We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Reference and education software Reviews
15,670 Reviews

Weekly Speller review

$9 (around £7)

Manufacturer: RonsSpot.com

Our Rating: We rate this 3.5 out of 5

Weekly Speller is software that breaks up the monotony of studying spelling words with activities and visual interest.

Weekly Speller is an old-school app that does a straightforward job with spelling practice. Ron Swerdfeger created it for his own kids to use, and its bright colours and visually uncluttered look suggest that its natural audience would be children in the primary school range. However, older students could use it, too, since the advantage with Weekly Speller is that users can add their own spelling lists to it.

There are six play modes in Weekly Speller: Word Scramble, Join Letters, Sentence Complete, Sentence Correct, Word Search, and Words. In the Word Scramble mode, letters float around the screen and the object is to click on the letters in their proper order. Join Letters is a game that presents you with a spelling word, as well as the letters in the word in mixed-up order.

See all: PC Advisor software downloads

As soon as you begin the game, the letters in the word turn into question marks. Your job is then to click and drag the correct letter into each space. In Sentence Complete mode, the program shows you the spelling word as well as a sentence with a blank space where that word should go ("Let's play _____ and seek.") As you begin to type the word (or, alternately, click each letter in the alphabet that appears at the top of the screen in big, brightly coloured boxes), the word disappears and you're on your own.

In Sentence Correct mode, you must correct a sentence that contains a misspelled word (e.g., "That doll will soon belng to me.") The Word Search mode creates a simple word search puzzle out of your spelling word list. Users may choose from six difficulty levels, but even at the highest level of difficulty, though some words are spelled backwards and some are upside down, there are no words on the diagonal.

Finally, the "Words" mode just shows you one of your spelling words and then waits for you to type it. As soon as you begin typing, the word disappears, and it's up to you to finish typing it correctly. Throughout all these modes, a variety of recorded voices cheer your successes and point out when mistakes have been made. Most of these sound like kids' voices, and some have been modified to sound as if robots or aliens are speaking.

To add your own spelling words, use the Edit menu and choose New Spelling List. There will be fields available for the words, as well as for two misspellings of each word and a sentence for use in the Sentence games. I used the opportunity to write silly sentences about my own kids, so they would look forward to finding them.

Weekly Speller Expert Verdict »

Microsoft Windows 7, Microsoft Windows Vista, Microsoft Windows XP, Microsoft Windows NT 4.0, Microsoft Windows 98, Microsoft Windows 95
  • Overall: We give this item 7 of 10 overall

There's nothing wrong with Weekly Speller, but there are more polished offerings developed over the last 20 years or so (e.g., JumpStart Spelling) that are available from online resellers for the same price or less. On the other hand, some of the popular customizable spelling software packages marketed to parents sell for £50 or £60, so compared to that the $9 Weekly Speller program seems like a bargain.

  • Clipboard Help+Spell 2.16 review - add power to your virtual clipboard

    Clipboard Help+Spell 2.16 - add power to your virtual clipboard

    With powerful search/replace features, a configurable clip stack and more, Clipboard Help+Spell stands out among clipboard enhancement tools. Here's our Clipboard Help+Spell 2.16 review.

  • Osmo for iPad games review: new family games platform for iPad

    Osmo for iPad games: new family games platform for iPad

    Osmo is a brilliant set of family games, which adds a base unit to the iPad and opens up a whole new gaming platform for the iPad.

  • WordQ + SpeakQ review

    WordQ + SpeakQ

    Frustrated writers, particularly students from elementary school through college, will appreciate WordQ + SpeakQ, a software duo for writers with learning disabilities or attention disorders.

  • Pot Smash review

    Pot Smash

    Pot Smash is a great puzzle game for Android, which appeals to our desire to destroy stuff and gives our minds a free workout.

  • SlovoEd Russian-English Dictionary Deluxe for iPhone review

    SlovoEd Russian-English Dictionary Deluxe for iPhone

    SlovoEd foreign dictionaries are now available for the iPhone, adding an invaluable resource to the world's favourite smartphone

IDG UK Sites

Sony Xperia Z3+ release date, price and specs: The Xperia Z4 for the UK

IDG UK Sites

Why Intel’s vision of the future is a future I want to live in

IDG UK Sites

10 amazing, creative uses of tech – and the brands behind them

IDG UK Sites

Jony Ive 'semi-retired' into new role: kicked upstairs as Chief Design Officer