A lot of parents and educators struggle with how to teach kids spelling. It has long been known that the school spelling assignments of word lists are of little value to children. Kids often hate them and this can lead to endless fights between parents and children, as children refuse to do the homework.
A good way to help teach your child spelling is to follow these guidelines:
How to teach kids spelling:
• Make sure to avoid having your child write the complete, same word several times in a row
For example don’t have your child write help, help, help. It leads to a process where a child loses attention and does not retain what he has done.
• Leave out, in varying order, some of the letters
For example, if you want to teach your child to spell the word help, write “h – – p”,
“ – – lp”, “ – e – – ”, etc. This approach leads to far more attention and retention.
This technique requires more memory on the part of your child, and using one’s memory is essential for learning how to spell.
• Do not combine similar words in the same lesson
For example don’t combine the words star and stir, or combine roof, shook, pool, and crook. Similar words are sometimes combined to teach certain sounds. In the example of roof, shook, pool, and crook, the intent is to teach the different oo sounds. However, this ends up usually confusing instead of helping your child.
• Have your child do the spelling of whole sentences
Having your child do the spelling of whole sentences is by far the best technique, as long as you follow the above guidelines. For example, seeing The girl is going to run as T _ e g _ r _ _ s etc. is much closer to the demands of real writing, where one encounters meaningful sentences instead of lists of words. This means that the transfer is much better to actual writing.
• Give immediate feedback
Correct your child’s errors immediately, otherwise the habit of error gets set in and is it is hard to change.
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