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Helping your Child Study for a Spelling Test

Is your child struggling with learning his/her spelling words?  Do they worry about their weekly spelling tests?  What can you do to help?   We continue our series of how to tips for helping your child study for tests in different subject matters.  Each day we’ll introduce new tips for each subject. Today, we'll focus on spelling.

English spellingWeekly spelling tests are a staple of every elementary curriculum, starting in grade 1.  For most kids, this is their first introduction to tests and for kids that struggle with reading and writing, these tests add to their anxiety.

What can we as parents do to help them learn to study for spelling tests?

Apart from ‘practice, practice, practice’ and reviewing the words both in writing and verbally – here are a few other methods to consider for learning those weekly words.

Index card

Using index cards, have your child draw a picture representing the word and the first letter of that word on the front.  Write the full word on the back of the card.  Have your child check the picture and write down the word on a piece of paper and spell it out loud.  Have them repeat the word until they get it right.

Use Multi-media

There are lots of online programs that help kids learn their words. SpellingCity is a popular program, as is K5’s K5 Spelling.  Multi-media programs that use audio, visual and interactive elements have proven to help kids learn more effectively.

Post-It Notes

Have your child write their weekly spelling words on post-it notes and stick them throughout the house, where he/she will see them through the week – the bathroom mirror, the fridge, their bedroom door.  Every time they see these stickies, have them read the word, close their eyes and repeat the spelling.

Play Games

Make a word search, play memory or hangman with the spelling words.  These methods help your children think about their words in different ways and add a new element to learning their words.

Write a story

Have your child write a story incorporating the words from their spelling list.  This will help them put their spelling words in context.