Today I want to talk about spelling. First I have to have full disclosure. I am a TERRIBLE speller! I have to use spell check for EVERYTHING!
Is your child a good speller? Does he/she use phonics when spelling and sounding out words?
Phonics is when you spell a word based on the sounds you hear in it like circle might be spelled “sirkle” when a child is first learning. That’s a great early step. It helps them to figure words out as they read. That’s why children are taught the sounds that each letter makes first.
Sooo, spelling is easy to improve and yet tricky. Spelling is mostly memorization. The American version of English is full of words who’s spellings aren’t at all the way the words sound so kids just have to remember how to spell them. Many of those words are called site words.
You might find, once your child learns the sounds of all of the letters, that larger words are easier to spell. Larger words, for the most part, stick to the sounds of the letters in them like cooperation and commitment. Kids can break the words down into letter sounds and spell the words.
The way that I learned how to teach spelling the easiest is two fold: 1.) reading – the more they SEE the word, the more they remember what the word looks like, ie. spelling; 2.) practice spelling it.
Since we’re talking about improving spelling to improve reading I’m going to focus on the practice. I have some fast, easy and practical ways to help your child practice their spelling!
1.) Use a calendar
Monday – they quiz you orally
Tuesday – you quiz them orally
Wednesday – they write their words three times each, taking their time and spelling the words out loud as they write them.
Thursday – give your child a practice test to see which words are still a problem
Friday is the test. Look together at the test and praise your child for the words he/she got right and talk about what was hard about the words they got wrong (if any).
Besides this routine though, there are some great websites that you can use to spice-up spelling practice. My personal favorite is www.spellingcity.com. I love this site because I was able to set up a parent account and put in words for my kids and each of the kids I tutored. There are games, puzzles and many other spelling activities for kids to do on there and most of them are free! Which I love! You can pay for a membership and get even more stuff. Schools often use it. It isn’t hard to put the words on the site and then kids access it by looking up their teachers name.