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Importance of Spelling

27 Feb

Do you teach spelling in your homeschool? Spelling instruction has fallen out of favor in many classrooms in the last several years. I was never a great speller. I vividly remember being held in during recess to write my missed spelling words over and over. What a waste that was for me. Spelling is very visual for me. Simply writing the words over and over did nothing for me. If my teacher had known about learning styles, she would have encouraged me to write the spelling word in colors (consonants in one color and vowels in another) on one side of a blank card, and then have me draw a picture of how I visualize that word on the other side of the card. My daughter and I are both right-brained visual learners and that is the way I helped her learn spelling words. It works very well. I eventually conquered my spelling demons, no thanks to my fourth grade teacher.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

Have you ever spent time wondering about the importance of spelling?

Over the past decade when spelling education seemed to fall out of favor, teachers, administrators, and parents all across the nation learned just how important spelling is for literacy education. The proof was in the classroom! In places where teachers stopped paying attention to spelling, test scores dropped and schools began to experience failure with literacy education (Colvin, 1995).

I hate seeing misspelled words in print. Have you ever found mistakes in newspaper articles or magazines? What does it make you think about their editorial department? Have you ever looked at ads on Craigslist? My husband and I read ads on Craigslist for laughs. You will not believe the poor spelling and grammar. It is a great tool to use to help your child learn to spot and correct mistakes. If you use Facebook, read posts from your friends a little more carefully. I bet you will find small spelling mistakes. I see them all the time. You might not see them because your mind will correct many of them for you. Are you thinking those folks are just not using spell check? The truth is that spell checkers only catch between 30 and 80% of reasonable spelling mistakes. If you are a very poor speller, spell check is not going to be able to decipher what you are trying to spell. Spell checkers only catch about 53% of misspellings of students with learning disabilities.

Here is an excellent article from LD Online about how spelling supports reading. Bookmark this one for future reference.

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