Spelling-How to Help

Like many of the kids I work with I dislike spelling. Growing up with parents who could spell anything (they were way older than me in grade school)-spelling with hard. I had to always work at it. Even now I have to double if not triple check my spelling before sending out an email, writing a note to parents, or just writing a paper. Today, I have some ideas for parents to help out with spelling as a family.

If you were to ask kids to name their most hated subject, most of them would say spelling, surprisingly not math. Many students struggle with their spelling words and the repetition of writing the words over and over doesn’t seem to help. This leads many students to become frustrated and to giving up.

At some point, a student may even ask, “Why do I have to learn spelling words?” Learning spelling words is important to the student’s future. Spelling words help lay the basic foundation students will need throughout his education and life.

Spelling is important because it aids in reading. It helps cement the connection that is shared between sounds and letters. Learning high frequency sight words also has been shown to help with both reading and writing. This is why students learn sight words during their early years. Spelling and reading also have a common factor, proficiency with language.

Student should be relaxed about spelling; if not, it will inhibit their writing. They will be less willing to write out their assignments. When you listen to a struggler speller speak or read something that he or she has written, it is impossible to not notice that their choice of words may be poor or limited. This is very unfortunate because writing is something that we do throughout our lifetimes.

Bad spelling also gives others a bad impression about you. No matter what you say, if the spelling is poor, the reader will notice this before anything else. Punctuation errors often go unnoticed, but everyone notices spelling errors.

As students get older and progresses through various grades, they will have to write reports and papers. Instructors at all grade levels, including the university level, will grade harshly on poor spelling. This will invariably affect the student’s grade and possibly determine his future success in life.

Resumes are typically written using various writing software programs. Even poor spellers feel comfortable writing resumes with these systems, but what most people don’t realize is that spell check is not 100% accurate. Just begin you don’t see a green or red line, that does not mean that there are no errors in your resume. If your spelling ability is strong, you do not have to worry about not being able to see your own mistakes. A poorly written resume will not get you a job; it will get you one of those meaningless, “we’ll call” sendoffs.

You cannot place your entire future on the line by not being able to spell. Not only is the ability to spell necessary in most occupations, but a person also needs to be able to spell well in order to be able to communicate and take notes and directions. You could be trying to write someone a note that could possibly save his life, but if the person only sees a note filled with misspelled words, then that person may not be able to comprehend what you’re saying. It’s a stretch, but the message is clear. Spelling is so very important.

Here’s a few things you can do at home:
  • Don't get on his case or criticize her about his spelling. Keep your encounters very positive. Praise his effort. Just keep the mind-set of a spelling coach, not a spelling critic.
  • Are you reading to him for 30 minutes a night? You should be. Always hold the book so that he can see the text. Encourage him to look at the text as you read. The more she sees words spelled correctly, the more he'll internalize the correct spellings.
  • Buy him a simple spiral notebook, and call it him spelling notebook. Buy him a children's dictionary with relatively large type and make sure he knows how to use it. Keep them both in a prominent place, like on the kitchen counter. But this isn't for you, this is for him. Every time he notices that he has misspelled a word, he should look it up in the dictionary and then write that word over and over on a page of him spelling notebook, like 25 times, saying it aloud each time so that it's a multisensory process. That's how he can "set it in stone." This is how a phonics-only curriculum teaches spelling at the same time as handwriting and reading.
  • Kids love games, and they love to see how their parents draw. So put those two together, and make a funny worksheet with lots of words that he tends to misspell and cartoons depicting them. Have your child "correct" YOUR spelling.
  • Let's say your child is very sensitive and you don't want to have him get down on himself about spelling. So don't make a big deal out of it. When you look at him school papers and notice misspelled words, don't say a thing. Just make a mental note. Then get yourself a set of handy, dandy index cards. Write a word that your child has misspelled on a card, and put it on your fridge as "The Word of the Day." At dinner, everyone in your family should use that word in a sentence. Have fun with it! If you did this every night for a year, there couldn't be very many words left in a child's vocabulary that he doesn't already spell correctly, or that you haven't covered!

1 comment:

  1. Are you sure with this statement????

    If you were to ask kids to name their most hated subject, most of them would say spelling, surprisingly not math.


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Welcome to my all thing special education blog. I empower busy elementary special education teachers to use best practice strategies to achieve a data and evidence driven classroom community by sharing easy to use, engaging, unique approaches to small group reading and math. Thanks for Hopping By.

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