The secret is out…I’m a nerd. I always was. School was fun for me and I loved learning new things every day. One of my favorite subjects was spelling. I know, weird right? There was just something about the way all the sounds came together to form words. Even though the English language can be tricky, I loved figuring out ways to remember their spellings through rhymes and tricks.
When we began homeschooling I couldn’t wait to work on spelling words with my own kids. As soon as our oldest could read, I started him on spelling tests. It was an exciting day – at least for me it was. However, I quickly learned that just knowing how to spell a word wasn’t enough if he didn’t understand the meaning and how to use it properly.
I want to welcome our guest writer today, Jen Merckling! She has some fantastic insight on how to encourage spelling in younger children without breaking their learning spirit!
Don’t worry, I’m not advocating formal spelling tests for sweet little kindergartners! But I do know that children learning to read can immediately connect that new learning to writing! There’s just a very natural and important connection between reading and writing–and we want to tap into it! And by gently combining phonics with early writing, we strengthen both skills!
I created a spelling workbook: My First Spelling Book to seamlessly blend phonics learning with spelling–and I’m so excited to offer it FREE for a limited time to In All You Do readers!
Gentle Spelling Introduction
My First Spelling Book includes 26 weeks of spelling practice and learning! It includes a teacher’s guide–you’ll know exactly which letter sounds to introduce and when! Practice will systematically build into short 3 letter words. Picture clues are included during the first 8 weeks, but eventually, your child will be able to listen to a given sound and write the corresponding letter without visual clues! They will be gaining confidence in both their reading and writing!
Make it a Game
I love to introduce the writing and spelling piece of phonics instruction as a game! Here’s how we do it:
I tell my kids that I want them to identify the Mystery Letters…
“I’ve got some mystery letters! Let’s see if you can figure out what they are! You will need to listen carefully! Here is the first sound: “buh” (Give your child the letter sound not the letter name.)
Great– You did it! You wrote my letter–my letter is the letter B! Okay, #2…Listen to the sound and write the mystery letter!”
And we keep on going from there! Eventually, My First Spelling Book will provide 3 lines for 3 letter words–helping children see that three separate sounds create the word.
Tips for Spelling With Young Kids
- Always have the letters visually available! I keep a small alphabet strip on the table during phonics and spelling lessons.
- Don’t linger on mistakes! Move on quickly or you might end up with an emotional meltdown!
- If your child is getting frustrated–stop and try something different or save it for tomorrow!
- Practice writing in sand trays (I love using shallow trays filled with colored craft sand! Your child will use their finger to practice writing letters and/or words.)
- Use play dough to build the letters or words!
- Magnetic letter tiles are a favorite of mine–instead of writing the letter, have your child move the correct tiles!
- Target practice–write letters on the board and have your child shoot the letters that go with given sounds.
My First Spelling Book follows the phonics curriculum: Ready for Reading: Level 1. It blends perfectly with phonics instruction–so that your child is building both reading and writing skills simultaneously! Regardless of what phonics curriculum you’re using, My First Spelling Book will be an excellent compliment and provide a gentle, fun introduction to spelling!
This free offer has expired.
However, you can purchase Ready for Reading: Volume 1 here from Jen Merckling! My First Spelling Book is a bonus in the course!
Jen Merckling is a former elementary teacher and has been homeschooling her 6 kids for the last 15 years–she’s got 3 teens, a first-grader, and 4-year old miracle twins! Jen has a passion for helping moms find joy and grace in their homeschool and parenting journey! She is the author of Ready for Reading, a beginning phonics program tailor-made for homeschool families! In the middle of homeschooling, dishes, and laundry–you can find her blogging about the homeschool life at jenmerckling.com. Follow her on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook!
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