Spelling is an essential skill that should be introduced at the same time your child learns to read. However, it’s not a skill that always comes easy. Children have to practice and focus to excel in this area. Whether your child is struggling with their spelling confidence or you want to help them advance their skills, discover some practical approaches you can take to help.
1. Promote Sound Awareness
Sounding out words is a great tool that can help your child become a better reader. However, the skill is helpful with spelling too. Remember that sounds represent specific letter strings. So, when you hear a word, even if you’ve never seen it before, you can listen to its sound and get a general idea of the letters that make up the word.
Your child can develop the same skill even at a young age. When you practice spelling, say the word aloud several times and encourage your child to do the same.
2. Write it Down
In math, students are encouraged to write their problems down; this step isn’t encouraged without reason. Writing information creates a visual representation. The more your child writes the word, the more they remember the sequence of letters that form the word.
If your child cannot write independently, write the word down and allow your son or daughter to trace it. The more you practice in this manner, the more opportunities he or she has to form a mental picture of it.
3. Talk About Root Words
Root words are an excellent tool that can help your child improve their spelling skills because root words make up the core of a word. So, if your child can pinpoint the root word, half the task is already accomplished, and all they have to do is figure out the surrounding letters.
Consider the root word form, for instance. If your child can master its spelling, spelling words like reform or perform will be much easier. Make sure you include root words in your spelling lessons regularly.
4. Use Flashcards
Flashcards are a great tool for strengthening your child’s spelling skills, as well. Flashcards encourage active participation and offer immediate gratification, which is especially helpful with younger children. However, best of all, you can make flashcards from materials you have at home. On one side of the card, write the word.
On the other side, write its definition and leave this side facing upward. Your child should eventually be able to spell the word and link its definition with regular practice. Mastering these two steps can help improve their spelling and language development skills.
Spelling is one of those skills where the mantra — practice makes perfect – is true. In the same manner that your child needs to practice the skill consistently, you need to commit to helping your child as much as you can. Ensure you do your part to help your child excel.