" to print out and put in your student's portfolio.
  • There is a little dialogue a box that pops up whenever you enter the same "spelling" word more than once. While this is a nice feature to avoid typing duplicate entries, it's a bit annoying if you are trying to enter math facts where the same "word" (number) might have several different clues that it is the answer to---it would be nice to be able to turn it off.
SpellQuizzer is available for purchase and download from TedCo Software for $29.95. It runs on Windows 98/ME/2000/XP/Vista. Want to see it in action, first? There's a free trial download available here and demo videos here.

For more reviews of this software by other homeschoolers, be sure to click the banner below:

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