Spelling isn’t always easy and for many kids and teenagers it can
be tricky to get the hang of certain words. Being able to spell correctly
is a life skill that’s going to be extremely useful throughout your
child’s academic and adult life, so getting to grips with it as
soon as you can is going to be beneficial. At Tutor Doctor, we believe
that encouraging just a few short (and fun!) activities at home, can make
a huge difference in improving your kids’ spelling and reduce the
pressure of being in a classroom setting. Before you know it your kids
will be confident and independent spellers!
Write as often as possible!
One of the most effective ways for your child to improve their spelling
outside the classroom is to write every day. This can be anything from
handwritten letters, short stories, journal entries, writing out revision
notes, a weekly shopping list or just a list of their favourite movies.
This provides your child with ample time and opportunity to practice spelling
without the pressure of being tested or graded. Make sure to look over
their writing and see if there are any spelling errors. If there are,
go through them together and identify ways that will help them remember
the correct spelling. Pens and paper at the ready!
Label household objects (younger kids)
For younger children, labelling everyday household objects using note cards
exposes your child to words on a regular basis. Seeing words such as ‘cupboard’,
‘refrigerator’ and ‘Hoover’ written out on their
own can help your child learn the word in isolation, putting much more
emphasis on the spelling rather than seeing it in a sentence.
For particularly tricky words, mnemonics can be a super helpful and fun
way to help with spelling. Here are a few popular ones:
necessary one collar and two cuffs (one ‘c’ and two ‘s’)
rhythm- rhythm helps your two hips move
laugh- laugh and your get happy
because big elephants can always understand small elephants
difficulty- Mrs D, Mrs I, Mrs FFI, Mrs C, Mrs U, Mrs LTY
If there isn’t a known mnemonic for the word your child is struggling
with, make sure you encourage them to make up their own rhymes. We guarantee
once they’ve got a good mnemonic in their head they will never spell
that word wrong again!
Words within words
Another simple way to tackle spelling difficult words is by looking for
words within words. For example, there is a 'bus' in ‘business’
or a ‘rat’ in ‘separate’. This can break down
a word into smaller parts, making it much easier to spell.
Finally, if you do suspect your child or teen is having excessive trouble
with spelling, reading or writing, it could be due to other underlying
problems. Always consult with your child’s teacher or a specialist
for further information and suggestions.