Nobody likes having to sit a test and now that your little one has started school, reading and weekly spelling tests will start cropping up and it’s important to support your child with this aspect of school life. So, why not take a read of our tips on how you can help your little one to become the next spelling bee.
In the evening set aside some time for you and your child to sit down together so that you can help them work on their spellings. Make sure that your little one has a good dinner before they start working, as working on an empty stomach will only lead to irritability and a lack of concentration, trust us we know how horrible that feels!
2. Get them in the zone
Set aside an area in your home away from distractions so that your child can focus on practising their spellings. Make sure that they have a desk or enough space on dining table to work on.
3. Talk to your child about their spelling tests
When your little one gets home after having a spelling test, ask them about what words they got wrong as this will help you to understand how you can help them.
4. Learning Strategies
There are oodles of ways that you can help your child to learn their spellings. Here are some strategies that we remember using when we were younger.
Copy it, copy it, recall it
Repetition is a common way of learning and it can help with anything from learning spellings to magic tricks. Copying a word multiple times will help your little one to remember the word. Not only will they see the word a hundred times on the page, but they will get familiar with how the word looks and how it feels to write it.
Mnemonics are fun and useful when learning to spell words. I mean who doesn’t use big elephants can always understand small elephants to spell out because?
Break it down
Breaking down polysyllabic words will make each syllable easier to remember and spell compared to the full word itself. Help them to work out how many syllables there are in a word by clapping the word together, one clap per syllable. Splitting the word into syllables will look less daunting to your little one, just take the word rabbit, it’s two syllables are ‘rab’ and ‘bit’.
As we all know not every word has the same ending, so why not split the words into categories such as words ending in ‘ing’, ‘tion,’ ‘ight’ or ‘est.’ That way your little one will only need to change the first part of the word knowing that the last part will remain the same, just take might slight and tight for example.
Some words will catch your child out with their silent letters such as the w in the word two or the double letters of ‘d’ and ‘s’ in the word address. To tackle this, go through the spellings with your child and highlight the bits that they find tricky. Once you’ve finished highlighting, have your child practice the word without looking at the sheet of highlighted words. This time they’ll be aware that the words have silent or double letters in and eventually they will remember how the word looks.
Reading with your child is vital and it’s best to read little and often, so set aside time for it every day so that your child makes steady progress. By reading, your little one will come across new words which will allow them to see how they are spelt and increase their vocabulary.