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4 Spelling Strategies You Won’t Want to Miss

Some kids are just naturally “good spellers.” And then there are those who need all the help they can get.

If spelling doesn’t come easily to your child—or if you want to get your child started on the right foot—this post is for you! Read along to learn about four powerful spelling strategies to help your student, including free resources to get you started.

Quick guide for spelling strategies printable
  1. Phonetic Spelling Strategies

    Phonics is the perfect place to start. When done correctly, phonics teaches a child how to listen for each sound in a word and then how to represent each sound with a letter or combination of letters.

    The ability to hear the individual sounds in words is called segmenting. You can see how we teach segmenting in the video below, or find out more in our Segmenting blog post.

    Would you like to give it a try with your student? Download this free segmenting activity.

    After learning how to segment, your student will represent each sound in a word with a letter or letter combination, also known as phonograms. Phonograms include the letters of the alphabet A to Z, as well as combinations such as CK (for the sound of /k/), SH (for the sound of /sh/), and OW (for the sound of /ow/).

    Image depicting how cow is split up in to two phonograms

    If you are new to phonograms, be sure to check out our comprehensive article on How to Teach the Phonograms, including free printable activities and a free app.

  2. Rule-Based Spelling Strategies

    Though hundreds of words can be spelled phonetically, there are often several possible spellings for the same sound—the sound of /j/ can be spelled J, G, or DGE, for example—and that’s when knowing some rules comes in handy.

    The Kids’ Club Rule™ is a great example of a reliable spelling rule.

    This rule helps you determine whether to use C or K for the sound of /k/ at the beginning of words such as kitchen and camp. You can download the rule poster here.

    Spelling rules are easy to demonstrate with the Letter Tiles app  or the physical tiles. Here are some more ideas for incorporating spelling rules into your teaching:

  3. Visual Spelling Strategies

    Sometimes phonics and spelling rules aren’t enough. This is where visual spelling strategies come in. Does the word look right? Good spellers often try spelling a word several ways to see which way looks correct.

    This is why we use word banks in the All About Spelling program. Each word bank focuses on one concept, such as the sound of /er/ spelled UR, and helps build the student’s visual memory of words related to that particular concept.

    Word Banks for words with UR

    After becoming familiar with UR words, the word nurse spelled nerse will look wrong, prompting your child to correct her own work. Visual memory is important when it comes to correctly using homophones, too, like pray and prey or tale and tail.

    Extensive reading and word games are a huge help in building visual memory. Be sure to check out some of these resources:

    Download image for free Drag Race game

    Rev up your review with Drag Race, a fun reading and spelling review activity. Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines!

    Download image for free Pirate Ship game

    Your young swashbucklers can turn up the fun on spelling review with our Pirate Ship file folder game. Ahoy there, matey!

    Download image for free Popcorn Party game

    Reviewing spelling words can be easy and delicious when you have a Popcorn Party! Don’t forget the butter and salt!

    Download image for free Bingo Smash-Up game

    When two words get “smashed up” to form a new one, you get a portmanteau! Make a few of your own with Bingo Smash-Up!

    Find even more fun with words here!

  4. Morphemic Spelling Strategies

    Morphemes are the smallest units of meaning. Morphemes include roots and base words, prefixes, and suffixes, as in the word invisible.

    Image depicting the morphemes of the word "invisible"

    An understanding of morphology helps kids spell words like knowledge and action even though the base words know and act change pronunciation. That’s why All About Spelling teaches words with Greek and Latin roots, how to add prefixes and suffixes to base words, and how to form compound words and abbreviations.

    For a taste of how understanding morphemes can help your student, check out this 30-second Word Tree demo and download your free Word Tree printables.

So there you have it: the top spelling strategies that good spellers use. If your child is a struggling speller—or if you want to help your child reach the next level—be sure to incorporate these strategies in your lessons. That’s exactly what we’ve done in the All About Spelling program!

Where does your child fall in the continuum from natural speller to struggling speller?

Be sure to download our free spelling rules posters for extra reinforcement!

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Jess

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Awesome! Thanks for the tips!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Jess!

Priscila

says:

The program has helped my three children read and become good spellers. The kids especially enjoy the spelling rules that have visual aids–thank you for those– such as Jail and The Floss Rule.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I’m so pleased to hear this program has helped your children be successful with reading and spelling, Priscila!

Moses Faustina

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Thank you very much I appreciate your efforts

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Moses.

Anthony Tarwater

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51 and I’m trying to learn to read and spell read some spell song

Jessica Wright

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My son was struggling with spelling so we switched to All About Spelling while he was virtual schooling and it made such a difference!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Great to hear that All About Spelling has helped make a difference for your son, Jessica!

Elena Tejeda

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Helpful!

Jennifer Goldston

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We love all about learning! It’s helped my son so much.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Great to hear, Jennifer!

Katharine Gindin

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These products look terrific!

April Justis

says:

Great tips! My first 2 are natural spellers. My next 2 are not.

Laura Unger

says:

Great tips! My oldest son and I have never had any difficulty with spelling, but my youngest son really struggles with it. I’m happy to have found some tips to use with him!

Amanda

says:

Good info to know! I’m excited to teach my son how to spell and sharpen his reading skills!

Vania

says:

Thanks for amazing tips!!!

Rachel Wiese

says:

All good tips

Megan R.

says:

Great article!

Carol Ann

says:

I love all of these fun games! Thank you for all the tips and resources!

Erin

says:

Thanks for the helpful resources and tips!

Cassandra Botti

says:

Thanks for the extra resources!

Natalie

says:

Incredibly helpful for this mama starting out on this homeschooling journey!

Collette storkel

says:

Always looking for good spelling strategies!

Amber Diaz

says:

All About Reading and Spelling has helped my child tremendously. She is diagnosed with Dyslexia and Auditory Processing Disorder. This curriculum has even helped me as an adult understand phonetics.

Amanda Wevers

says:

Spelling is such a great skill!

Ashley

says:

Great strategies! Thanks for the help, great program.

Emily Gumprecht

says:

I’m so thankful for the helpful resources on this site!

Emily Gumprecht

says:

So thankful for all the resources on this site as well as the info in the teachers guides! They are so helpful

Shelby Monks

says:

Absolutely love this Company!

Katie

says:

We just started using AAS, and I am impressed with the systematic and fun approaches used. Thank you for helping my struggling speller!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You’re so welcome, Katie! I’m pleased to hear that All About Spelling is helping your student have success with spelling.

Charla

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Thank you for such an informative post.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Charla!

Stefanie Cargin

says:

Thanks for the tips!

Stefanie Cargin

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Thanks for the tips! Very helpful!

Amena Merchant

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It was very helpful with all the videos,illustrations and clear explanations

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Thank you, Amena. I’m pleased to hear this was helpful for you.