Good spelling skills give your child a solid foundation for communication down the road, but memorizing lists of spelling words can be just plain boring for you and your kids. Since spelling is essential, making memorization fun for your kids can help both of you get through your children’s spelling homework stress-free.
Word searches that include a mix of new words and familiar ones can be a good way to help your child master new spelling words. You can make your own by inserting words into a grid and filling in the blanks with random letters, or you can use an online program that scrambles your words into word searches for you. If your child is bored with doing word searches himself, have him write out a word search puzzle for you to solve. To make it more challenging, set a timer and tell him that if he completes the puzzle within a certain time frame, he gets a special treat, like watching television after dinner or a walk to the park.
If you’re working on spelling with a group of kids, let the kids take turns tossing a beanbag to each other and calling out spelling words. If a child catches the beanbag and spells the word correctly, he gets to choose the next word and the next speller; if he misspells the word, the beanbag goes back to the first thrower. You may need to remind kids to throw the beanbag to all the players, notes the game’s creator Jane Bell Kiester on the Literacy Connections website. If you’re playing with one child, adapt the game so that you take turns calling out one letter of a word at a time until you’ve correctly spelled the whole word.
Practice your child’s spelling words by getting creative. Set out a stack of old magazines and newspapers or print unusual or decorative alphabets online, and let your child cut and paste her spelling words onto a piece of sturdy construction paper using cut-out letters. If your child isn’t into crafts, pass out letter tiles from a game like Scrabble, and let her use those to spell her words.