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?
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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.
- 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!
- Add some fun! Take advantage of the free resources available on our site for teaching spelling. Here are a few to get you started:
- 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!