Learning to spell is an important literacy skill. It seems that some people are natural spellers and others, well, not so much. Most of the time we learn the correct spelling of a word through repetition but writing a word multiple times for some people just doesn't always help. Have you ever instructed your child to write a word repeatedly only to realize they wrote it repeatedly wrong? Oh my, it has happened in my homeschool. And now we had to undo the cementing of that incorrect spelling in our child's brain and somehow get the right version in there. That is why we found it important to use a variety of study methods to learn our spelling words. Here are just a few we found that might fit into your homeschool.
Customizable Spelling Practice:
Spelling Training – This ad-supported website is a must-see recommendation. A father created this amazingly simple but powerful website to help his child practice her spelling lists. While you can choose to use one of the many prepared spelling lists or use the Words Wizard to create a criteria-based list from the presets, the best feature is the ability to make your own lists by manually typing in your words or importing your list. As you type in the words then select enter, the site locates an audio to play and picture file for the word if available. It also alerts you if the word is spelled incorrectly or if it is not found in its database.
Once your list has been created, select from 10 practice options including online tests and practice exercises as well as puzzles and games.
What's more, your lists can be "saved" on your computer in your "cookie" files to be retrieved when you come back to the site. (Be sure to read the information about saving lists to understand how this works.)
Discovery Education Puzzlemaker – This is one of my favorite sites for making your own word puzzles. It is easy to use, and you can create word searches, cross word puzzles (crisscross), double puzzles, fallen phrases, mazes, letter tiles, cryptograms, hidden messages and much more. You will want to bookmark this site to use for all your subjects, not just spelling.
AAASpell.com – Students can practice your custom spelling list with the tools at this site. If you would like your spelling lists to be saved and editable and see your student's results, you can create a free account, but this is not required to use the site.
School Express Create Worksheets – Choose to create custom print-from-your-browser worksheets in the form of cryptograms, word writing practice, alphabetization, missing letters, word shape puzzles, multiple choice quizzes, word searches, word unscrambles, sentence worksheets, word walls and flash cards. (Please note that the "Make Awards" option did not work for us.)
Home Spelling Words – Play online games like Crazy Fish, Spelling Memory, Hangman, Mouse Maze, Word Scramble, Word Chopper and more using the website's huge selection of grade-leveled, pre-created spelling lists.
TurtleDiary - Spelling Games – Select from over 25 online games for kids in Kindergarten through 5th grade to practice spelling skills. Be sure Adobe Flash is enabled to play the games.
Annenberg Foundation - Interactives Spelling Bee – This online spelling activity uses fill-in the blank stories or sentences that are read aloud and the student must spell the missing word correctly. It is for all grades.
Mama Jenn - Spelling Printables – Jennifer is a homeschool mom of five (one daughter and two sets of twin boys) and she shares some printables she created for fun spelling practice with her kids. These include her "Roll it. Read it. Write it." and "Read it. Stamp it. Write it" methods, Phonogram Tiles, and Spelling Bingo Game. Each includes links to the corresponding blog post explaining how she use them in her homeschool.
Spelling Worksheets, Lessons and More
Education.com Spelling Resources – You will find hundreds of games, printable worksheets and workbooks, guided lessons and lesson plans for students PreK through 5th grade on this page.
tlsbooks.com - Spelling Worksheets – There are over 175 different printable spelling list for kids kindergarten through 6th grade at this site. You may also want to browse the sidebar menu for even more free printables for different subjects available on this site.
Spelling Words Well – Browse through this website dedicated to spelling to find downloadable word lists, worksheets, Spelling Bee resources, lessons, activities, puzzles and more.
K5Learning - Spelling Worksheets – At this website you will find pre-made worksheets for kids grades 1-5. Worksheet types include trace and write words, circle the correct word, fill in the missing letters, identify the spelling words, unscrambles, word shapes, hidden words, rhyming words, complete the word, link the split word, spelling challenge and more. Check out the sidebar menu for more free worksheets for reading, cursive writing, grammar and more.
K12Reader - Spelling Worksheets 1st -5th Grade Curriculum – Download 36-week spelling curriculum for each grade level that includes teacher and parent materials as well as all the student materials needed for each week's word list. There are a variety of student activities in each week's packets including writing the words, identifying the correct spelling, dictation sentences, fill in the blanks, and more. Again, be sure to check out the left sidebar menu for even more language art printables and lessons for reading skills, grammar, vocabulary and writing.
Make your own Spelling Notebook
I mention in my last post about how we kept a spelling notebook which we found invaluable. Below are a couple of great printables to use to create your own spelling notebook:
The Notebooking Fairy - Spelling Rules Notebooking Pages – Instead of creating a long, boring list of spelling rules, use this printable to create a separate page for each rule. The student can then add word examples and exceptions from their work to the appropriate page as they run across them through the year.
The Measured Mom - Printable Spelling Dictionary for Kids – Along with loads of other free printables and helpful ideas for language arts at this site, we found these nice versions of a spelling dictionary pages in a variety of formats along with some tips for using them in your classroom.
123Homeschool4me - My Spelling Dictionary with Ruled Lines – Homeschool mom Beth Gorden has a wonderful selection of freebies on her site and this spelling dictionary printable would be great for younger children who still need writing guidelines.
SchoolBag: The Education News Site - Personal Dictionary – This PDF download from the "Activities to Help Your Child with Literacy" article could be used for both spelling and vocabulary skills. This printable includes spaces for the word, definition, a picture, sentence, synonyms and antonyms. While there are spaces for only 2 words on a page, you may be able to use your multiple page print setting to get 4 on a page.
More Spelling Practice Ideas:
Check out these ideas for even more spelling practice activities.
Homeschool Hideout – 45 Ways to Practice Spelling Words
Summit Hill School District 161 – 75 Ways to Practice Spelling Words (PDF)
True Aim – Top 10 Ways to Practice Spelling Words
Teaching with TLC – 101 Ways to Make Spelling Fun (includes printable activity cards of all the activities and suggestions for using them)
As much as my kids did not like to read, they disliked spelling even more. However, by implementing a lot of hands-on activities, copywork and a variety of practice methods, they developed the necessary skills they needed.