Being able to spell does not come easily to most. It takes lots of practice and requires self confidence as well. If your child is having a hard time with their spelling there are quite a few methods you can help them use to improve.
1. Make sure their pronunciation is correct.
Kids will often spell the word the way that they pronounce it, so make sure that they are speaking the word correctly; it can help them make sure they aren’t accidentally using an ‘e’ instead of an ‘a.’ Of course, the English language is not an easy one, and there are lots of our words that don’t always sound the same as they’re written, so this doesn’t always help.
2. Read, write, speak, spell…
The mind can form memories more easily if multiple brain processes are used. If your child only ever writes out the words, he or she won’t retain the memory of how it is spelled as easily than if they are writing it, speaking it, and spelling it out loud as well.
3. Play games with the words.
Crossword puzzles, scrabble, word searches… And that’s just a few of the many that are out there. You can even cut up each word into it’s individual letters and race each other to put the words back together. Or make a game of spelling card memory. Type or write each word onto two pieces of paper and play a game of memory! Adding a little fun and competition always seems to help.
4. Use spelling boats when writing.
Yep, that’s it! Then outline the words so that you’re drawing a triangle shape and add a little round boat to the bottom to complete the sailboat. Taking the word one letter at a time and utilizing repetition can be really beneficial.
5. Get rid of the boring pencil.
Break out the finger paints! Or, let them use the computer to type into a word document with a big colorful font. Just mixing up the medium they use can make it more engaging.
6. Record them.
Take a video of them spelling out the word. Bonus points if they put on a silly costume while doing it.
7. Let them teach others.
Do they have a sibling they can teach the word to? Or even a pet? Teaching someone else is one of the best methods for solidifying the information, so if they can explain to their goldfish or sister that “decision” is spelled “d-e-c-i-s-i-o-n” they’re more likely to remember it much better come spelling test time.
Every child learns very differently. Some kids just need a more visual approach in order to really get the words down. Others need to say it out loud or play a game to make it interesting enough for them to fully engage. Play around with a few of these techniques and you’re sure to find something that helps your child gain the confidence and skills he or she needs to perform better on their next spelling test.
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