If your child is the latter, then it’s best to practice patience. Instead of going nuclear on him and giving him countless spelling drills, engage him in short and fun activities which will allow him to see spelling in a different light. Here are some suggestions:
- Post word lists corresponding to different parts of the house. In the kitchen, for example, post a colored cardboard with the words “stove,” “coriander,” “steak,” “chopping board,” and others on the refrigerator door. Every time he gets something from the ref, encourage him to give the word list a quick glance. He’ll be able to recall the spelling of those words soon enough. Do the same for the other rooms of your house.
- Play word games. Get them off their video games, and engage them in a variety of word games. Scrabble is a classic, and this you and your kids can play for hours on end. If you want something faster and snappier, go for Boggle. It would be nice to gift him with a bunch of crosswords and word searches as well; these solitary games would polish his spelling skills as well.
- Ask him to write notes and letters.This could be thank-you notes for guests who went to a recent party you threw or correspondence to a relative living abroad. As he writes these notes and letters, he gets more intimate with the words, helping him remember them better. Plus, writing letters not only lets him practice his handwriting, it also connects him with the people in your family’s universe.
- Practice spelling in different settings. You don’t need to have a structured study time for spelling. You could make it a daily habit, seamlessly slipped into everyday activities. At the grocery, ask your child to spell out the name of his favorite vegetable. You may even ask him to write down your grocery list. In your everyday conversations, ask him to spell words which you find interesting. Pretty soon, spelling will become a habit for him, making this once challenging task really easy!