Spelling program for homeschooling and schools—Personal Best Spelling

video introduction to personal best spelling VIDEO introduction to Personal Best Spelling
learning to spell

Learn spelling—your way-when home schooling and at school

This children's spelling program:

  1. Is your family's ideal home schooling spelling tutor companion.
  2. Transformed many poor spellers into proficient, confident spellers when all other methods failed.
  3. Is a genuine learning tool for spelling, not just another computer game dressed up as educational software.
  4. Does not insult the learner's intelligence.
  5. Knows how the brain learns, so it works with you, not against you
  6. Is being used by school teachers, students of all ages and home schoolers to improve spelling.
  7. Identifies your child's bad spelling habits (habit pattern errors) and quickly corrects them, once and for all.
  8. Helps your child learn and remember words from one day to the next.
  9. Tests spelling and tracks progress.
  10. Uses proven learning methods endorsed by Australian education departments.
  11. Is the only spelling tutor that uses Old Way/New Way®, an effective research-based and user-friendly learning method.
  12. Uses an improved version of Look Say Cover Write Check, the old standby method for learning spelling.
  13. Provides hundreds of word lists you can purchase, in both U.S. English and U.K./Oz English, plus you can create and edit your own lists.
  14. Requires Windows XP or later operating systems.
  15. Is available as an affordable software program or as a low-cost one-page, self contained, multiple-user, re-usable, printable spelling tutor.

User feedback

Ten out of ten every week

"Prior to Lincoln starting to use Personal Best Spelling™, he was getting on average, only two out of ten words right in his weekly spelling test at school. Within one week of using Personal Best Spelling™, Lincoln got ten out of ten in his weekly spelling test and he has continued to get ten out of ten, each and every week."

It gave Marian confidence and method

Source flckr dot com looper23

"Your program gave Marian the confidence and the method of how to learn and remember her spelling words. This in turn greatly improved her reading ability. Marian's confidence in herself has helped her to believe in herself."

Gets 100% on his weekly tests

"After beginning to use the Personal Best Spelling™ program, my son has successfully gotten 100% results on his weekly tests. I have recommended your product to others and hope that they find the success that my son has."

The only tutor (including human) that has helped him

"I wanted to take a minute to let you know how much your program has helped our son. He is 11 and in the 5th grade. He has struggled with spelling since at least 3rd grade. Your program is the only tutor (including human) that has helped him."

The notion of a "dumb child" disappears

"The greatest thing about Old Way/New Way® is the self-correction children do. It's such an amazing thing to say to a kid, 'Can you see any Old Ways? ... Now, can you do the New Way for me?' and then they select their Old Way and do the New Way all by themselves without me doing a thing except ask those two questions. Old Way/New Way® is so much less stressful for teachers. I no longer get frustrated when some children have so many errors to correct. The notion of a 'dumb child' disappears and instead you know that they simply have more resistant Old Ways."

Personal Best Spelling™ and our other learning systems are being used all over the world. Here are some of the latest additions to the many schools, home schools and early learning centres where Old Way/New Way® Learning is improving learning and performance in spelling.


Source flickr dot com twomets

Personal Best Spelling™ is three great programs in one: learn new words, test your spelling and correct problem words that you keep getting wrong or are unsure about.

Spelling program - Learn New Words

This helps your child learn new words quickly so that your child remembers them better. It uses a modified form of the widely used and recommended method of learning spelling called Look Say Cover Write Check. Practice or drill is built into the program in a special way to improve learning and memory.

You can create your own word lists, use the inbuilt lists or use a wide range of ready-made special purpose word lists that you can download from this web site. Ready-made word lists include lists of commonly misspelled words, words that cause special difficulty to learners and other useful lists.

You can learn sentence structure using the special contextual learning feature that allows you to enter more than just one word at a time. Foreign language learning is also possible using this feature because you can learn words in their proper context.

You can also learn specialised occupational vocabularies.

Spelling Tester

You can test your spelling of previously learned words. A special feature is that the program remembers any errors you make. If the error is consistent , i.e., you spell it incorrectly in the same way, the program recognises that you have developed a learned error and it automatically saves these errors in a separate word list for special treatment and correction.

Spelling program - Correct Bad Spelling Habits

The program uses a new learning method called Old Way/New Way®. With Old Way/New Way® you can correct persistent, learned and habitual errors. You can also, once and for all, learn to spell those tricky words that you are uncertain about and often have to look up.

Homonyms, words like "their" and "there", that sound the same but have different meanings, often create confusion but this can be readily resolved by placing the word in context when using Old Way/New Way®.

Old Way/New Way® is a new user-friendly and truly effective method for changing incorrect learning to the correct version and for eliminating uncertainty.

Personal Best Spelling™ is especially licensed to use Old Way/New Way®. The learning advantages that Old Way/New Way® gives you and its other special benefits are all described and explained in this web site

And you can read some typical spelling case studies where Old Way/New Way® has helped people of all ages become competent and confident spellers.


