Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Spelling Hints: Making Memorization Easier

Our youngest son struggles with spelling. He's finally figured out the b and d, but frequently still writes words with random capital letters. This year has been a struggle. Some of the typical memorization games I designed for our oldest son haven't seemed to improve the outcome of his weekly tests. It just wasn't sticking.

No two kids are alike. 

To make it easier, I've been giving him tricks - sometimes visualizations, sometimes jingles, and sometimes a silly sentence. Guess what? Test scores are rising!

Here's a few examples of what we've done the last few weeks.

My son kept leaving the u out of young. I told him to remember: U are young!

I knew this was going to be a gargantuan challenge. I divided the list. Once I had all the -ee words, I made a sentence for him to remember: "Free wheel for sheep that sneeze between their teeth." To make it more memorable, we sang it. Any other words he's tested that are not in this sentence are -ea words. This trick helped him during our first few nights practicing. Eventually, he didn't have to sing the jingle sentence. He had memorized which words were -ea (beach, eat, teach, reason, etc.) and which were -ee!

Every time my son spelled birthday, he said the second letter was an a. I told him to look at the word. Do you see the birthday candle in the word? YES! This visualization really did the trick (pun intended)!

There's no z in raisin, but try telling that to my son two weeks ago. I told him to remember, "snakes (drawing an s with my hand) like raisins."

That c sure sounds like an s, doesn't it? To help my son remember, we came up with the hint: Do you "c" fences?

Sometimes I point out words within words to help my son. When he spelled train initially, he left out the r. I showed him train is really t-rain. BOOM! No more missing letter!

A few hints, a simple song, or a silly sentence have made all the difference for us. I hope some of these tips help you and your kids!


  1. A simple song or sentence..Im going to try that with PJ. Thanks for the tips! Happy holidays!

  2. These are the types of tips I've been looking for! My son can not write or copy the words and I can only come up with so many ideas for his (15) spelling words each week. If I ever get around to writing a blog post about this I'll be sure to link to your blog, or whatever it is that bloggers do. Thank you so much!