Tips for Parents – Your child and spelling

We want to promote a positive, masterful attitude to spelling so that pupils become confident, accurate, emergent writers. The intention of our spelling policy is to promote the teaching of spelling within the school and to ensure that by the end of 6th class pupils are able to spell confidently most of the words that they are likely to need to use frequently in their writing.  We recognise that spelling activities must be written, as oral spelling is of little value in supporting written text.

The following are tips for parents, who can help their child with spelling:

  1. Spelling is a  demanding skill that calls for a willingness to take risks and then a willingness to learn from the mistake made.
  2. Your child will learn to spell if you praise his attempts, even if these are wrong.
  3. When a child writes an incorrect spelling, praise the part he got correct.  If none of the attempt is correct, acknowledge the effort made and then write the correct spelling for the child.
  4. If a child asks you to spell a word, ask him to ‘have a go’ and then correct the attempt, if necessary.
  5. If a child misspells the same word over and over again, draw your child’s attention to it and get him to try it again. Often, he doesn’t even realise his mistake.  Help him by writing the word in large letters and place it where the child can see it often.
  6. When a child writes something, allow the child to read what he intended to say.  If he is interested in having other people read it, then the child will need help.
  7. When children are learning to spell words, it is important that they try to ‘picture’ the word in their minds and then attempt to write it.  The most effective method of learning to spell is by checking the way they wrote the word against the correct spelling, which the adult or a dictionary can provide.
  8. Be careful to always encourage your child to write, regardless of the mistakes in spelling.  During the stages when children are developing as spellers, they can easily become discouraged from writing because they are ’bad spellers’.
  9. Pupils want to write perfect stories and articles for publication and will seek help in spelling to make sure the article is worthy of reading by a wider audience. This is a perfect opportunity to help your child in his goal.

In fact, at primary school level, they are developing spellers and need the time and practice if they are to become confident writers and then effective spellers.