How can I Help my Child Learn Their Spelling Words?

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  • Written By: K T Solis
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 13 August 2019
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Taking a spelling test can be a scary prospect for any child in elementary school, but there are ways that parents can help their child practice the words so she'll be ready for the test. Using an arsenal of games and interactive activities will help children learn their spelling words and have fun at the same time. These activities will strengthen the spelling lessons children learn in the classroom.

Most children love to play with computers, so they may enjoy practicing their spelling words by typing them. Using basic word processing software allows kids to type their spelling words and have them well in mind. Kids can experiment with different fonts and colors as they type words from the word list. They can even make the words appear tiny or large.

If a family has old newspapers and magazines lying around the house, they can put them to good use by helping a child prepare for an upcoming spelling test. Provide the child with a pair of safety scissors and let her cut letters from the magazines and newspapers. She can then use the letters to spell her spelling words. Give her a glue stick, and she can paste the words to a piece of colorful construction paper or poster board.


Children of all ages will enjoy scrawling their spelling words in shaving cream. Buy a can of inexpensive shaving cream from a dollar store and spray it on the kitchen table. The child can then use her word list to practice writing her spelling words. Parents can call out each word and wait for the child to spell it without looking at the word list. This type of hands-on activity enables the child to practice writing the words without making her feel like she's doing homework.

Another way to practice for a spelling test is to ask the child write a story or silly sentences with words from the spelling list. If a child loves to tell stories, this may be an ideal way to provide her with spelling practice. Children use their creativity to write stories utilizing all the words on the spelling list. They can even make their own books by stapling a few sheets of paper together. After the story is written, children can illustrate their books with crayons and markers.

Kids who enjoying puzzles can turn their spelling list into a word search. This can be done by visiting an online word search generator like Kids can also create the word search using a pencil and a sheet of notebook paper.

Some kids might like to make a spelling word memory game. Children can write their words on index cards. Each spelling word should be written on two cards so that they become a pair. The child places the cards face down on a table and tries to find a matching pair of words. By using these methods, children can learn the words and have a better chance of passing the spelling test.


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Post 12

My child loves this app for smartphones and tablets called Spelling Monster. There are lots of simple but effective "mini-games" in the app that he enjoys. It's really neat because I can program his word lists from school into the app also and I can keep track of his progress through a "parental section". Great way to help him with spelling and keep him up to speed with school work! He and I both love the app! Highly recommended!

Post 8

My daughter uses a program called Spelling Made Simple. It's a computer program that is easy to use and she loves it! Her spelling grades have improved, and the program is really affordable. They have a website if anyone is interested.

Post 7

anon51803, the only thing I could tell my children when they were frustrated with the spelling of words, was that English comes from many different roots, and it is simply a difficult language. Sometimes the only hope is memorization, rather than any method by which a word's spelling could be gotten.

Post 6

Icecream17-I think that sixth grade spelling words are often multisyllabic.

They are significantly more complicated words with rich meanings. Words like conversation, contagious, and cooperation are very common. Most schools also offer robust vocabulary in addition to the spelling words in order to enhance the student’s vocabulary.

For home school parents, a program called Megawords teaches the child how to read difficult words, spell them and understand their meanings.

Also, studying Latin really helps with spelling and vocabulary as well as English grammar. Programs like Latina Christina and Henle Latin offer the home school parent an opportunity to teach Latin in incremental levels.

Most of the Scripps National Spelling Bee winners have extensive experience learning Latin and have used these programs. These programs can be ordered by Memoria Press. This company also offers online courses in case you find the Latin too difficult to teach yourself.

Post 5

SauteePan-Usually kindergarten spelling word and 1st grade spelling words has very basic phonetic rules that reinforce the reading lessons because children in grade generally are learning how to read.

Spelling is the opposite of phonics and it shows children how to apply and learn the digraph or phonetic pattern that is taught for the week.

For example, if the child is learning the “At” combination, most of the spelling would probably be bat, sat, cat, rat, hat, mat and so on. The story of the week will also display these first grade spelling words through out the story in order to reinforce the sound and spelling.

Post 4

Comfyshoes-Often difficult spelling words should be broken down by syllable. Since 80% of the English language is phonetic in nature many words could be sounded out based on phonics rules.

This is really a great way for children to improve their spelling while they are writing words that they are not sure they can spell.

My daughter has grade 5 spelling words and her teacher has her do three different homework assignments with these words.

Sometimes she creates word searches based on her spelling words with a site called Puzzle Maker. It is really a fun way for her to learn her words and she usually aces her spelling tests with minimal studying.

Post 3

Anon51803- Wow, what an insightful child! I just wanted to say that there is a site called Spelling City that my son uses for spelling.

He adds his spelling words and the program will then verbally read the words to him and he would have to spell them. He just has to click on the read me button. The site also has sentence builder games and word searches.

Many the Dolch spelling words are considered the most commonly used sight words and they list first grade spelling words through 3 grade spelling words. Learning these elementary spelling words will really make writing a whole lot easier.

Post 1

My child asked, "why does 'watch' have a 't', while reach does not?"

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