Parents often ask how to improve their child’s spelling skills. Although school curriculum continues to include accurate word spelling as a necessary objective, it seems that the instruction of spelling as been reduced to memorizing 10 to 20 words a week for a spelling test. So how can a child’s spelling improve?
Spelling is an academic task that requires retrieval of language and an understanding of the phonetic code of words. If a child exhibits a weakness in either of these areas, he/she will likely have difficulty in spelling. Therefore it is important for children to understand how to phonetically encode a word as well as how to visualize it as there are many sight words that do not follow the phonetic rules.
If your child is a poor speller it is unlikely you’ll be able to teach them how to ace the spelling bee, but you can improve their skill through instruction and help them to spell “close” so that technology devices such as the computer and hand-held electronic spelling devices can pick up the spelling mistake and offer suggestions.
It should also be noted that spelling problems are characteristic in individuals with learning disabilities, and specifically dyslexia. If you suspect your child has a learning disability or you would like some help with how to remediate their academic weaknesses, contact an Educational Specialist with Child and Family Development.