Understanding your child's learning style can help them to master spelling!

Learning to spell can be very difficult for some people. Time, patience and practice all help! There are many ways of practising spelling and what works for one person might not work as well for another. 

Many children rely heavily on one strategy to learn their weekly spellings as a list and use them in their own writing.  Some children learn effectively in this way, but for many children one way of learning is not enough because they memorise words for the test and then forget them later or struggle to learn the words in the first place.  Most people will find that a multi-sensory method works best, i.e. using senses like eyes, ears, voice and hands.

Look at the following learning styles and see if you recognise your own or the one that best describes your child.

Visual Learners

Auditory learners

Kinaesthetic learners

Neat and orderly
Learn by listening and remember what was discussed rather than seen
Learn by manipulating and doing
Speak quickly
Talk to themselves while working
Want to act things out
Are good long range planners
Are easily distracted by noise
Speak slowly
Good spellers and can see words in their minds
Find writing difficult, but are better at telling
Touch people to get their attention
Remember what was seen, rather than heard
Move their lips and pronounce the words as they read
Stand close when talking to someone
Are not distracted by noise
Enjoy reading aloud and listening
Are physically orientated and move a lot, gesture a lot
May forget verbal instructions unless written down
Are talkative, love discussions and go into lengthy descriptions
Memorise by walking and seeing
Are strong fast readers
Can spell better out loud than in writing
Can’t remember geography unless they’ve actually been there
Would rather read than be read to
  Use action words
Doodle during conversations
  May have messy handwriting
Forget to relay verbal messages to others
  Like involved games

It is highly likely that the majority of children will exhibit some aspects of more than one learning style. However, if you feel that your child shows a particular learning style, try the activities in the appropriate section below. If no one style is obvious, try a few activities from each section and see which is most successful.

Suggested activities for the different learning styles:

 Visual Learners will want to learn by...

Auditory Learners will want to learn by...

 Kinaesthetic Learners will want to learn by...

 Looking at words and noticing patterns
 Speaking aloud or saying it strangely e.g. weather becomes we-at-her
 Writing in sand or sugar
 Saying or repeating words
 Singing spellings
 Feeling you spell the words on their backs
 Listening to syllables
 Breaking words down in parts
 Making words with pipe cleaners
 Copying or tracing words
 Recording their spellings onto tape
 Making words with play dough or clay
 Look Say Cover Write and Check words
 Rhythms and tapping to spellings
 Visualising letters as picture clues that link into a story
 Writing a word in the air using a finger or a wand
 Follow me – you say it, they say it
 Mnemonic – make a silly sentence/draw pictures e.g. SAID becomes: Sad Ants In Dustbins
 Writing a word on your back
 Saying spellings as a ‘rap’  Writing using different colours
 Writing in large felt tip pens
 Posting notes around the house
How many words can you find in this word?
 Flash cards of spellings    

Whatever you choose to do, learning spelling can seem a boring process when it requires so much effort from a child.  Make it as much FUN as possible by using a variety of materials and activities.

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