Source flickr dot com Aztec West

Endorsed by Education Network Australia—EdNa Online

Old Way/New Way® Learning is a quality endorsed resource.

Five Star rating

Five Star Rating for Personal Best Spelling

Personal Best Spelling received the Five Star Rating at TUKIDS, the children's software section of the TUCOWS software library. The adult version was Editor's Choice in the ZDNET software library.

The school teachers, parents, learning support tutors, and their students in these spelling case studies tried many different spelling programs, mnemonics, and other spelling aids, including catch-up classes or personal tutoring, before they tried Personal Best Spelling™.

Using these conventional, and some not so conventional, methods of teaching spelling they found that children still forgot the words they had learned from one day to the next.

Personal Best Spelling™ changed all this. Learners who used this program actually improved on spelling tests immediately after they started using the program; their vocabulary increased; they actually remembered the words they had learned the day , week or month before; their self confidence improved; their teacher's assessment of their learning ability changed and their outlook on learning became a lot more optimistic. This was empowering for both teachers and students.

These spelling case notes should be read in conjunction with the spelling program theoretical underpinning of and the long history of successful spelling method research, workplace trials and independent evaluations to which the underlying teaching and learning methodology has been subjected. The sum total of this evidence will stand up to the closest scrutiny.

Computer Corner review of Personal Best Spelling™ by Bill Gillespie, school Principal

".... This program takes a no nonsense approach to the teaching of spelling... This is not a game dressed up as educational software.... One advantage of this approach is that it can correct persistent, learned and habitual spelling errors... It is worthwhile visiting the web site just to read the information on the Old Way/New Way® approach to learning." Education: Journal of the New South Wales Teachers Federation.

The Way Ahead: Old Way/New Way® and Mediational Learning

Classroom. Issue 7, 2000, pages 12 - 13. Scholastic Australia Pty Ltd.
This article describes how Old Way/New Way® is used to improve spelling.

ZDNet Software Library review, 17 December 1998

Personal Best Speller received a four star rating and was the Editor's Pick.

"Learn new words and correct problem spelling with Personal Best Speller. Using an innovative and progressive method, this program encourages you to say the word, asks you to type it several times and tracks your problem areas. Three modules include learning new words, testing and correcting problems or habitual errors. The error correction uses a psychological approach by having you analyze what it is that you do wrong and repeatedly spell it the wrong way and then the correct way. You're asked to state what you've been doing wrong, typing in this statement and then correcting the spelling several times. Two word lists are available to work with in the demo version and registered users will be able to input their own lists. Personal Best Speller requires dedication and time, but its effective methods are sure to improve your spelling."

Mediational Learning: Old Habits No Longer Die Hard

By Dr Paul Baxter. Write On: Queensland Council For Adult Literacy Newsletter. Volume 18, No. 1, September 2000, pages 10 - 15. Discusses the theoretical background to Mediational Learning (a derivative of Old Way/New Way®) and its application to literacy teaching. Contains 32 references to research journal articles and links to other Old Way/New Way® web sites.

Classroom. Issue 7, 2000, pages 12 - 13. Scholastic Australia Pty Ltd.

This article describes how Old Way/New Way® is used to improve children's and adults' spelling.

You can also read all the scientific publications on the Old Way/New Way® learning method in our annotated spelling method bibliography.

Word lists

Personal Best Spelling™ comes complete with hundreds of word lists you can purchase and use once the program is registered. Unregistered, the program contains two word lists for demonstration purposes.

Word lists for children and schools contain words that pose problems for school age children. Words are graded/grouped for age level and by first letter of the word, for convenience. The word lists cover commonly misspelled words (demons); the most common words in children's reading; the most common nouns; a core of words that people should be able to spell on sight, without sounding; and the most common words that cover about three-quarters of children's reading.

These are the currently available lists, contained in a single file you can purchase for AUD$3:

  • Commonly misspelled words (demons).
  • Most common words in children's reading.
  • Most common nouns in children's reading.
  • Core of words that children should be able to spell on sight, without sounding.
  • Most common words that cover about three-quarters of children's reading.
  • Grade 2 words.
  • Grade 3 words.
  • Grade 4 words.
  • Grade 5 words.
  • Grade 6 words.

All the above word lists, available in one file, in U.S. English or U.K./Oz English.

The entire set of word lists is available as a downloadable file, after you place your order. To install the word lists, simply follow the instructions with screen shots here.


Software versions

Personal Best Spelling™, children's version, is available in US English or in UK/Oz English. Simply select your preferred version when you download the program.

Before you buy, you can download and try the demo version for free, and then purchase the download.

Printable Version—one page printable, multiple use spelling lesson

For those who don't want to use a computer but still want to benefit from the Old Way/New Way® learning method and improve their spelling, Personal Best Spelling™ is now available as a low cost one-page, self-contained, individualised, printable, multiple use spelling tutor for teachers, home schoolers, students and children. If you decide after having used the print version that you want the software version, you can upgrade and only pay the difference. Printable spelling tutor details.

Orders (Windows PC only)

Select a version: