My children were not the best spellers. We began with phonics and then memorized the spelling rules, but it never seemed to work its way into their actual writing. That was until I discovered a book called Spelling Power. It wasn’t that the book was so phenomenal, but the lesson it taught me about teaching spelling was more than worth the cost of the book.
The beauty of the book is not the method of teaching spelling, but the revelation that the more the children manipulate the words that they are learning to spell the better they will remember them. The activities and the listing of words in the back of the book, make this the most effective tool teaching spelling.
At the beginning of each week my children took a spelling test of words for which they had not prepared. The words that they spelled incorrectly made up their spelling list for the week – those and the words I had identified as problem words for them from their other schoolwork.
Throughout the week we spent about 20 minutes a day doing different activities with their words. Some of their favorite activities were the game hangman, crossword puzzles that they created for one another, writing their words in goop or candy, and creating word searches. By the end of the week they were tested on the words again and almost without fail they spelled them all correctly! What a thrill for all of us. Then they graduated to the next list of words the following week. Ideal.
Spelling might not be the most important skill in the lives of our children in these days of spell-checking and computers, but correct spelling will build self-confidence and improve written communication. It might even make foreign language learning easier in the high school years.
Final word on the subject: Spelling Matters!