What I remember most about going to school when I was a child were spelling and writing assignments. I hated taking those weekly spelling tests, grammar quizzes, and writing prompts.
I remember having to practice writing my spelling words every night for that weekly test on Friday. Each week, we spent a great deal of time identifying sentence fragments, learning about the parts of speech, and writing a paragraph correctly.
Fifteen years later, I am teaching, and I can’t believe how spelling and writing have changed.
What Happened to Spelling and Writing in the Classroom?
Spelling and writing have been put on the back burner for many years in most classrooms within the United States. Because those subjects have not been a priority, many students struggle with those skills in classrooms today.
These struggles can impact their reading abilities, as well. Many students also have trouble with phoneme isolation, which is hearing the individual sounds within a word.
The parts of speech are another area that many students struggle to recognize when writing. The four main parts of speech include:
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Many students are unaware of the importance of the parts of speech within a sentence. As a teacher, it is sad to see that many students cannot spell or write a complete sentence.
How Can You Help Your Child With Spelling and Writing at Home?
As a parent, you can help your child be more successful in spelling and writing at home. Each week, encourage your child to read their spelling words and copy them onto paper.
Another way to encourage spelling is by creating spelling activities for them. As a parent, you can easily make spelling fun with these activities.
Spelling Activities You Can Do at Home
- Creating a word search
- Playing a basketball spelling game
- Using tile letters to spell
- Taking some shaving cream and using your fingers to spell
I have seen many students who have numbered their paragraphs, had several run-on sentences within a paper, and have been clueless about where to start when writing an essay. Also, students get confused about how to write a correct paragraph and multiple paragraphs in one report.
Writing Activities You Can Do at Home
As a teacher, I encourage you to make writing fun at home with your child. Here are some writing activities you can do at home.
As a child, I remember having a penpal across the world. I had such a great experience, and it helped me to work on my writing. I found a great resource for pen pals you can check out.
Write a grocery list
Another way to make writing fun is to have them write out a grocery list for the family. Whether you, as a parent, use that list is up to you. But writing a grocery list helps your child feel accomplished and gives them the creativity to write anything on that list.
Another way to encourage your child to write is by having them send out birthday cards in the mail.
One Reason for the Decline in Spelling and Writing
Most school systems focus on the state testing requirements. With the stressful demands of the state testing and limited time within the classroom, many educators find it hard to increase spelling and writing within the classroom.
Although there is a decline in spelling and writing, not every child or school system has specifically put spelling & writing on the backburner.
Learning to spell and write is so important for children to learn at a young age. As a parent, you have the opportunity to make these subject a priority again.
Additional Resources to Help With Spelling and Writing
Check out our other blogs with tips on helping your child at home.
- Sight Words Hack For Parents
- What is Phonemic Awareness and Why is it Important?
- Writing Strategies Made Simple
- Reading And Writing Our Way Through Thanksgiving
What’s your favorite way to practice spelling and writing with your kids? Leave your ideas in the comments below!
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