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Spelling - Why is it so tricky?

blog 19

Parents often say that they don’t understand why their child can perform so well on the school weekly test, but can’t retain the words for future use in written text.

The answer is simple:

Your child is young and has a good short term memory. Most children can learn the 20 words necessary for the weekly spelling test. The problem is the words were committed to short term memory for the purpose of getting 20/20 in the test. This has a ‘feel good’ factor but it often contributes little to the child’s application of spelling words to written sentences or stories.

So how should spelling be taught?

  • New words need to be introduced via reading a story
  • Write down the new words to be learnt
  • Use the new words in sentences
  • Create some fun! Who can use the new words in a spoken sentence? Give your child a small reward for success.
  • Have some family fun with a spelling bee.
  • Who can write the smartest/quirkiest/best sentence using the new spelling word?

Children will remember their spelling more effectively using these techniques.

We keep a list on our fridge at home and when our six-year-old son discovers a new word we add it to the list.

Five minute spelling quizzes around the dinner table are a great way for the family to interact and to keep learning front of mind for all involved.

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