Spelling Bee

App review by
Dana Anderson, Common Sense Media
Spelling Bee App Poster Image
Good for general practice, but kids can't enter own lists.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn new vocabulary words, pronunciations, and detailed definitions of words they may have already heard or read with Spelling Bee. Then kids spell those words on the app's test. Kids can discover their current learning level in vocabulary by choosing a level and seeing if they are below, at, or above that level and adjusting the app's settings accordingly. The app offers good general practice, but is not particularly engaging. Spelling Bee's overall value is limited because kids can't input their own words as they can in higher-quality spelling apps.

Ease of Play

Numerous settings allow users to choose quiz size (five, 10, or 20 questions); level (beginner, easy, medium, or hard); timer on or off; and vibrate on or off.

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The menu screen has a "More Apps" tab linking users to the publisher's other apps.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Spelling Bee by Socratica tests kids on spelling and definitions with clear audio and written prompts. There's a study mode along with a test mode, so kids can take as much time as they want to really learn before testing themselves. Unlike many other spelling apps, kids cannot enter their own spelling list to study.

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What's it about?

First Spelling Bee provides kids the opportunity to study spelling words by swiping through honeycomb-decorated cards and viewing the words with their definitions. Then kids can choose from a number of settings (length of test, difficulty, viewing timer), and take a test that requires them to recall the word that matches the on-screen definition and spell it, too, by filling in a box below the definition.

Is it any good?

SPELLING BEE can help kids at many different levels of spelling skills (but not very beginner) learn the spelling and definitions of words. By studying first and then being tested on the words, first by definition and with an audio prompt as well, you can be sure that your kids actually know word meanings and aren't just repeating rote spelling of words they don't actually understand. The lack of an option to input your own spelling words, however, is a glaring omission in Spelling Bee.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Encourage your kids to find everyday moments in which to use their newly learned words in conversation.

  • If your child is frustrated with the timed part of the test, or the length or difficulty of the test, help them change the settings to make the current test appropriate for their current ability.

App details

For kids who love spelling and vocabulary

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