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Discover 7 Easy Ways To Improve Your Child's Spelling

Throughout my teaching career, the top three areas that most students need to work on are usually:

1) Spelling

2) Punctuation


3) Grammar

SPaG (Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar) is not explicitly taught in high school, as exams are usually the main focus, which is very unfortunate.

But just because this is not taught in depth at high school, does not mean that your child cannot practise this at home.

If you are homeschooling your child, you can implement spelling activities into their weekly timetable.

But if your child is in school, then we must find an odd day (once or twice a week) where you can introduce this into their home routine, as most of us had this practice during the pandemic.

So lets' start with easy activities that will take less than 5 -7mins of your child's busy schedule:

7 Easy Ways To Improve Your Child's Spelling

1) Make a list of misspelt words

In my experience, we tend to misspell the same words and continue to reuse them.

So why do we continue to misspell the same commonly used words?

Because we do not take the time to make a list of that word and check the spelling.

We automatically think that we will remember how to spell that word because we see it more than once. But seeing the word repeatedly is not enough for us to spell the word correctly.

Your child must have a strategy by checking the word in the dictionary and rewriting the correct spelling of the word more than once.

This way, the correct spelling can stay a permanent visual in your child's mind, especially when it is a word that is not spelt the way it phonetically sounds.

So making a rough list will help your child to identify which words they need to work on.

2) Reuse misspelt words

The best way for your child to reuse these words is in their writing.

It is always useful for them to collect a group of commonly misspelt words and reuse them for their written work, so they can practice the correct spelling.

This can help them to remember the definition of that word too.

3) Use mnemonics activities

Mnemonics are memory tricks that can help your child remember key rules of the English language. For example:

  • Trying to remember the spelling of the words - received, deceived (The 'i' before the 'e' except after 'c'

  • A piece of pie

  • You hear with your ear

  • There is a place just like here

Mnemonics are used a lot in elementary school and not necessarily when they are in high school. But it is always helpful for them to get a daily reminder, especially if your child has dyslexia.

Please click on the following link for great SPaG resources for your teenager:

Spelling 1 Prefixes PowerPoint
Download PPTX • 7.18MB

Spelling 2 Suffixes PowerPoint
Download PPTX • 7.17MB

4) Look, Speak and Write

This three-step process for helping your child spell a word is simple yet so effective. As long as it is used consistently.

1) Get them to look at the word.

2) Cover the word and say the word out loud.

3) Write the word at least three times.

5) Highlight the word in the dictionary

As you know, dictionaries are digital now or on their phones.

But if you can use a hard copy of a dictionary, then it would be a useful way to teach your child to highlight and bookmark the words, so they are more prepared when they are ready to use them for their writing.

6) Have a visual word bank

I have mentioned this before in a past blog post on how to create an effective word bank that your child would use.

Especially a word bank that includes commonly misspelt words. They can store this word bank either:

  • On their wall.

  • On their phone.

  • In their notebook.

  • Or

  • At the back of their English exercise book.

PLEASE NOTE: Wherever your child chooses to store their word bank, make sure they remember where it is!

7) Read and collect interesting words

Reading consistently is fundamental when it comes to exploring new vocabulary, so make sure they are reading books that they find manageable but challenging.

the books should have words that will encourage them to ask you: 'What does that word mean?".

If they know all the words in the book, then it might mean they need a more challenging book.

This is when they can pick out interesting words that they like and learn how to use them in their writing.

So to conclude:

7 Easy Ways To Improve Your Child's Spelling

  1. Make a list of misspelt words

  2. Reuse misspelt words

  3. Use mnemonics activities

  4. Look, Speak and Write

  5. Highlight the word in the dictionary

  6. Have a visual word bank

  7. Read and collect interesting words

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