How You Can Help Your Child Learn to Spell… and pass a spelling test!

How you can help your child learn to spell.

Traditional weekly spelling tests don’t work equally for all kids.  Visual learners do well and auditory learners do poorly.  Spelling is a visual skill, thus favoring the visual learner.

Typically, a teacher will say the word and the child will write the word on a piece of paper.  Practice needs to mimic the format for testing.  That’s why we have the child write the word when practicing at home.  Spelling the word out loud is good for spelling bees, but not weekly spelling tests. 

How can you help your child pass those ineffective tests?

Say the word to your child and have them write it down.  Then have them compare what they’ve written with the target word spelled correctly.  If it is incorrect, have your child fold the paper, covering his/her first attempt.  Write the word again.  Then compare.  If it is spelled correctly repeat the process, folding and covering previous attempts until your child has the word spelled correctly 5 times in a row.  Then go on to the next word. 

It is very important for the child to make the visual comparison.  This exercise will make a huge difference in your child’s ability to pass those dreaded spelling tests.

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3 Responses to How You Can Help Your Child Learn to Spell… and pass a spelling test!

  1. Laurie says:

    Carol is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to how to help your child tap into their greatest potential. Her “method” is an accumulation of her life’s work with kids. She’ll look beyond the labels and find out precisely what is holding a child back. And then she will design a program to move them forward.

  2. Mary jane Heil says:

    Getting children to retain spelling words beyond the weekly assignment is sometimes difficult. I spend time focusing on a vowel pattern, blend, etc. during the week. We reinforce and incorporate the spelling sound when reading and writing. I have a variety of written spelling assignments to help the children. The spelling words need to be written and studied. I love Carol’s blog!

    • admin says:

      Sorry for the delay in replying. I’m still getting used to all of this technology. It is my understanding that weekly spelling tests do not improve spelling. At the Center, I have a Homework Wiz for the younger kids that we use to check spelling. I also only work with spelling, one year below reading level. I find that a lot of spelling programs assume a reading level that is higher than what I see in students.

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