We recently had a little bump in the road in regards to spelling practice at our house. It became a drag and the kids were dreading it.
So, I decided we needed a change and some fresh insight into our daily spelling practice. I ditched our curriculum for the moment and racked my brain for creative ideas.
Here is what we came up with:
Shh….don’t tell my kids they were working on spelling practice, they thought it was all fun and games!
Bananagrams is a fast, fun game of words. We played it several ways. First, as teams: kids against mom; then mom and one of the kids against the other.
We also tried going around the table and just giving each other words to spell with the tiles. Mom got all the hard ones, of course, and the kids thought it was great fun to try to think of hard words for me. Then we put together long strings of words and tried to read them, like this: thecowjumpedovertheuglymoon. We laughed until our sides hurt.
2. Spell Around the Room
Another day, we were sitting in the living room, and I simply looked around the room and had them spell the names of different items in the room out loud: lamp, couch, rug, shelf, books, ottoman, window, etc. You get the idea.
Then we took turns and I had them pick out the items to spell for each other. We spent about 10 minutes on this and then wrapped it up, but I’m adding it in on a regular rotation.
A few reasons that make this a great exercise are that it attaches proper spelling to items visually and develops their listening skills.
It also allows me to quickly correct any mistakes they make rather than allowing their minds to memorize words incorrectly. And lastly, it teaches them a great new game to play if they get bored.
3. Letter and journal writing
Personal choice writing is a third way we practiced spelling this week. We took a trip to a bike race over the weekend and when we returned my oldest was very excited to write about it in her journal.
We sat together and talked about the trip and I was able to encourage her and help with larger words she was unfamiliar with spelling. When it comes to spelling, correcting any mistakes quickly is vital to future success.
As Charlotte Mason says,
‘the whole secret of spelling lies in the habit of visualizing words from memory… The gift of spelling depends upon the power the eye possesses to ‘take’ (in a photographic sense) a detailed picture of a word; and this is a power and habit, which must be cultivated in children from the first.’
This one may seem a little out of the box, but I’ve been amazed at its effectiveness. One of our curriculums gave us a cute little page of socks on a clothesline on which to write homophones. In case you don’t know, homophones are two words that sound the same but have different spellings and meanings. i.e. sea/see, to/two/too, threw/through.
We started looking and listening for homophones to add to our page. Once the kids got the hang of it they started really honing their listening skills for homophones to add to our page.
Whenever we would find one, it gave me a chance to discuss the spelling and meaning with them and have them use each word in a sentence. More spelling practice. We now have several pages of homophones hung up and even my 4-year-old loves to listen for them.
5. I Spell, you Spell
One person begins spelling a word and the next person finishes. This can an incredibly funny way to practice. I might be thinking of a word that starts with “B-A-C”, say “back” for instance, but the next person finishes my word with “O-N” for “bacon”.
The kids think this game is hilarious and it really challenges them to think about how the words are spelled letter by letter.
Have fun Spelling!
How do you make spelling enjoyable for your kids? Tell us all about it!