Supporting your child with spelling at home

How to support your child with spelling?

To support your child in becoming a confident and secure speller, it is vital that you are able to consolidate school learning at home.  At school, children have daily spelling sessions which focuses on progressing their understanding of phonic spelling patterns from KS1 into KS2, as well as securing understanding of common exception words.

Alongside the variety of spelling patterns the children have to learn, in the new Curriculum, children are expected to spell key words as part of the age related expectations.

These key word lists can be found below:

Year 1 Common Exception Words

Year 2 Common Exception Words

Year 3/4 Spelling Lists

Year 5-6 Word Lists


Strategies to support the teaching of spelling

There are a variety of strategies that you can use at home to support your child with their spelling, as detailed below.

  1. Mnemonics – A really good strategy to support memory of difficult spellings e.g. because (Big Elephants Can Always Understand Small Elephants).
  2. Analogy – Making families of words e.g. night, fright, sight, slight
  3. Sounding Out – This is a popular strategy to use within school.  Ask your child to sound out the phonemes (sounds) within each word e.g. cat (c – a – t).
  4. Find the syllables – children to clap out each of the syllables within the word e.g. beau/ti/ful
  5. Quick Spell – Give your child a time limit, e.g. 30 seconds, and see how many times they can accurately spell a particular word in the allotted time.  Can they then beat their own score?
  6. Look, Say, Cover, Write, Check – Look at the word and say it out loud.  Then cover it, write it and check to see if they have spelt it correctly.  If not, identify what part of the word was spelt incorrectly and repeat the process.
  7. Pyramid Spelling – Please see the picture below for an example of pyramid spelling.

Activities and games to support the teaching of spelling

There are a variety of activities and games that you can use at home to support your child with their spelling, as detailed below.

  1. Water Words – Write several words on separate pieces of paper.  Ask your child to write a word two or three times on the patio or path with a paintbrush dipped in water. Repeat with a different word.
  2. Flashcards – Read a word out loud to your child from a flashcard. Your child then spells out that word. If they spell the word correctly, they ‘win’ the card. If they are incorrect, the card is put to the bottom of the pile. Take it in turns to read the word or spell out the word.
  3. Magnetic Letters – Say a word out loud. Ask your child to make the word using magnetic letters.
  4. Silly Sentences – Ask your child to write silly sentences using focused spelling words in each sentence.  Encourage them to underline their spelling words.
  5. Spelling Scramble – Jumble up the letters of a word for your child.  Can your child unscramble the letters to spell the words correctly?
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