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.