How to Spark It

Wed, 11 Aug, 2021

How to Help Your Child Become a Good Speller?

Today the constant help from automated spell-check is making our lives simpler. Ever wondered why learning to spell is still a necessity even with the presence of such tools? In this age of mass communication, a mere dependence on spelling and autocorrect software will only restrict your child's knowledge of a language. The child needs to know how to spell better. Let us see how you can help your kids with spellings.

Tips to help your child remember spellings:

  • Phonemic Awareness - Introduce your kid to the sounds of words to make them observe the spellings. Let them hear what it sounds like when words get broken up. For instance, begin with the sound of each alphabet in cat separately (c-a-t), then say the word.

  • Train them to notice chunks in the spelling - Chunks indicate a group of words carrying similar sounds. Introduce your kid to them so that they can establish a sense of word families. Some of the similar-sounding words include mistake, retake, snowflake, etc.

  • Grouping similar spelling patterns - A list of such words as a reference will help your child remember and notice such patterns. For instance, a long I sound spelt IGH in Sigh and High.

  • Capitalize on their visual memory - Children tend to remember visually attractive diagrams. You can creatively group the above list in a column. As a clear visual representation, this will help the child see what the words have in common.

  • Use colour - Another great way to make it fun for your kid to learn to spell is to highlight what the words have in common with a colour of their choice. Ask them to colour only the letters that are common using a crayon or highlighter.

  • Tell them to make sentences using the words - Once your child starts recognizing similar sounding words, it is time to put that knowledge to use. Ask them to form a sentence using all the words in the list to further their memory and get them used to the pronunciations as well.

  • Practice rhyming words - Another set of words that you should introduce to the child are rhyming words having almost the same sound. Words like call, mall, wall, etc., are some instances of similar-sounding words with a slight change in spelling.

With these tips handy, you should also ensure that the process is fun for the child to keep up.

I have got just the right set of games and recreations you can engage your child with to make it easier for them to remember spellings.


  • Stairsteps - As the name goes, here, you will ask your kid to write the spelling in the form of a stair or steps. They will be adding one letter at a time to recognize the sound of the different words getting added at each level. For instance, S->St->Sta->Stai->Stair

  • Scrambled spellings - In this fun session, you will provide several scrambled words to your kids. It could be alphabet blocks, fridge magnets, or letters on bits of paper. They will have to unscramble the words within a time limit.

  • Spelling train - You will read out a word for this activity while your child writes it down. Then you will ask them to write another word, beginning with the last letter of the narrated word. In this way, they will be forming a train of words. For example, Tin - Not - Tea - Apple - Eat, and so on.

  • Online spelling games - This is the best way to engage a tech-savvy child in some form of learning. There are various online games and apps that you can easily download on your smartphone. These games are fun, colourful, interactive and highly engaging.

  • Trace, copy, recall - You will label three columns on paper as trace, copy, recall. In the 'trace' column, you will write a selected word, and your child will trace the letters there. Next, they will 'copy' the word in the second column. Finally, after folding and hiding 'trace' and 'copy', you will ask them to recall the spelling and write it in the third column.

  • Flashcards - Write the words on the front of a card with its definition on the back. Using these index cards, your child will look at the meaning and spell the word out loud.

  • Teach them to use a dictionary - Revisiting the basics, teach your child to navigate their way through a dictionary. Checking a word like this will require them to break it down into single alphabets. They will also start remembering the spellings with this.

Remember, if you wish for your child to master languages, you must help them develop fluency in reading and writing, the basis of which is spelling. Experiment with the above activities to figure out which ones work best for your kids.