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Saturday, August 22, 2009

SpellQuizzer Review

SpellQuizzer is a simple, yet powerful, tool that allows kids to practice their spelling at the computer. If your kids are like mine they are extremely comfortable with using the computer for all sorts of things including educational activities, and SpellQuizzer will fit right in to their homeschool routine or homework time. It is a painless and fun way to do spelling without having to write by hand or be quizzed by a parent. Spelling lists are available for you to use in the SpellQuizzer program, or you can input school or homeschool lists as often as you want and for multiple spelling levels. You can do what we did and make up lists for fun and practice! We had a good time making a special Harry Potter word list for my younger son who is huge fan of the series. Or you can tackle a traditional set of spelling lists or practice for spelling bees.

SpellQuizzer is easy to use. You simply input the proper spelling for your chosen word. Then you record a verbal prompt. You will need a microphone to record your voice, or your child's voice, giving the prompt for the spelling word. I got my microphone for about twelve bucks. One of our prompts was: "Snape. Snape is the potions master at Hogwarts." SpellQuizzer is great because you can personalize the prompts and make them funny and relevant for your particular child. Once your list is created and the audio recorded your child is ready to be quizzed. One thing we love about the program is the ability to choose a favorite "happy sound" to play following a correctly spelled word.

An additional use for this program would be to quiz a child simultaneously on content and spelling for almost any subject. For example, the reminder phrase (prompt) could be something like: What is the capital of Alaska? What is the name for an action word? Spell the number that is the product of seven and eight. What is the name of the thigh bone?

To get a better feeling for the SpellQuizzer program and for a free download visit: http://www.spellquizzer.com/index.htm
Note: I was provided with a free copy of this program in order to try it out and write a review.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Firelight on the Mac

I am researching relaxation methods and found this tonight. How is it that watching a fireplace fire flickering on Youtube in mid August works? After all it has gone over 90 degrees here for days and we have no AC hooked up. Somehow this 10 Minute Relaxation from Paul Collier was just what my six year old and his uptight mama needed.

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