Do you despair as your child tries to remember the words for the weekly spelling test?
As a dyslexia assessor and tutor, I’m always looking out for new ways to support my students. I was thrilled when one of my 9-year-old students came into his sessions wanting to show me his Squeebles spelling app he’d recently started to use.
It was clear he really enjoyed using the app and could confidently and easily navigate his way around the programme. He showed me how easy it was to input the weekly spellings and record his own voice saying the words. He demonstrated how he could alter the time period which the words appeared on screen before he attempted to spell them and how he could easily repeat and practise spellings and Squeebles would indicate to him any words he needed to try again.
It was wonderful to see how enthusiastic he was about the spelling app and it clearly didn’t feel like homework. He and his mum felt it had really contributed to his increased scores in the weekly school spelling tests.
There are now eleven apps in the Squeebles series, covering the keystones that primary school aged children need to learn: spelling, punctuation, times tables, maths and telling the time.
The developers told me “Our Squeebles Spelling Test app was borne out of seeing the frustration our own son found with the ‘look, cover, write, check’ system for learning weekly spellings. At that point, just forming the individual letters correctly was something that required such intense concentration (he is mildly dyslexic) that the process of rewriting a word over and over in order to learn how to spell it was an exhausting, and often futile, exercise.”
“Our Squeebles Spelling Test app aimed to change children’s experience of learning weekly spellings. Children seem to have an innate love of collecting things, so the app awards Squeebles (quirky creatures, each with their own personality) to reward their hard work, as well as allowing them to win stars and turns that can be used in a mini-game within the app when they spell words correctly. On a practical level, children seem to much prefer practising their spellings using a keyboard, rather than pencil and paper – it’s just so much less tiring at the end of a long day at school.”
The apps are used around the world – here’s how the app worked for one family based in the US:
As an educator and the mom of a special needs child, I’m very picky when it comes to learning apps and am rarely willing to shell out money for them. I took a chance on this one because of the reviews and I could not be happier.
I have no idea what it is about Squeebles Spelling that is so magical but my 10 year old daughter (who has a type of brain damage called PVL – causing learning difficulties and delays) went from having failed every spelling test this year to consistently scoring As and Bs. Not only that, but after beginning the use of this app we saw marked improvement in her brigance word recognition scores (above grade level for the first time ever!).
I’m not sure if it’s the parent recording component or the gamification when spelling words correctly but this app has seriously changed our lives.
(review posted on Amazon.com, 29th January 2018)
The developers add; “Feedback like this makes us feel that using technology in education can be really helpful – we’re always totally delighted when we hear of the difference Squeebles has made to a child”.
Here are some key features of Squeebles Spelling Test:
- Enter and record your own spelling tests
- Free downloadable KeyStageFun tests covering phonics/UK national curriculum words
- All settings customisable on a per child basis (lowercase/uppercase keyboard etc).
- Foreign accent keyboard for practising French/Spanish
- Full stats for parents/teachers
- No ads or in-app purchases
- Regularly updated to include new features requested by parents/teachers
If you’d like to know more click www.keystagefun.co.uk