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5 Clever Ways To Learn Spelling

Life is stressful enough without adding primary school spelling to the fray. Use these teaching methods to help your child spell like a champ while keeping your sanity intact.

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#1 Tackle Phonetically Consistent Words First

These are words that are spelled the way they sound (e.g. “man,” as opposed to “yacht”), and they are usually less frustrating for struggling spellers to memorise.

When learning phonetically consistent words, begin by asking your child to say the word out loud. Next, ask him to name the first sound, followed by the second, and so on. Check with your child if he thinks there are more sounds to the word. As he names the sounds, he should use his non-writing hand to count every sound he identifies.

Finally, ask him to recap the sounds, beginning from first to last, and give the letter name for each sound. Once he has done this, he can write the word on paper, check if he’s spelled it correctly, and repeat the writing process for practice.  

#2 Look, Say, Cover, Check

This is a four-step technique that some educators recommend:

  1. Look: Get a piece of paper and fold it such that you have three columns. Write the spelling words in the first column, and ask your child to look at a spelling word and read it aloud.
  2. Say: While your child is looking at the word, get her to spell it, letter by letter.
  3. Cover: Cover the word and ask your child to write it in the second column.
  4. Check: Teach your child to check her work by comparing what she’s written in the second column with the original word in the first column. If she’s made a mistake, get her to write the word again in the third column.

#3 Touch & Feel

Trace and sound out a word with one’s finger on the table (or any surface) three times. The fingertips are sensitive and will help your child’s retention. This method is particularly useful for kinaesthetic or tactile learners.

#4 Skywriting

Spell out a word while writing it out in the air. You can take your child outdoors to do this, so she can look at the sky while writing imaginary words. Alternatively, you can have your child try this with her eyes closed.

#5 Websites & Apps To The Rescue

Let your kids have their computer time while sneaking in some learning. Websites like Spelling City allow you to input words so that your child can run self-tests, which is a great step to independent learning. If your child is up for a challenge, use Puzzle Maker to create a crossword for him to solve.

Note: Some tips are courtesy of KiasuParents member beanbear, and you can read her full post here.

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