Fun Tips to Help Children Learn their Spellings
A step by step guide to teaching children how to spell
Teaching children how to spell is not as easy as it sounds. Teaching them how to spell correctly can be a challenge, but it does not have to be. These 5 tips will help you teach your child how to spell with ease whilst having some fun at the same time.
1) Use repetition, repetition, repetition.
2) Ignore minor mistakes-correct them later on.
3) Create a personalised spelling list that they are interested in and that will also help them learn their spellings.
4) Bring spelling into life by linking words with everything around you.
5) Variety is key-spellings are not all the same!
When it comes to learning spellings, it can be like pulling teeth to support our little ones. It doesn’t have to be this way, though.
Back in the day, your parent would read out the word, perhaps telling you a sentence to give you context, and then you’d be expected to either give each letter of the word or write it down. That approach does not work for many children, so have a go at the following fun ways to practise spellings, and you should encounter less resistance.
The word mnemonic itself is tricky to spell. However, the thought behind the strategy will certainly help. Mnemonics help children (and adults) to remember difficult things, including spellings, such as because – big elephants can add up sums easily. Using your child’s spelling list, create some fun mnemonics together and illustrate them, placing them around the house to see them regularly.
Forget throwing out the catalogues and leaflets that come through the door daily. Instead, keep them and put them to one side for this fun activity that will have your child engaged. First, tell them the spelling word they need to spell and then, using the printed material, get them to cut out letters, creating the words, resulting in a ransom letter of their spellings. It’s a lot of fun and gets them to think carefully about the order of the letters, too.
There is another use for the magnetic letters than simply leaving insults for your partner. In fact, their intended purpose was for younger children to experiment with creating words and sentences. So, why not tell your child the word and get them to spell it? Even better, ask them to incorporate it into a sentence.
The English language is a peculiar and nonsensical one at times. Many vowel sounds are actually a schwa (almost a grunt of a sound and shorter than a typical short vowel sound). Think of the word ‘chicken’ – it can be difficult to determine that the final vowel is an e because it is a schwa sound. Write down some of the spelling words on a piece of paper or a whiteboard and ask your child to complete it.
Choose one of the spelling words and write them down a letter at a time on sticky notes. Then, present them to your child in random order. They should look carefully at the letters and rearrange them into the correct sequence, spelling the desired word.
Run and grab
For this activity, you will need flashcards with letters A to Z on them. I prefer to have them printed in A4 size, then spread them over the floor in a large area. Next, tell your child one of their spelling words. They should then run, grab the first letter, show you and place it back down, repeating until they have spelled the entire word. This fun, active way of practising spellings is excellent for using up pent-up energy, too.