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Just wondering how anyone helps with their children’s spelling? So far my two (nearly 8 and 5) have learned to read by being read to and generally being interested. We have done very little actual teaching -particularly phonics etc. DS’s reading is great however when he tries to write words he rarely can spell them. We have loosley being doing lists of spellings with little ‘tests’ every couple of weeks. He enjoys these and often gets most right, however it’s obviously not going in as he’s forgotten again almost instantly! Talking to friends whose kids are schooled, this is v common and is widely accepted as not an effective way to learn to spell. So I suppose my question is - what is? Does anyone have any experiences they’d care to share? Thanks

smile Mummy to DS born March 08 and DD born July 2010 smile

GP Lets No 119

DS, who has just turned 7, tends to just spell things as he thinks they are spelt, often not the ‘correct’ spelling but can be read and understood usually by others. If he asks me how to spell something I have been encouraging him to spell it in his own way, but offering little tips, such as if a word ends in the ‘ee’ sound it very often will be written with a ‘y.’ It’s amazing how he has remembered such things and how his spelling has developed on an individual, word for word basis.

I’m not sure how helpful that is to you, other than to say if he is writing and trying and reading and generally being exposed to words, and talking about it, it will come! Sandra Dodd has some interesting stuff on spelling.

I wrote an article for The Mother mag about this, it’s in the current issue. It is kind of for kids for whom spelling doesn’t happen easily.

I’m not a fan of spelling lists for young children as I think it divorces words from their context, fine for much older ones with more language experience. My daughter just seems to pick up spelling from reading and I’d say the spelling came a year after her reading was fluent, but she did a MASSIVE amount of reading in that time, plus she has a strong visual memory and good auditory skills.

My son writes a lot and reading has just happened for him, he is also more of a kinaesthetic learner so spelling may well be harder for him, time will tell. I might do hands on fun stuff like spelling games, modelling words from clay, seeing how the words feel in his mouth if he is really stuck and a word keeps coming up. When they write joined script that helps movement memory too, but you can practise writing words in the air or paint them.

mnemonics are fun for tricky words.

Mostly I just spell stuff when they need it, but also record words they ask for in a little book (under a-z) and then they can look them up the next time. Don’t forget investigating meaning of words really helps with spelling too, phonics are just a tiny part. there’s a good book on meanings, I’ll try to dig it out and let you know the title. I also might give ‘spelling rules’ as and when it comes up naturally in their writing, I think they remember it better because it’s within the context of their writing.
x

To dare is to lose ones footing temporarily, to not dare is to lose oneself.

LETS number 137

https://wildheartseducation.wordpress.com/

Thank you! We played junior scrabble yesterday and they enjoyed that. I’m going to try different ideas from mow on. My son just can read - remembers words and reads them, but when he tries to recall them to write down he’s not getting it atall.  Really mad to me considering the words he can read!!It’s nice though being able to explore differnt ways to learn with school telling us how it should be done. Feel very grateful for our lives smile and not anti-school by the way x

smile Mummy to DS born March 08 and DD born July 2010 smile

GP Lets No 119

I have been watching this thread with interest as my ds (11) cannot spell and hasn’t up until now done much writing.  He is keen to do more now but wants the words to be spelt right so he is really struggling.  I must admit to be slightly baffled at his apparent inability to spell as he learnt to read at 5 and reads so much, some days he does little else.  He is a visual learner too.  I am loathe to go down the spelling test list…...

I like the idea of a little book to record words in and am wondering about a dictionary?

The problem with dictionaries is that you need to have some notion of spelling to use one! David Moseley’s ACE dictionary is better for non-spellers who wish to be more independent with their spelling & not have to always ask. To use it a child needs to recognise long & short vowel sounds.

I still can’t find that other book, but will keep searching…....!

To dare is to lose ones footing temporarily, to not dare is to lose oneself.

LETS number 137

https://wildheartseducation.wordpress.com/

Also I think spelling lists can work for some kids, but depends if the child wants to learn that way and sounds like your son (sustainablemum) has plenty of experience with language through years of reading. The key I think is to not just give the list and test a week later but work with the words during the week. Put the words in games (eg spelling JENGA where they have to spell one of the list words before a turn for example! adapt for any simple game), make the words from modelling clay, write the words in sentences etc

Also worth saying that you can be a ‘visual’ person without a strong visual memory. If he is very visual he may well have used picture cues to help him learn to read so early, but obviously he won’t have these visual triggers to help him spell. Some children really benefit from having pictures for the words they are learning, so if you go down the list route you could get him to write a word on a small card & draw a picture on the back to help as a trigger. The picture should connect to the words meaning.

Little index boxes with spelling rules on index cards, illustrated and under A-Z are good tools for some older children too.

If learning lists of words then start with all the high frequency words as that will really free him up to write & really builds confidence.

x

To dare is to lose ones footing temporarily, to not dare is to lose oneself.

LETS number 137

https://wildheartseducation.wordpress.com/

Wow thank you!  Some fantastic ideas to think about.

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