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What Are The Stages Of Learning To Spell?

By Expert Author: Donald Plehn

Most parents are looking to give their children an edge in learning and helping your child learn to spell is one of those areas. Spelling is an essential early skill that you certainly want to encourage, but if you are not sure where to begin, the most important thing you can do is understand the process itself.

Stage 1: Little ones who see quite a bit of print at home start experimenting with writing and letters. It’s important to note that even if children know the names of even some of the letters and can tell them apart, they don’t always realize what they’re doing. Instead, they guess at entire words based just on the way they actually look.

Stage 2: Kids spend some time in stage 1 experimenting, but then they slowly start to realize that each letter actually represents a sound within speech, so they begin to use their own versions of words when they spell. For example, they may use some consonants to represent a given word. They may even try to use that knowledge to begin reading, but that ability is still quite limited in this stage.

Stage 3: As children hit the age of four or five, and they start to learn to spell, their awareness of words and sounds relies on phonics. They know which letters make which sounds, so they try to spell by matching the two up. You may see your child’s teacher call this “invented spelling,” and they’re just about ready to move on to more typical spelling practices when they hit this stage. For example, if your child were asked to spell the word “day” at this stage, he or she may spell it “da” because of the way it sounds. While they will move on, it’s at this point in time where lots of parental and educator involvement is necessary when they work to learn to spell. They have to understand letter combos, ending rules, and the general patterns. It’s a slow but sure process.

Stage 4: By this time, your child is probably printing quite a bit, and all of that helps when he or she begins to learn to spell words correctly. His or her invented spellings at this point in time get a bit more reliable and a little closer to the mark. You’ll still see mistakes, but he or she is trying to work all of those grammatical instructions into each spelling.

Stage 5: At this point in time, students have already learned how to spell the roots, prefixes, and suffixes of a given word. They even understand the concept of homophones, so they tend to spell things a bit more correctly. They can also look at the context of a word to determine the appropriate spelling as well as tackle those tougher compound words.

Stage 6: This is the last stage of spelling, and at this point, your child will likely rely on memory to spell most things. He or she may also be able to look at patterns to predict how a given word is spelled.

Wondering how this can help you with your child as he or she is learning how to spell? No matter what the pace, this is the series of steps needed to become a better speller, and your recognition of that is key in helping your child move from step to step. There are lots of great learn to spell programs out there that will enhance your child’s ability to move from one step to the next.

Try the ClickN KIDS spelling program. ClickN KIDS specializes in interactive phonics and spelling programs and software for children, including the Looney Tunes ClickNREAD Phonics, and the ClickNKIDS Family Tablet.

Article Source: ClickN KIDS

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