PROS / School Zone Spelling has several fun and interactive games to help teach children how to spell.
CONS / There are no spelling tests to verify your child knows their spelling words.
VERDICT / This is effective spelling software for children, because the spelling games and activities teach them how to spell without them even realizing they're learning.
School Zone Spelling bundles two different pieces of spelling software into one application that includes four games and several other fun activities to teach children how to spell. The games draw words from the 2,800-word database. This spelling program allows you to add words and has an audio recording for each word in its database. The four fun spelling games for kids make this software a great way to engage your children in learning and practicing spelling.
Giant Shell is an unscrambling game where you switch two letters to form the correct spelling of a word. You can use words from the database or your own custom word list. In Sunken Ship, you hear the audio of a word and then spell it. In Deep Sea Cave, you see misspelled words mixed with the correct spelling of a word and choose the correct one.
SpellDown is different from the other games because it is a multiplayer game. The game pits two young spellers against one another, or you can choose to play against the computer. The players compete for points by spelling words from the database correctly. You can build a custom word list of 12 words in this game. The software also includes mini spelling activities like word searches and challenges to unscramble, fill in the blank, listen and spell, fix the word and guess the word. You can make customized word lists and print them off for your children.
The software keeps track of your child's progress. Your kids can go to the Treasure Chest or Tropical Lagoon to redeem their rewards for good spelling. You can find a scoreboard on the control panel that shows you how many words your child has spelled correctly. You can also print personalized reports from this spelling software. However, the software does not formally test children on what they've learned like the best spelling programs do, which would give you a clearer picture of how they're coming along.
There are only five navigational buttons, so most children should be able to handle the interface easily. School Zone's website offers an email address and a phone number you can call for technical support. You'll also find a FAQs page and a user guide for School Zone Spelling.
School Zone Spelling is designed to teach younger kids how to spell through various games and activities. For some adults and older children, the spelling exercises might be too simple, but they could be handy for those who need an enjoyable review. For young children, in particular, this is effective spelling software, since its entertainment value adds motivation to the learning process.