How to Teach Kids to Spell

Do you have a child in elementary school? If so, then there's a good chance that your child's currently developing his or her spelling skills. Keep reading to find out ways that you can help with this process.

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Teaching Children How to Spell

Why Spelling Matters for Your Child

Spelling is the foundation of all the writing your child will do in every subject throughout his or her education. Although a spell-check feature on a computer can be useful, a good speller is able to catch all the mistakes spell-check doesn't. Also, the firmer a grasp your child has on spelling, the easier it will probably be for your child to increase her or his vocabulary.


Kids need to learn what combinations of letters make sounds and to recognize when those combinations are used. For example, 'oi' is typically used in the middle of a word and 'oy' is generally found at the end of words. Once your child learns common spelling patterns, he or she will most likely be able to apply them to new words.

Methods and Tricks

Hang a white board in your kitchen or another room in your home that is used often. Have your child write the spelling words he or she is studying for school on the white board and practice them throughout the week. If you make the board prominently visible, your child will get frequent and repeated exposure to the words.

You can use mnemonic devices to teach your child new spelling words. Mnemonic devices create associations in your child's brain that will help him or her remember the spelling of words. Poems, chants, songs and rhymes are just a few kinds of mnemonic devices you can use.

One of the most useful tricks that will help your child improve his or her spelling is simply encouraging reading for fun. By reading, your child will be naturally exposed to spelling patterns and similarly spelled words. Set aside time each evening for reading. There are book lists that you can go over with your child to help him or her pick interesting books.

Helpful Resources

If your child needs extra help with spelling that you're unable to provide, there are a number of helpful options to consider. Every child has different needs, so consult with your child's teachers and other educational professionals to find out what's best for your child. Local libraries and learning centers may have spelling programs. You can also hire a private or online spelling tutor.

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