Wednesday, December 22, 2010

How can I help my child with spelling?

Ms. Dorothy,
My fourth grader is not such a great speller. I try to help him practice his spelling, but at times he seems to not retain the memory of the word's correct spelling. Can you give me some ways to help him?
- Homework Mom

Spelling is a visual activity. You have to be able to see that a word is spelled wrong, and you have to be able to see the correct spelling. That is why when you ask someone, "How do you spell _____," they often have to write it down to know that it is correct.

The one best way to become a good speller is by reading. The more books you read, the larger the bank of correctly spelled words you will recognize, and the less likely you are to spell inaccurately.
If your child is mostly reading his own writing, he is reinforcing a visual image of his own misspellings over and over again.

You can continue to practice spelling words with him, but if he is reciting these and not picturing the word or seeing the word written, he is less likely to retain it, recognize when he has written it wrong, or be able to correct his own errors.

Increase the amount and variety of his reading materials, and his spelling will begin to improve.

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