JumpStart Study Helpers Spelling Bee

Game review by
Jinny Gudmundsen, Common Sense Media
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Games take drudgery out of weekly spelling tests.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this software can make studying for spelling tests more fun. However, it does not help children learn definitions, which many teachers test along with spelling.

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What's it about?

If spelling tests have your children on edge, check out JUMPSTART STUDY HELPERS SPELLING BEE. This software allows children to study for spelling tests by playing three fun arcade games. Kids start by creating a custom list or choosing an existing spelling list to use in the arcade games. The software offers more than 1,700 programmed words, and kids can add more. Parents may want to help when adding words because the software requires entering the new word and three frequently misspelled versions of it.

Once kids have decided which words to practice, they head to the arcade games. In one game, kids ride on the back of a seahorse to grab letters to complete words. In another game, they zap crabs with air bubbles to release needed letters to complete the spelling of words. There is also a catch-the-dropping-word game where youngsters distinguish between incorrect and correct spellings of words.

Is it any good?

The strength of JumpStart Study Helpers Spelling Bee is that it takes the drudgery out of studying for spelling tests. But with only three games, kids' attraction to the arcades may wane over time. All added words are spoken in a robotic voice, and the software does not help children learn the definitions of the words --something many teachers test along with spelling.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the effectiveness of the software. Do kids encounter words they don't understand? Help kids look up unfamiliar words in a dictionary.

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