Based on the quote made famous by Nelson Mandela, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”, it is not surprising to know that all parents always want their children to be the best in school and in life. In fact, becoming the best spelling bee is one of the achievements that most parents want their child to achieve.
If a child excels in spelling, it is expected that he is also well-versed with superb comprehension skills. But how do you turn your child into a spelling bee without being too forceful and strict? It is actually easy. Depending on how you teach your youngsters, learning how to spell properly can be a fun thing for the both of you. As famous cartoonist Charles Schulz used to say, “Try not to have a good time… it is supposed to be educational.”
1.) Frequent reading – Children who read frequently do not only have outstanding comprehension skills but they have excellent spelling abilities as well. This is because age-appropriate books contain often contains words that are new and unfamiliar to a child. When your child reads new books, he will encounter “big” words that would spark his curiosity and interest. He would likely utter the new words often to get the pronunciation right as well as its spelling.
2.) Provide references – Parents should not think twice about investing in more books especially in dictionaries and encyclopedias. Extremely worth the cost, these reference books make great learning tools since they contain a cornucopia of words that vary in spelling difficulty. Make sure that you always have a pocket dictionary in your child’s room, in the living room and in his school bag as well. This will make it easy for your child to look up certain words that he is unfamiliar with.
3.) Pop quiz – Unexpected spelling questions can effectively sharpen the spelling skills of children. Possessing the ability to think fast on their feet would also boost their self-esteem and confidence. While grocery shopping, point to the assorted items found in the aisles and ask your child to spell them. In the park, let him spell the different things that he sees. These unconventional spelling quizzes are not only educational but extra fun as well.
4.) Introduce synonyms – Synonyms are words or phrases that have the same or related meaning to other words. For example, the simple word untidy has difficult synonyms such as higgledy-piggledy and topsy-turvy. Introducing varying synonyms to your child is always advantageous not only during spelling quizzes but also during essay writing projects. By slowly orienting your child with these sophisticated synonyms, he would surely be more interested in knowing more and more difficult words.
5.) Use fun tools – Do away with the traditional pencil and paper and use fun tools once in a while. Arm your child with alphabet magnets and Scrabble tiles. Let him use these tools to spell various words. Because these tools are fun and distracting, your child won’t feel like he is studying while learning how to spell new words. These fun spelling tools also make perfect companions of your child while on-the-go. With these, long airplane and car rides would be less boring.
6.) Story time – Parents should always encourage their children to frequently use new words that they have learned. But make sure that your child does not just know the pronunciation, he must also be knowledgeable of the proper spelling and the meaning is also important. Ask your child to write a short story that makes use of these new words. This would allow you to discreetly check his spelling accuracy and comprehension in one go.