Help ME Spell: Spelling Help for Kids and Teens

Learning how to spell in the English language can be challenging. There are so many exceptions to common spelling rules and so many silent letters that it's easy to misspell words. However, there are several strategies you can use to learn how to spell correctly. Read on to learn about them below.

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Spelling Strategies for Kids and Teens

Break the Word into Syllables

One of the first things to do when trying to spell a difficult word is break it down into parts. Sound it out using the syllables to get an idea of the word's structure. Then, match up the sounds with letters. For instance, the word 'computer' has three syllables and can be sounded out like this: com pu ter.

It may help to say the word aloud and write it down while you spell it. This way, you are combining auditory (hearing), visual (seeing) and hands-on learning of the new word. When you add those three types of learning together, it will usually be easier to recall the correct spelling of the word later.

Also, figure out the prefix (a word part that comes at the beginning of the word), the suffix (word parts at the end of the word) and the base word. Whenever you break down a word like this, it typically makes it easier to figure out the correct spelling.

Check the Pronunciation

It's also important to make sure you're pronouncing the word correctly. Sometimes, you know what the word is, but you're just not sure how to say it. However, if you don't say the word correctly, you probably won't spell it correctly either because you won't be able to sound it out. Therefore, it's a good idea to check with a teacher or parent.

Use New Words

You will also improve your spelling if you use new words often in your writing. The more you practice using new words, the better you'll become at remembering how they're spelled. Continue spelling the word aloud until you have the correct spelling memorized.

Spelling Games

A creative way to improve your spelling is to play spelling games. Playing games will often make learning to spell easier because you'll be having fun at the same time. Some games you may want to try include Scrabble, Hangman, Upwords and Boggle.

Practice Words from the Dictionary

Choose words from the dictionary to learn and practice. Using a dictionary will not only show you how words are spelled, but it will also show you how they are broken down. In addition, using the dictionary to learn how to spell new words will teach you about the different parts that make up words. Once you start learning those various parts, it'll be easier for you to figure out how to spell unfamiliar words.

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