How to Help Your Child With Spelling Problems

By Huntington Learning Center

Early elementary students spend a lot of time learning the building blocks of reading and writing, but how about spelling? Nowadays, students use autocorrect on their computers and don’t focus as much on spelling, which is an integral part of reading and writing.  Spelling is so important to a student’s understanding of words and how they are read, how they sound, and how they are spoken. Spelling practice is important for all students, as it helps younger students learn how to read and helps older students with vocabulary growth and reading comprehension.

Daily practice is an excellent way to strengthen spelling skills and with school out on summer break, students have time to do just that. If your student has spelling problems, they should correct it as quickly as possible before it starts to affect other aspects of their academic development.  Parents can help with spelling at home or turn to Huntington for help. We have summer programs that will improve your child’s spelling problems and get them on the road to success. Here are some spelling strategies and spelling tips for struggling students:  

Focus on phonics. As your child learns to read in school, their teachers will focus on building phonics understanding. Phonics instruction focuses on teaching letter sounds and the relationship between letters and sounds. Without a solid foundation in these areas, children often struggle with both reading and spelling. Parents should to talk with their child’s teacher for suggestions on how to build these skills at home.  

Ensure children know common spelling rules. There are some unpredictable aspects of the English spelling system, but the spelling of many words is predictable. Make sure your child knows spelling rules like these:  

  • Q is always followed by u. (e.g., quiz)
  • It’s usually i before e (e.g., piece) except after c (g., receive) or when the word sounds like an a (e.g., weigh).
  • With words ending in y, if y is preceded by a consonant, change y to i, then add es to make the word plural (e.g., fry becomes fries).

Get children familiar with root words, common prefixes and suffixes.  

Root words hold the most basic meaning of a word.  When you are not sure about the meaning of a new word, try to figure it out by studying its parts. Getting to know root words as well as prefixes and suffixes (and how their addition to a root alters it) can help your child build their vocabulary and understand spelling patterns.  

As reading and writing grow more complex, your child will encounter plenty of exceptions to spelling rules and irregularly spelled words, which can cause spelling problems and frustration. However, with persistence and patience, your child can become a better speller, and developing a reading habit is a key part of that. One of the simplest ways to help with spelling at home is to continue to encourage your child to read. The more familiar children are with words, the easier it is to recognize words visually. That’s one of the more common-sense spelling strategies.

If your child has spelling problems and also struggles with reading and literacy, call Huntington. Our academic evaluation will assess your child’s strengths and weaknesses in reading and spelling so we can develop an individualized program specific to their needs and goals. We’ll build your child’s confidence and help them become successful in school. Call us today at 1-800 CAN LEARN.