If your child is struggling in school, free spelling printables can be a valuable resource.
Resources for Worksheets
To find printable worksheets online, check out the following helpful links:
TLS Books: This site features a variety of free spelling printables. The words are listed in order of difficulty to allow parents to choose a level that best fits their child's needs.
ABC Teach: A useful resource for teachers and concerned parents alike, this site lets you print a number of pre-made spelling lists or customize your own worksheets.
Busy Teacher's Cafe: This site for teachers has links to worksheets featuring fun games like spelling Bingo.
EzSchool: This site is filled with printable worksheets covering a variety of topic areas, including spelling. However, the site's numerous advertisements can make it somewhat difficult to navigate.
All About Spelling: Turn to this site for a list of spelling words neatly organized by grade level, as well as several articles offering tips for helping children in grades K-7 develop their spelling abilities.
Spelling It Right: This site contains a number of spelling lessons for young children, including worksheets covering topics such as syllables, consonant blends, plurals, word endings, and homophones.
Teachnology: Although most websites focus on helping younger children develop their spelling skills, this resource provides spelling worksheets for high school students as well. There are also a number of spelling lesson plans that homeschooling parents may find useful.
Tips for Teaching Spelling
Once you've chosen age-appropriate printable worksheets for your child, remember the following tips for teaching spelling:
Have the student look at the word, say the syllables of the word, and repeat the word before copying it onto the worksheet. This multi-sensory approach to spelling has been proven to be the most effective.
Remember that visual memorization of whole words is not an effective teaching strategy. Most people simply do not have the capacity to memorize seemingly random strings of letters. To retain the necessary knowledge, children need to understand why a word is spelled in a particular way.
Demonstrate how prefixes and suffixes can be used to increase your spelling ability. For example, many children who are poor spellers fail to realize that knowing how to spell "unhappy" is simply a matter of knowing how to combine the word "happy" with the correct prefix.
After your child has practiced writing individual spelling words, try dictating a short story that incorporates the entire list. Learning how to spell words within their appropriate context provides a practical application of new found knowledge. This activity is also a great way to practice proper punctuation and capitalization.
Allow plenty of time for review. Spelling is a skill that requires regular practice.
Encourage your child to read on a daily basis. Even if they're not reading classical literature, children who read for fun are more likely to be proficient spellers because they are exposed to a variety of vocabulary words.
Have your entire family play board games such as Boggle or Scrabble to help your children to develop both spelling and general literacy skills.
While it's normal for many children to struggle with spelling words, marked difficulty may be a sign of a more serious problem. It's quite common for students with learning disabilities to have trouble reading, writing, and spelling--even when they demonstrate average to superior skills in other academic areas. Some signs of a potential problem include:
Confusing similar letters, such as "b" and "d" or "p" and "q"
Confusing the order of letters in words, such as repeating "was" for "saw"
Misspelling the same word several different ways in the same composition
If you suspect your child may be suffering from a learning disability, seek a professional evaluation as soon as possible. Early intervention is the key to helping students with learning disabilities achieve their full academic potential.