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How to help your child with spelling at home.

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How can I help my child with spelling?

Spelling is one of the most important skills a child can master. Yet, it can also be the most frustrating for both children and parents. Teachers often rely on parents to help their children study for weekly spelling tests, helping them with home readers every night, with mixed results.

If you feel this approach isn’t helping your child, phonics may be the answer.

Phonics can help your child learn to spell

Phonics can help your child learn to spell at home. It’s proven to be the most successful way to teach children spelling and reading logically and systematically. No child falls through the gaps. They can use these skills to spell and read unfamiliar words.

What is phonics?

Phonics simply means to ‘sound out’ the word. The word is broken down into sounds. There are 42 sounds in the English language. These are called phonemes. The word ‘cat’ has three phonemes, ‘c’, ‘a’ and ‘t’. The word ‘ship’ also has three phonemes, ‘sh’, ‘i’ and ‘p’.

Each grapheme, such as ‘g’ or group of letters, such as ‘ch’ has its own sound. A phoneme is the sound a grapheme makes.

When children learn to spell using phonics, they know each phoneme’s sound so they can decode a word. They may start with easier words, such as ‘dog’ and move on to decoding unfamiliar words like ‘excavate’.

Learning phonics also helps students to read. Instead of decoding the word, they encode. They put the word back together. A long word like ‘circumference’ is easily read once a child has mastered phonics.

Decode the sounds of the alphabet

In kindergarten, children learn the 26 letters of the alphabet. They usually start with ‘a’ for apple, with the word written underneath a shiny red apple. While the letter ‘a’ can make this short sound, the same letter can also make a longer sound, like in the word ‘able’.

The ‘a’ takes on a different sound in words like ‘leaf’, ‘read’ and ‘heard’. The ‘ea’ in these words forms another phoneme. Instead of rote learning these words, learning these 44 different phonemes or sounds is a lot quicker and easier.

Just like a puzzle, children can use these sounds to put words together. They are less reliant on learning sight words for spelling tests, as they have the skills to put the words together based on how they sound.

This skill equips them for the future. As they enter high school, learning words such as ‘hypotenuse’, ‘Aluminium hydroxide’ and ‘onomatopoeia’ is not quite as daunting.

How Sound Spell can help children learn to spell

Learning to spell starts with knowing the code. Students need to recognise the sounds phonemes make using a tried and tested systematic approach.

NSW primary schools have used the principles of Sound Spell for over 22 years. Our workbooks, online resources and webinars have helped thousands of children learn to spell confidently. We believe spelling needs a less randomised approach. That’s why our pathway is logical and sequential. We empower students with the code. Not only will their spelling improve, but so too will their reading.

Our program is designed for children to learn to spell at school or home. Parents can easily help their children reach milestones as they work through the booklets. This systematic approach means students have no gaps in their knowledge. No child is left behind. Empowering them with the tools for success increases their confidence and love of learning.

Contact Sound Spell to learn more about our upcoming webinar. We’ll help you teach your child how to read and spell in a logical and systematic approach.

You can help your child master spelling and reading.

Take the free Reading and Spelling Assessment and find out which Sound Spell program is right for your child.
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