Have you, as a parent, ever found studying spelling with your child a frustrating experience? Most kids do not jump at the opportunity to study and sometimes forcing the issue leads to trouble with a capital T! Well, many parents are just like you and as a teacher, I believe learning spelling should - and can - be fun, especially at a young age. The truth is there are lots of tricks to make spelling much more interesting and engaging for the kids. Here are some helpful ideas that we often use in class that make learning exciting and interactive in the process. When you make it a game, it stops being studying and becomes an fun activity. That’s the key!
1. Have your child record themselves either by voice or video. They can say the word, then pause with enough time to try and spell it, then the recording will have the actual spelling. This is an easy way for them to test themselves throughout the week.
2. Get them a dry-erase board. Kids love playing with the small dry-erase boards in class and will love them at home, too. They can test themselves using their previously recorded voice or video at home or in the car.
3. Teach them to chunk the word. Helping your child to see the syllables and the pattern in the spelling word will help them better understand why it’s spelled that way and be able to memorize it for their test. Write down each word and highlight, underline, or write each syllable in a different color.
4. Make it a hand-clapping game, just like you played as a kid, i.e.,"and Bingo was his name-O."
5. Use magnets on the fridge or on a baking sheet. Children learn better (and have more fun) when it’s a hands-on
6. Pour salt onto a plate and have them write the words in the salt. Shaving cream, whipped cream, even pudding all work great!
7. Graffiti Spelling: This is where the smelly markers, glitter pens, and paint markers come into play. Pull out a piece of white paper and have your child write as many of the spelling words as they can on the paper. They should use all different colors and sizes to make it look like graffiti.
8. Roll & Write- Give your child one die, a piece of paper (or whiteboard), and then come up with rules for each number. For example, write the word: 1) large; 2) upside down; 3) tiny; 4) using a pattern with colors; 5) with their fancy writing; and 6) sing each letter with the word. Each time they roll the die, they will choose a different spelling word to write. This just adds another fun element to study time!
9. Say and spell each word, to make it really stick. There’s a ton of research out there about memorization and one common fact is that visualizing is key. I suggest having your child say the spelling word, then write it down as they spell it aloud.
10. Use a jump rope. By spelling the words while jumping rope, the students are utilizing multi- sensory learning. Their brains will be more focused on the words because they are moving while spelling. If this is too hard for them, use a basketball and have them bounce it instead.
I hope these ideas get you on the path to a stress-free study time and help your kids to truly enjoy the learning process. It doesn’t have to be a struggle and could even turn into a favorite part of your week!