Help for the Struggling Speller

A struggling speller. If you have had one, you know how difficult the homeschool day can be for you and your child. It can test your patience, your child’s desire to learn, and can leave you wondering if you should even be doing this homeschool thing. If you have taught one, you know exactly what I’m talking about. And you know how frustrating it can be for you and the student.

You should! A struggling learner does not mean you should not homeschool. It does not mean you aren’t equipped to teach your child. It just means you may need a little bit of help along the way. Today we are going to take a look at how to help a struggling speller.

Provide Hands-on Learning

Most children who struggle with spelling don’t do well with worksheets or workbooks. Instead, you are going to have to consider different methods of teaching. One way a lot of kids learn is through hands-on learning. This method of instruction can work great for a struggling speller. Struggling

Provide letters that your child can touch and move around. Allow them to make patterns with words, for example, cat, hat, sat, fat.

Focus on Connection

Struggling spellers need to have a way to recognize connection or theme with their words. One great way to do this is by giving them word lists that have a familiar theme (all animals) or word family words (like “CK” words or “ing” words).

Another method of connection that can help a child is through a personal relationship. This can be done via modeling. Show your child strategies you use for spelling. Think aloud while writing a grocery list. If you misspell a word, show it to your child. Let them see that adults can make spelling errors too and that learning is always happening.

Allow Child to Work at Their Level

Struggling spellers need instruction that is at their level of learning. If your child is in 5th grade but is a struggling speller, don’t assume they can work at a 5th-grade spelling level. Go back to the level they are at. The grade level on a book isn’t anything but an assumption. A struggling speller may have gaps to fill, even if it means they need to go back to something you assumed they had learned in elementary school.

A struggling speller. If you have had one, you know how difficult the homeschool day can be for you and your child. Let's take a look at how to help a struggling speller.

Teach Spelling Strategies

No matter what level a child is at they need to learn and practices strategies for effective spelling. These strategies can include learning memory tricks and rules, memorizing words visually, looking up words in a reference book, utilizing spell check, or even asking for assistance.  You can learn more about these strategies here.  

An important thing to remember is that spelling takes practice. Even adults often struggle with spelling. Working on this through the various methods mentioned above can help your struggling speller become better one step at a time.

 

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