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Helping my child with spelling: Tips and Tricks

Did you know that the English Language is a bit mischievous when it comes to spelling? It's like a puzzle with a playful twist! We have 26 letters in our alphabet, and yet they can make around a whopping 44 different sounds and can be combined in about 250 ways.


Spelling is more than just memorizing letters of the English alphabet and that is why we parents at times struggle with some spellings. The good thing about the English language is that 80% of English words have a predictable spelling pattern and once you can recognize that pattern, spelling becomes easy.


As your child begins to master spelling, this helps them become confident in reading and comprehension. It allows them to properly articulate their thoughts in writing and enables them to express their ideas effectively. 

So let's talk about tips and tricks on how you can help your child master spelling 


Create a language-rich environment 

The first step in ensuring that they properly understand the English language and its intricacies is to make sure they are surrounded by books to read and get exposed to. Encouraging your child to read books regularly helps to recognize patterns. As they encounter new words, these spellings become stored in their mind, and they can easily remember them whenever the word pops up. The more exposure to words your child has, the more comfortable and confident they become in spelling. 


Learning word meanings and usage

Helping your child understand the meaning of a word and how to use the word in a sentence, will also help them learn how to spell the specific word. For example, if your child encounters the word "unbelievable", explain that "un-" is a prefix meaning "not" and "believable" means "able to be believed". You can encourage your child to look for context clues within sentences or passages to understand the meaning of unfamiliar words.

 

Spelling games and activities

Learning disguised as play is a powerful tool. Turning spelling into a game with activities can also help your children in several ways.


play-based learning - scrabble

In one of our earlier blog posts, we talked about Scrabble as a play-based learning idea for children and how it can help children in word recognition, and vocabulary building as well as improving their confidence level. Other games could be word searches, crossword puzzles, hangman etc. As they play, they subconsciously learn!


Write, Repeat, Rewrite

You can encourage your child to write down the words they find challenging; for example, if they find the word 'restaurant' challenging because it might not be possible to spell as you pronounce it, you can tell them to write down that word multiple times. This would help them remember the correct sequence of the letters. You can make them do this daily for different words, and at the end of the week, you can make them spell out those challenging words to see how many they remember. Repeating this process helps in better retention for children.


Use spelling apps

Spelling apps are a hands-on way to help children learn how to spell words and improve their spelling skills. These spelling apps make learning interactive and enjoyable as they often incorporate games and challenges to keep your child engaged. A few examples of spelling apps you can try out are; Spellwizards, Spelling Bee Games & Tests, DoodleSpell, Reading Eggs, and Squeebles Spelling Test. 

 

Rhyming Words

Personally, I think this is the most effective way of ensuring your child learns spelling easily. Just as we said earlier, some words have patterns, and recognizing similar patterns can aid in remembering the spelling of words. So, for example, say your child knows how to spell 'cat', it becomes easier to spell words like 'bat', 'rat', 'mat', etc. Remember that this method does not usually work for all words, for example, 'bare' and 'bear'. 


Ultimately, learning how to spell should be an enjoyable journey that aligns with your child's strengths and interests. Remember, every child is different, so try out various methods and know which method works well for your child. 

 

Happy Learning!

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