This week at Primary Tutor Project, one of our parents wanted to know how to make spelling more interesting for their child. The Look-Cover-Write-Check method does work, but can be quite dull week after week!
Spelling continues to be a major part of literacy learning in primary school. As a parent, you can be pretty sure that at some stage you’ll find yourself with a list of spelling words that you’re trying to help your child learn for their weekly spelling test! It is important that spelling is seen as enjoyable from a young age as this will set the foundation for good literacy skills in later years.
In this blog, we will outline some strategies and resources which can be used to help make spelling fun.
Although we do discourage an over indulgence in screen time amongst younger children, there are amazing resources out there to help kids learn their spelling. Have a go yourself and make sure the app is suitable and then allow your child to play. Use time limits for screen time if necessary. Here are a list of spelling / word puzzle apps which may be beneficial (some are free).
At Primary Tutor Project, we have a subscription to Spelling Frame for our students. They LOVE the gamification of spellings and we are able to allocate the same spellings as school each week, which our parents find useful for practicing at home.
Children always love when roles are reversed and they get to be the teacher. Turn the tables on the spelling practice, by playing student and getting your child to quiz you. Top tip: Accidentally get a key part of the word wrong sometimes – this shows that everyone makes mistakes and encourages your child to explain where you made the mistake.
You will find loads of wordsearch resources online. If you have time to prepare a custom one for specific words – they’re easy to make by printing/ drawing a grid, entering the words your child is learning and then adding in other letters all around. This can make it more more of an enjoyable challenge for your child knowing that it was made by you! Finding words in wordsearches helps children to focus on how each word is made up and further solidifies the knowledge that they have. For slightly older children with competitive streaks, scrabble is a great game.
Poems and riddles
Using the words your child is trying to learn, help your child write a poem or riddle for each spelling word – do it together and have fun with it! The rule is that they have to write the word at least once in each line. This activity helps them by having them copy out the word several times, fixing it in their mind, without seeing it as a boring copying activity. Doing this on a whiteboard or a wipeable whiteboard can also be very useful as it reduces the stress at the thought of ‘getting things wrong’.
Spell on the fridge
This is quite a simple trick which can be used to engage your child each morning when they are getting ready for school, or prior to bed when they are having supper. Using magnetic letters, put each of their spelling words up on the fridge when you get their spelling list. Each day choose a word or two and take away one of the letters or sounds. Ask them to correct the word which has been messed with!
Testing can be incredibly stressful for little ones, particularly when they know that mum and dad will want to know their score after school. As we always say at PTP, reward effort – not correct answers. Although it is tempting to celebrate getting full marks in tests at the end of the week, put the real praise into the effort that your child puts into learning them during the week. This can alleviate some of that pressure.
If you want to learn more, there are an enormous amount of resources online for any parents worried about their child’s spelling. This article has a great list of strategies to help. If for any reason your child is still struggling or you are worried, feel free to contact us here at Primary Tutor Project where we can give some more help and advice to help your child to find the fun in spelling!