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8 Ways to Encourage Spelling Success (and Happy Spellers!)

What’s your favorite subject?

If your child is like most, spelling might not be at the top of his list. But what if you could create an environment that would increase the likelihood of changing that around? What if you could make spelling a subject your child looks forward to?

boy writing words on paper with water color paints

Let’s take a look at some tips to help you create an atmosphere that will increase your child’s chances of becoming a successful (and much happier) speller.

8 Ways to Encourage Spelling Success

  1. Set a regular schedule. It’s important to create a predictable schedule for spelling—and it’s even more important that you stick with it. Five days a week is ideal.
  2. Have a consistent work space. Creating a regular “spelling spot” means you won’t have to continually figure out the logistics and your child will always know what to expect. Plan a place at a table or counter where there is plenty of room for your teaching materials and where you and your child can sit side by side without crowding. Clear away everything you won’t be using for teaching spelling.
  3. Keep lessons short and sweet. Twenty minutes a day works really well for many kids, but you’ll definitely want to customize the length of your lessons to fit your child’s specific needs. One child may have a long attention span and high interest, while another may have low interest and be highly distractible. More lesson length guidelines can be found here, but in general, short, intense, fast-paced spelling sessions are much more effective than long drawn-out ones.
  4. Choose the best time. Consider the time of day that will work best for your child. When is he at his best, at his most teachable? First thing in the morning? While younger siblings are napping? After lunch or a snack? After activity like a walk, a bike ride, or playtime?
  5. Minimize interruptions and distractions. Don’t allow interruptions to your lesson time. Everything else can wait. No, really…it can wait! Turn off the radio, the television, and the ringer on the phone. Or better yet, turn off your cell phone completely. Who is more important—your child or the person calling? Isn’t that why we have voicemail? Right now, teaching spelling is your priority.
  6. Plan for your other children. You know that all your kids will want your attention at the same time, so you might as well plan for it before it turns into a frustrating situation. The goal is a calm teaching situation where your child can learn. If this is going to happen, you must plan for it. Just be sure that the activity you plan for the other kids isn’t a distraction to the one you’re trying to teach!
  7. Add some fun! Take advantage of the free resources available on our site for teaching spelling. Here are a few to get you started:
  8. And finally, use a program that works. Many of the frustrations kids encounter as they learn to spell are caused by using programs that don’t make sense to them. As you look for a homeschool spelling program, consider the points found in the article “How to Find a Spelling Program that Works” and download our “How to Evaluate a Spelling Program” checklist. Then find the method that fits your homeschool and make it a positive part of your child’s day.

Do you have any tips to share? Add them in the comments below! Let’s support each other in making spelling lessons something our kids can look forward!

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Saroj Jondhale

says:

Thanks for the valuable and useful tips .

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Saroj. I’m glad these are useful for you.

Nichole

says:

Number 5 is a biggie to ensure distractions don’t hinder lessons. My kids are so easily distracted which can lead to frustration. Great list of tips! Thanks!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Nichole. Yes, distractions can derail a lesson quicker than anything else!

Jennifer Mirro

says:

Thank you! Numbers 2 and 3 struck a chord with me. Being consistent is so valuable.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

So true, Jennifer!

Cari F

says:

I’m hoping to help my son improve his spelling, now that he’s ready. I’ll have to keep these tips in mind!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I hope these tips help, Cari! But if you find you have concerns or need more help, just let us know. We are happy to help!

Lyndsey Martinez

says:

These are great tips! My son is 7 and will be finishing level 4 of AAR soon. Next will be All About Spelling!!!

Tracey

says:

This article was especially helpful to us. My daughter is on the go the whole time and these tips made a world of difference in our routine.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I’m so glad this was helpful for you, Tracey!

Monica

says:

This is such a great idea! Very helpful tips. Thanks!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Monica! I’m so glad to hear this was helpful for you.

Hayley

says:

Great reminders!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Thank you, Halyley!

Tamara Aiken

says:

This program has been amazing for my daughter who is dyslexic! We’ve especially enjoyed the board games (in the free printable resources) to review the phonograms and spelling words. She has also completed all four levels of the reading program. I cannot believe her amazing progress over the last three years using these programs! Thank you for making spelling and reading so enjoyable, (for a teacher and student!) and successful!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Thank you for sharing how well your daughter is doing with All About Reading and All About Spelling, Tamara! Such wonderful progress is so encouraging to hear!

Krista Adams

says:

These are great ideas!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Thank you, Krista!

Krista

says:

This looks like it would be great for my girls!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Krista,
Let me know if you have any questions or would like more information; I’m happy to help!

Jessica Staubs

says:

My son loves AAS, he really gets into the subject because of the tiles. Being able to use his hands and put letters together to make words. It’s a very helpful way to teach your little ones!

Sarah C

says:

These are excellent points to follow! Distraction free environment is so key!

Krista Adams

says:

Yes! My little ones tend to distract the older ones lol. Great tips!

Merry

says: Customer Service

Yes it is!

Brittany Leader

says:

Very excited to start this program! I have a 7yr old who loves books and being read to, but is such a reluctant reader. She has the most amazing imagination and loves writing stories, but her spelling is really lacking. We will be starting level 1 in both AAR and AAS and I cannot wait to see the change in her!

Merry

says: Customer Service

Hi Brittany–I hope you have a great year with her in All About Reading and All About Spelling! Let us know if you have any questions along the way :-). I love that she already loves writing stories and using her imagination. Keep encouraging her!

MyRanda Garcia

says:

I have AAS Level 1 in my shopping cart. We are so excited to learn more about spelling!

Krista Adams

says:

Yeah!

Sarah N

says:

I am so excited to start this program!

N St.Jean

says:

So much to learn about spelling! I’m excited to start.

Kaile R

says:

Great additional resources, thank you!

Merry

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Kaile!

DeLaura

says:

I think these are excellent and easy ways to help us work on spelling as a family!

Shawna

says:

Great resources. Thank you.

Stephanie

says:

We just started using AAS Level 1 and my daughter likes it! Thanks for the additional resources!

Merry

says: Customer Service

That’s wonderful, Stephanie. Enjoy!

Amanda Bartholome

says:

Great ideas! And thank you for the free resources.

Jessica P

says:

This looks like such a fun spelling curriculum

Christina Hauser

says:

Great tips! We are going to be focusing on spelling over the summer and will definately use the free resources to keep it fresh.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Christina,
Glad this is helpful for you! We also have a couple other blog posts with resources you may find helpful. We have FREE Boredom Busters and How to Beat the Summer Slide.

If you need more ideas or have questions, just ask!

Sonya

says:

Great tips! Super excited for upcoming school year!

Agatha

says:

I love these tips! Just recently found out about All About Spelling, I will have to try it!

Amanda Wright

says:

We have kind of hit a bump with All About Spelling. My son will do it but I think we need it to be more fun so I love the suggestion of the games and can’t wait to try them!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Glad this is helpful for you, Amanda!

We also have a 10 Great Ways to Review Spelling Word Cards that I think your son may enjoy as well.

Let me know if you ever need more ideas.

Debbie

says:

Thanks for the tips!

Sally Chancellor

says:

Thanks for these tips and freebies!

Andrea D

says:

Great tips!

Sara

says:

My kids love it when we add games into our lessons. It makes review go by so much faster. Great ideas!