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Sunday, April 04, 2010

Most commonly mis-spelled word, Friend

Spelling is one skill that's often overlooked, especially if a child can read and understand the meaning of the words that he reads. Spelling that word correctly is quite another matter and may be complicated by poor writing skills, memory retention and the ability to do more than one thing at a time e.g. remember the word, the order of the letters, aural processing and the many steps of writing.

Overall, spelling can be a painful trial, a weekly dreaded nightmare where doom and failure are guaranteed. However, if you happen to have a visual learner, quite often you can take the list of words and fiddle with it until it's a better match to the child.

Sometimes simply adding color can help patterns pop that weren't immediately obvious.

Or Linking letters so that they stay in the right place.


Many children already know how to spell 'ear' and 'hear' so use it.

Ask your child what time is 'early'? for them. Curiously, they each differ and make no reference to any event such as breakfast or bedtime. There seems to be no differentiation between night and day, but they're adamant about their particular time being early - wonder if it will be the same for you?

Then just tailor the time to fit your child.


Many children can remember how to spell 'tea' without too many difficulty. If so, you can use this visual to tie it in with so many of the vagaries of the English language.

A few steps to help along the road to success.

1. Show them the picture.
2. Describe the different parts and note the colors [use your child's favorites]
Check you're using the same language 'ring/fence/oval/corral.'
3. Ask them to touch the different letters with a finger or point with a pencil if digit/ paper challenged.
4. Afterwards ask them to shut their eyes and describe the scene again and ask them to visualize each bit - they can peek to check.
5. Ask them to spell the word out loud - allow them to 'cheat' and peek if necessary.
6. Repeat as necessary.

Cannot - those double 'n's can be a right pain.

Isn't - Is not

Don't let those tricky contractions fool you, just visualize them shrinking into a tadpole.

One of the most commonly misspelled words is the word friend. How many of us have been assaulted by 'fiends?' How can we best remember how to spell it correctly, and not just for the test?

For us it's easy [or soon will be - I hope]

Name for favorite food?

Yes, that's right, chips, otherwise known as fried potatoes.

Are you familiar with different types of potatoes?

Of course.

How about the "Nadine."

Take your favorite food and insert a potato, a Nadine Potato.

How can you tell if you've inserted your potato in the right spot?

The N of the Nadine should match the END of the word, right after the FRI.

Do not substitute a real Nadine for a potato.

Not everyone can be a Spelling Bee star, nor do they necessarily want to, but this way our children get to experience success in a tricky area, without too much pain.

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