Fitting learning into your family's busy schedule doesn't have to be about finding time to sit at a desk and learn. It's about finding ways to take learning with you wherever you go. Something we have been working on a lot has been spelling. My 1st grader is a natural reader, but spelling is more of a challenge. This simple game has helped us work on spelling every day without arguments or complaints about too much homework.
The game really needs no preparation or supplies, but to make it more fun you can create a list and use a chalkboard or other sign. The list will be a reminder of how many words your child has learned to spell, and the chalkboard or sign will serve as a great daily reminder to play.
How to Play
All you need to do is choose a word. You can choose randomly or from spelling lists your child may have. During the summer, I lean towards the random; during the school year, as we get spelling lists sent home I choose the words from those.
Let your children know that for the whole day when they are at home they must spell instead of say that word. When they read the word on the chalkboard, sound the word out and spell it together.
We don't penalize for misspelling, just for saying the word instead of spelling it. If they don't spell it correctly, you can have them sound it out, look it up in the dictionary, or go look at the chalkboard. If they say it instead of spell it, have something fun as the penalty like three jumping jacks. The point of the game is to make spelling fun, not a drill.
As a parent, this gets me involved and creatively thinking about ways to work the word into my dialogue with my son. If the word is not something we usually use, it's a great way to broaden our vocabulary, too.
How do you practice spelling with your kids? We want to share your tips! Tell us on the Scholastic Parents Facebook page and let's continue the conversation.