Learn How to Teach Spelling Using These 10 Simple Techniques
As a parent, learning how to teach spelling can be frustrating if you don't have the right resources and methods for YOUR child's needs. After all, our English language is so complicated and not very intuitive.
Because there isn't just one way of teaching spelling, it can be challenging to find the best strategy for how to teach spelling to your kids. There are many spelling methods that work for some and not for others. Even in classrooms all around the country you will find different teaching methods.
Is one method right and another one wrong?
The answer is that whatever spelling strategy works for your child is the right strategy - no matter what the schools or the current literature says. If your kids learn better using flash cards and worksheets - use them!. If your kids need lots of bells and whistles and interaction - that's fine too. Find a multi-sensory spelling program like All about Spelling that incorporates all the different learning styles when teaching spelling.
No matter what spelling methods are being taught in the classroom, there are things you can do at home to supplement their learning and help your kids excel.
10 Easy Suggestions for How to teach Spelling at Home
- Use spelling rules for teaching spelling. While the English language is very complex and there are virtually exceptions to every rule, knowing the most common spelling rules and letter patterns can help them in the long run more than memorizing lists of spelling words. It is much easier for most kids to learn spelling rules than to memorize thousands of words.
- It can be very helpful to teach spelling words in conjunction with the definition of the word. Teach them when to use words like do, due, or dew by understanding what context the word is being used.
- The time-honored methods using memorization, quizzes, and lists are being used less and less. But this doesn't mean that this cannot be successfully integrated into spelling instruction. Some children learn better this way. This method can be useful when teaching sight words that don't fit into specific spelling rules.
- Spelling games for kids. Well, kids today are just wired differently than in years past. Fast paced interaction is often more apt to get through to a child than just verbal or written instruction. We all learn better when we are enjoying what we're learning, right?
- Teaching phonics can provide spelling help by having your kids learn the different sound pictures that make up words. The word "chat" is 3 separate sounds /ch/ /a/ /t/. The word "through" is also 3 different sounds /th/ /r/ /ough/. When your kids learn all the different sound pictures their reading and spelling will improve significantly.
- Using flash cards can be useful for many kids. After you teach the various spelling rules, you can use flash cards to reinforce their learning.
- Get spelling help! There's no need for parents to struggle with figuring out how to teach spelling when there are so many outstanding spelling programs available designed by educators to help your kids learn to spell in the fastest, easiest and most fun way.
- Read often. There's no game, software program, word list, worksheet, or test that can take the place of reading. Kids learn how to spell when they learn how to read and write. Make reading a daily habit and start early for reading and spelling success. Find ways to get your kids to write thoughout the day - have them write you notes, letters to relatives, grocery lists, lists of their favorites toys, books or activities, or anything they are interested in.
- Practice, practice, practice. Then practice some more. Spelling is not something you teach once and move on to something else. It takes ongoing review and repetition.
- Rewards, not punishment is key. Make sure to reward your kids with praise, stickers, points, etc. This helps keep them motivated. I like to give the kids I tutor a milestone chart with small rewards once they achieve them. This gives them a little extra motivation and I will use ANYTHING I can think of to help capture their interest and attention. Make sure you don't yell or punish if they don't achieve their milestones or if they make mistakes. You get much further with positive reinforcement than negative - ALWAYS!!!
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