Afraid of spelling? 3 secrets to overcome it!

Afraid of spelling? 3 secrets to overcome it!

Spelling can be the cause of many children turning away from writing – how can we prevent this from happening?

Writing is a fundamental tool, an important means with which we interface with the world and with the surrounding reality. Children often approach this activity in a natural way even from very young: they are curious to imitate the adults around them, tracing their first signs and reproducing the first letters uncertainly. They explore this new world with spontaneity and fun and we, as parents, indulge this interest.

Growing up, then, with the entry into primary school, this playful activity becomes a skill to be learned and here one encounters the first difficulties, especially when getting to know spelling! In fact, spelling is often considered boring, incomprehensible, and can be the cause why some children turn away from writing, discouraged by too many rules and frustrated by the many cases they cannot memorize.

Study and repetition are certainly fundamental steps to fix information in the mind… but they are also very often boring…. How to lighten these activities?

Here are three strategies that we can easily apply for our children:

  • Listening and articulation: Italian is a basically transparent language, that is, it is read as it is written in 80/90% of cases. This does not happen for example with English. Listening carefully to the word and repeating it correctly is the first fundamental step to then translate it into graphemes, or written signs: the letters. When you see that the child spells a word wrong, try to stand next to him and articulate it for him, that is, pronounce it very clearly asking him to listen carefully and watch how your mouth moves. If the child understands the sounds that make up the word, he will be able to write them more easily.
  • Read read read, I will never tire of saying it. Love for reading is a precious gift that we give to our children, and if we can make them passionate about reading and they start reading frequently independently, they will see many words written very often and as you know … repeating … is good! They will memorize the spelling of words without even realizing it!
  • We use emotions! Emotions play a very important role in learning. Our mind, in fact, more easily stores everything that involves it emotionally. This is why we remember facts that struck us, while a date or spelling rule that we consider to be of no interest very often escapes our memory. It is important to be able to link positive emotions to spelling too! But how? Through the game of course. Play is the most fun way children have to learn. It is up to us adults to make the most of this tool.
  • Have fun inventing spelling games together or get help from the teacher Elisabetta Magnani. Elisabetta has been using fun techniques for years to make her students learn even the most difficult subjects. It is with the collaboration of Elisabetta that the QUID + series published by Gribaudo, Feltrinelli group, has been enriched with a new educational game Il Rubasillabe – Spelling games with difficult sounds. As Elisabetta explains, "we concentrated on difficult phonemes, that is those sounds that do not correspond to an intuitive orthographic representation, a single letter to be clear: this is the case of digraphs and trigrams such as GL, GN and SC" Around these difficult syllables learning many party games have been created, which through fun help to memorize the correct spelling, almost without realizing it!

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