It’s inevitable that our children want to spend a lot of time on their iPads so it’s great to find apps and programs that entertain them and are also educational.
I went looking for good apps that will help children to spell and it was actually a lot harder than I thought it would be. There are so many apps available but a lot of them concentrate on phonics and sight words and very few focus solely on spelling.
I couldn’t believe how difficult it was to find spelling apps that used Australian English (clearly a gap in the market – any teachers and app developers out there?) Spelling apps use a combination of spoken and written words, and of course, here in Australia, we prefer our children to learn Australian pronunciation and spelling. I have noticed that from time to time my sons will say words in an American accent from watching programs and using apps from the States!
Here are the best apps I found, free and paid, that would be great to use with our Aussie kids. If you have any others that you use, we’d love to know about them!
1. School A to Z (free)
This free app was produced by the NSW Department of Education and Communities. The app contains help for English, maths, and technology and games for spelling and maths.
The Spelling Bee game uses words taken from the Macquarie Dictionary. There are three levels of difficulty and a leader board to track progress and improvement. Children can even create their own games for their spelling homework.
2. A+ Spelling Test (free with in-app purchases)
This is a great DIY tool for teachers and parents who want to create their own spelling tests customised to their children’s/students’ needs. It can also be used to create lists in other languages.
You can also track process and see how they are doing for each test and see which words they are struggling with. You don’t have to take tests, you can use the practice mode or a unscramble option.
3. Reading Eggs Spelling (free)
You can choose to use Australian, British or American English. The free lite version contains ten games and samples form the six paid versions of the Reading Eggs spelling app for grades 1-6.
4. Easy Spelling Aid ($5.99)
This app gives both children and adults a quick and easy way to find out the correct spelling of a word, It will also translate words to and from English (and Chinese, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Japanese and more) and can also help dyslexic learners.
It has lots of features that can easily be customised for example language, writing style, backgrounds and colours to suit the needs of the learner.
5. Montessori Crosswords ($4.49)
This is a fun and interactive game to help children develop their reading, writing and spelling skills using Montessori methods. It features 300 different word-picture-audio combinations and phonics. There are three levels of difficulty appropriate for ages 3/4 to 8+.
There is also a movable alphabet that is perfect for young learners to create their own combinations and while learning their letters.
6. Spelling Reception and Year 1 ($5.99)
This app from the UK has 140 videos to help children spell common English words.
7. Learn to Spell – Reception Class ($5.99)
Aimed at preschoolers/preps, this is another app from the UK using over 200 videos to assist children with reading and spelling.
8. Spelling Sounds 1 Pro ($24.99)
This app from Reading Doctor assists with spelling by teaching students to break up words into speech sounds and spell them using letter-sound knowledge. The app uses teaching systems to automatically identify what a child already knows, what the child doesn’t know and the areas the child finds difficult.
Reading Doctor has a large range of apps to help with other aspects of language such as phonics, reading, sight words and spelling.