February 11, 2010

SpellQuizzer Review & Give Away

I was contacted by Dan from SpellQuizzer to review their product.  I was curious to see if this really would work with any spelling program.  And I do believe it will.

We use Spell to Write and Read (SWR) and in SWR you spell by phonograms and think to spell strategies. We spell by dictation so for the spelling word  "low" we dictate the sounds  /l/   /O/   and then we cue a phonogram identifier if needed (we use the /ow/ phonograms 2nd sound)  There is actually more detail to this but hopefully you get the idea.  It is not the typical spelling program so I was initially skeptical that it would work for our particular program.
 The program was very simple to get up and running.  You can choose from lists already compiled or create your own, which is what I did. To create your own list, you need a headset and microphone if you want the to make an audio recording.  If you don't have a microphone headset you can give a reminder phrase. For example, for the spelling word "apple" you might type a word clue like "a fruit that is red, yellow, or green". 
 I starting setting up a list to test the product.  I chose to go the audio route and record our words because we use dictation.  I said the word, gave a sentence, offered the dictation (breaking down the phonograms) and then repeated the word.  In the area for typing in words, I provided the cues for which phonogram or spelling rule was being used.  For the spelling word "late" I had as a cue "use a strong-man silent e".

 The word can be listened to as often as needed by clicking the "play word" button.  You type in the word and then click the "check spelling" button or the enter key and you move on to the next word.  If a word is missed, it shows you the correct spelling and what you typed in, and you have the opportunity to retry the missed words at the end.  I really like this feature. The children are not feeling rushed or being left behind by the program. 
 At first my children would type the words into the program, but after a couple of times, I decided to have them first write the word on paper and then find the letters to type into the program window.  This really works well for us. After two weeks of using SpellQuizzer, I realized I could have sound effects related to the correct or incorrect spelling; the choices are so fun.  My kids were giggling about it for days after we turned on that feature.

 This program is NOT just for spelling.  This would easily work for vocabulary words by entering the definition into the reminder phrase section.  One evening it occured to me that I could use this program for practicing phonograms.  I set it up and it works fabulously. There is no doubt that I will purchase this program once my free trial period is over.

 Here is the pricing breakdown for this program.  This is a one time expense. You can also enjoy a free trial to test it for yourself here.


 So how would I rate this product?

 Ease of Use = excellent
Produce Results = excellent
Value to homeschool = excellent
Would I recommend this?  YES absolutely!

To read more about how this could benefit your homeschool read here. You can also use this to quiz vocabulary words.

The quickest way to get an idea of how SpellQuizzer works is to view the online video demonstrations on the SpellQuizzer web site. To view the SpellQuizzer video demonstrations go to http://www.spellquizzer.com/SpellQuizzer-Demo.htm.

From their site:
With SpellQuizzer the teacher or parent can create a student's spelling list in minutes making audio recordings of the words which the SpellQuizzer will play back to the student when they are quizzed. When the student uses the software SpellQuizzer walks them through their spelling list by playing each word's sound recording and displaying a reminder phrase for each word. The student types in each word as they are quizzed. When a word is spelled incorrectly the SpellQuizzer corrects the student displaying the correct spelling of the word. Once the student has completed the list SpellQuizzer either congratulates them (if they entered all the words correctly) or re-quizzes them on the words they missed. It takes only minutes a day for a typical student to master their weekly spelling list using SpellQuizzer.

 Dan has offered a free license for Spell Quizzer to one lucky reader.  You will have the opportunity to enter twice.  Here is what you need to do to enter.  The winner will be announced March 1st.
  1. Leave a comment on this post - be sure and leave a way to contact you in case you win.
  2. Link to this post on your blog helping me spread the word and then come back here and let me know how to find it.
Note: I was given a free 30 day trial of this product to review. I was not paid for my opinion - it is what it is.

1 comment:

  1. I'll leave a comment :) It looks like an interesting product - thanks for the thoughtful review.


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