Build Your Child's Self- Esteem With Spelling

by Belle
(Australia)

Encouraging kids to write words improves spelling

Encouraging kids to write words improves spelling


A hundred years ago, every school had "spelling bees" where children would compete to show who had the best spelling skills. The winner was admired by students and adults alike. Although the United States still holds national spelling competitions, sometimes there isn’t the focus on spelling in the schools that children require to learn how to spell. Worse, even adults are letting their skills slide, saying "oh, the spell-check program will catch my mistakes." However, not all spelling is done on the computer - and not all children are learning how to spell.

Proper spelling is a foundation for good communication skills. These days, many of us deliberately misspell words when we are constructing text messages just so we can fit the things we want to say in the space allotted for us. Ever since text and instant messaging became hugely popular, we have become lazy. We rarely take the time to check our spelling and mostly rely on spell checkers to check the misspelled words for us.

But there are always instances when we have to write formal documents. Writing those documents will require a good level of spelling. And if you have been accustomed to using misspelled words, you might end up with a badly-written document. Your children will face the same problems at school, and get graded down for misspelled words on tests and essays. These problems will continue into their higher education and even on into their professional careers, if they don’t focus on their spelling at an early age.

Getting into the habit of using the correct spelling of words is important for children as well as adults. In addition, being able to spell creates a sense of confidence that leads to future success. If you’re a parent, you shouldn’t take it for granted that your child’s school is focusing on the importance of proper spelling.

How To Improve Your Child’s Spelling

Encourage your child to read and write more. Independent reading helps improve vocabulary and spelling skills significantly. Spelling practice can even start before your child can read and write. If you read books to them with pictures and large, simple words, they’ll become accustomed to the way a correctly-spelled word looks, and later when they write or read on their own, they’ll know how the word should be spelled just by seeing it on the page.

One of the best ways to improve spelling is by practicing writing words out by hand. You can come up with projects at home to help your child improve his or her spelling skills. For example, you might encourage your child to write in a journal or keep a daily diary. You can also try giving your child impromptu essays. Choose easy topics at first. Ask your child to write about their favorite food, or talk about their day at school. Even short paragraphs will go a long way to helping children improve their spelling, and helping them get comfortable with writing.

When your children are working on their spelling homework, be there to guide them. Praise them if they quickly learn the correct spelling of a word, and encourage them to practice writing out the words that are giving them trouble. If children see that they have support in their studies, they’ll stick with them longer and will be more confident of their eventual success.

Spelling practice can happen any time. If you and your child are working in the kitchen together, play a spelling game by saying a word and asking your child to spell it for you. If you remember the words on their school homework lists, use those for extra practice. You can play this game on car trips, at the zoo, at the grocery store, or any other time you’re with your children. Children often work better with the promise of a reward, so save healthy but tasty treats to reward them for getting words right, or take them to the bookstore to pick out a new book.

Spelling software is also a good solution, especially if your child is already into computer games. Look for a good educational software geared towards children and install it on the family computer. The best spelling software products will incorporate lots of games and visual elements that children find attractive. If you set up the system and describe it as something fun, your children will want to play the games - and they might not even notice that they’re really studying! Spelling software makes the task of learning how to spell easier and more exciting.

The best spelling software will use a step-by-step method of teaching children how to spell. Because each child will begin at a different level, look for a software program that can be customized to your child’s needs. The software should divide words up into increasingly difficult levels that challenge children without overwhelming them with too many difficult words at first. Additionally, you’ll want to make sure that the software is able to test children on the words, and track their progress. When children see how much progress they’re making, they’ll be encouraged to continue, and they’ll feel even more confident and proud of their skills.

** This article is courtesy of Belle from UltimateSpelling.com


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