Spelling – Does it matter?

My editor called me today to remind me that I misspelled a word on a survey I posted online yesterday.  (Actually, her title is good friend.)  While we joke about my poor writing skills, it does bring us to a very important subject.  Is spelling really that big of deal?  After all, we do live in the computer age where spell check proves to be most essential.  I find due to my dependence upon the computer that when it comes to teaching my children how to spell, I lack lustre.  (Just trying to be honest here.)

Nevertheless, I do my best to not let the war in my mind transcend to my children.  Spelling is important!  Why?  It is because we will not always have a keyboard under our fingers.  We will not always have access to a computer.  And sometimes even when we do, the computer fails us.  I should not depend upon my computer for everything.  God created us with an amazing computer of our own – our mind.  We should use it.  As His children we should be a testimony of God working in our lives.  And yes!  We should be diligent in all things.  That even includes leaning how to spell correctly.  Why?  Simply because we can use our writing skills to show God’s greatness, bring others to Him, and give Him glory.  I want my children to understand this.  Therefore, I teach spelling!

Now, I cannot speak for all homeschooling parents but I can speak for the many I’ve talked to over the past decade.  And I most certainly speak for this one. 

Teaching your children to spell can be frustrating!

Some children pick up on it very easily.  They always make 100% on their spelling tests.  They love writing their words each day and never struggle with misspelled words.  If this is your children thank the Lord.  If it is not, don’t fret.  You are among a great group of people.

Thankfully, because we do live in a computer age we are blessed with many great resources.  (Did I mention that I love computers?)  One resource that I have used over the years is SpellingCity.

It is free, easy to use, and f – u – n! 

You simply go to their website and enter your spelling words then choose Test Me, Teach Me, or Play a Game.

It is a great way for children to learn how to spell.  After taking an online spelling test, students can print out a report, retake the entire test, or get tested only on the spelling words they got wrong the first time.  And talk about a time saver.  It is a great tool for busy parents who just do not have the time to sit and review spelling words with each child over and over again.

Like I said, I have used SpellingCity before so when I was given the opportunity to review SpellingCity’s Premium Membership I was thrilled!  For a family (up to 5 students) the Premium Membership is $24.99.  In addition to all the great features SpellingCity already offers, with the paid membership you get: 

  • Automatic test grading and student grade book
  • Complete activity tracking of all student activities 
  • Access to their Premium Games
  • Telephone support

So let me recommend SpellingCity.  It is a great resource for all types of people – those who homeschool, teachers (SpellingCity also has a classroom version), parents with children in public school, grandparents who help out with schoolwork, and any child who takes a weekly spelling test.

Does spelling matter?  Yes.  

Does it have to be difficult?  No. 

Can learning how to spell be fun for both parents and students?  Absolutely – when you go to www.spellingcity.com.  To see what others are saying about Spelling City you can go here.


Disclaimer:  As a member of The Old Schoolhouse 2010-2011 Crew, I received SpellingCity’s Premium Membership free of charge in exchange for an honest product review.   I do not receive any other form of compensation for the reviews posted on this blog.

SpellQuizzer Review and Giveaway!

 The month of June at the Williams home is a time for swimming, basketball, popsicles, VBS, grilled food, vacations, and lots of visiting. Our computers and schoolbooks are put away for a season as we enjoy the summer months. That is why when Dan Hite, founder of Tedco Software, contacted me about a review for his software program, SpellQuizzer, I was somewhat apprehensive. I was not too sure about how my children would respond with coming in from the pool to work on spelling and vocabulary words. However, my fears were quickly put to rest. All of my children love this program. It is fun, easy to use, and very beneficial. Let me explain…  

 SpellQuizzer is an educational program developed for Windows that help children learn their spelling and vocabulary words. With SpellQuizzer,  you enter the child’s spelling words into the software making a sound recording of each word. SpellQuizzer then quizzes your child on his or her words. The program was so user friendly that in a few short minutes I was able to explain to Andrew, my 7 year old, how to create his own spelling list himself. He loved being quizzed by his own voice.   
In addition to being extremely easy to setup, my favorite feature of this software is that it is not designed with any one spelling curriculum in mind. I will use this program with my 2nd grader, 6th grader, and 8th grader.    From kindergarten to high school, this program will compliment virtually any spelling curriculum. In fact, a program like this would have been quite valuable to me two decades ago when I was in college taking medical terminology classes.    

 The software has a built-in spell checker that warns the user when entering a word that appears to be spelled incorrectly. And there is a community area on their web site with discussion forums.  Also on the web site is an area where users can easily export and import SpellQuizzer spelling list to share with other SpellQuizzer users.  

  As a home schooling parent, I am very selective in my curriculum choices. Not only does it need to be a good value for my money but also must have practical value. This program is both and is one that I would recommend for those in home education.

However, it is not just for those who homeschool. I will recommend this to anyone with children who might struggle with spelling or just want to have fun learning new words.    

Let me suggest that you go to the website, view the video demonstrations, and download your free trial version of the SpellQuizzer. Dan Hite at Tedco Software has been so kind to offer a free license ($29.00 value) to one of my blessed readers. To register drop me an email, kimberlyw1@wildblue.net with the subject line SpellQuizzer. I will announce the winner on July 1st  

And be sure to tell your friends!