Learning Fun for Kids Online

Home school and after school, kids online can access some great sites and games that are both educational and fun. This site reviews and links to the best, and also discusses some parenting articles and homework sites of interest to parents.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Spelling It Right

building blocksMaybe good spelling doesn't seem to be all that exciting or fun, but sometimes that's because too much guessing goes on.

Unlike spelling, math is an exact science: you learn the rules and apply them, you get the right answer. This makes it more like a game or competition. (Review multiplication tables by bingo and you non-believers will see how math can become fun).

When kids have to guess at spelling, they don't "win" when they get something right. They just get lucky--there's no "building blocks" going on. English teacher, Roger Smith, thinks that educated guesses are a step in the right direction.

For example, at his site Spelling It Right: Learn How to Spell Confidently, he gives weak spellers a fighting chance when it comes to spelling words with iffy vowels.

When you say words like "relative" or "information", the middle vowels aren't clearly stressed which can make spelling those words correctly a bit tricky. Mr. Smith has a trick up his sleeve that can help: think of another word from the same root, and maybe you can figure it out.

With "relative", he shows the word "relation".

With "information", he shows the word "inform".

Once he's shown you how, he gives you an exercise to complete:

Here's the root word: define. Complete this word: def_nition
Here's the root word: sedate. Complete this word: sed_tive
Heres' the root word: explore. Complete this word: expl_ration

and so on.

It's not just how to spell difficult or tricky vowel sounds -- the free worksheets cover syllables, consonant blends, prefixes, suffixes and word endings. Mr. Smith even goes into subject-specific words taken from science, geography and maths where he shows how the word is spelled and what the difficult bits might be.


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posted by Stephanie @ Thursday, October 15, 2009  


  • At 10:29 AM, Blogger MikeWJ at Too Many Mornings said…

    I wish I'd known this when my kids were younger. Now they're older, and just bad spellers. :)

  • At 1:46 PM, Blogger Stephanie said…

    With computer spell check, good spelling has gone the way of multiplication tables (when calculators made rote memorization a point of dissension). Rather fits in with your Print Journalism Appears to be Dying post, eh?

  • At 2:38 AM, Anonymous Siew Yean said…

    My son used to struggle with phonics when he was younger. Now, he is being challenged with spelling. This is great resources for me to teach him spelling!

    Thank you for the sharing.

  • At 3:08 AM, Blogger Stephanie said…

    Thanks for letting me know, Siew Yean. If you enter the term "spelling" into the search box on this blog, you'll see a few other games and activities I've found useful over the years.


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