How to Help Your Child Learn to Spell

A lot of parents want to know how to help their child learn to spell.

It’s long been known that traditional spelling activities, such as the weekly spelling list, do not achieve much and they tend to be among the activities children dislike most. So what can be done? What are ways to increase a child’s accuracy of spelling?

In answering this question, it is important to keep in mind that your goal should not be accurate spelling of individual words, but accurate writing of the sets of words that make up real messages such as journal writing, reports, and so on. Here’s one activity that can be very useful. Take a book that your child can read with relative ease (meaning that it evokes almost no errors). Have your child read a short sentence. Then cover the sentence and ask him or her write the entire sentence—as you dictate it, a word at a time. If there is an error, immediately stop him or her, show the sentence again—and using a fresh sheet of paper, start the writing over from the first word.

Two sentences a day of this type of writing can have amazing effects on accurate writing within a few weeks.