Creating a good spelling regimen can be difficult. I speak from experience the frustration of a child acing a spelling test then spelling several words (that were on past tests) incorrectly on a letter or postcard. I have tried everything : weekly tests, no tests, flash cards, proof reading exercises, etc.and what I have found that works is this simple acronym. A note, in a wonderful book of which I have to find a title, the author said the difference between a great speller and a poor speller is that they visualize the word as a whole and poor speller sees separate letters. The key is to get the child to visualize that word and spell it with out writing it! A little pep talk prior to a spelling lesson is to remind children of the importance of proper spelling. People will understand their written words better if they are spelled correctly!

See the word!

  • Look at the word
  • Think about the letters that spell the word.

Hear the word

  • Say the word.
  • Listen to the consonant and vowel sounds

Adopt the word

  • Close your eyes
  • See the word in you mind’s eye
  • Think about how it looks and sounds

Record the word.

  • Cover the word
  • Write the word

Proofread the word

  • Correct the word
  • Touch each letter
  • Think about the word again

When the child asks, “How do I spell.” Tell them to take out a 3×5 note card. Help them sound out the word and write it correctly on the card. Have them trace it three times reciting the word slowly and then flip over the card and spell it aloud. This is for spellers that have a particularly hard time spelling. For proficient spellers, go through the same procedures, but don’t belabor the point. They will probably spell it after the first recitation. After the word has been mastered put it in an envelope marked “{child’s name} Words”. This is a handy exercise for any age child. I hope this helps parents with a difficult, but extremely important skill.

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