PROS / Personal Best Spelling has a unique approach to correcting a misspelled word through exercises that have you practice spelling the word incorrectly and then condition you to spell it the right way.
CONS / This spelling software lacks spelling activities beyond simple lessons and tests.
VERDICT / While Personal Best Spelling can help you learn to spell, the software is basic and doesn't provide variety to increase your motivation.
Personal Best Spelling is affordable spelling software intended to help people of all ages learn how to spell. With a basic interface and straightforward lessons, it is easy to use. However, the lack of activities, games and color make it less useful for teaching young children.
The software does not come with any word lists on it. It comes with two demo lists that have two words in each of them. You can add your own custom word lists or download word lists from Personal Best Spelling's website for a small fee. The software does offer audio recordings of the instructions and spelling words.
There are three different types of lessons on the software. The learning and testing portions are very similar. The learning portion has you say the words aloud, type them five times and then write five different sentences with them. The testing portion shows you each word on your spelling list and then asks you to type each one.
In all the lessons, the software shows you the word right before testing your spelling of it. Seeing the word may skew the test results, since it is possible you are only remembering what you saw. Other applications use audio recordings that prompt you to spell the word without seeing it first, which may be a more effective way of learning.
The software also features what it calls the Old Way/New Way method of learning. In this lesson, you write the old and incorrect spelling of a word five times, then the correct spelling five times and a sentence explaining the difference. Afterward, you write five sentences with the correct spelling of that word. This method is effective for many people.
Personal Best Spelling has few additional resources. There are no worksheets, games or flashcards to supplement the software. You can print off your own customized word lists, though, as well as any of Personal Best Spelling's word lists you have purchased from the website, but this isn't much compared to the resources the best spelling programs offer.
While the software identifies immediate errors in your spelling, it does not keep track of the words you spell incorrectly, so you cannot work on those specific words. However, it does add words that you misspell into your spelling practice more frequently so you can continue to work on them. The software also allows for multiple users so that everyone in your family can use the spelling software. Children will probably not enjoy it as much as software that includes spelling games for kids, however.
Personal Best Spelling offers technical support in case you have issues with the software. The company website houses a user guide, a FAQs section, email forms and a support telephone number.
Personal Best Spelling is a helpful tool in learning how to spell. The Old Way/New Way approach is a unique way to correct the way you spell words. However, the program lacks variety in spelling exercises, and the interface is very basic. It also lacks additional resources and assessment tools. Overall, it's not as versatile to accommodate different ages and learning styles as the best spelling programs.