Why does my child struggle with spelling? And why can't my child spell?

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Do you have a child who is having trouble with spelling?
If so, you may be asking yourself "why does my child struggle with spelling?" and "why can't my child spell?".
The answer to these questions can be complex, as there are many factors that can influence a child's ability to spell.
In this blog post, we will explore some of the possible reasons why your child may be struggling with spelling and provide some tips to help improve your child's spelling skills.

The science behind why some kids have trouble spelling

It’s common for children to struggle with spelling, but why is it so difficult for them?
It turns out that there are a few different reasons why some kids have difficulty spelling correctly.
One of the biggest factors is a child’s phonological awareness, which is their ability to recognise, identify, and manipulate sounds in spoken words.
This is because when learning to spell, kids need to be able to decode the sounds in a word and match them to the correct letters and letter combinations.
If they don’t understand how to do this, they won’t be able to spell it correctly.
Another reason why some kids find it difficult to spell is that they lack the memory skills needed to store words in their long-term memory.
In order to remember how to spell a word correctly, they need to have access to the correct sequence of letters in their memory.
Finally, some kids just don’t have the kind of motivation or interest in learning how to spell.
This makes it difficult for them to practice and retain new words, since they aren’t invested in improving their spelling abilities.
Fortunately, there are a few things parents can do to help their child improve their spelling skills.
How can I improve my child's spelling mistakes?
How do I help my child with struggling spelling?
Is there an app to practice spelling words? Is there an app to help with spelling words?
Yes, there are plenty of apps available that can help kids improve their spelling.
By practicing and memorising word lists and engaging in interactive activities, kids can build up their phonological awareness, memory skills, and motivation to learn how to spell.

How to tell if your child is a struggling speller

It’s normal for children to make spelling mistakes, but if your child is consistently making them and having difficulty learning new words, it may be a sign of a more serious issue. Here are some signs that your child may be struggling with spelling:
1. Difficulty remembering the spelling of common words: If your child is having difficulty with spelling even simple words like “cat” or “dog”, this could be an indication of a spelling issue.
2. Disorganisation and difficulty following instructions: Many children with spelling difficulties have trouble following instructions and struggle to stay organised when doing written tasks.
3. Poor reading skills: Reading and spelling go hand-in-hand, so if your child is having difficulty with reading, they may also be struggling with spelling.
4. Lack of phonemic awareness: If your child has difficulty recognising and manipulating the sounds in words, they may struggle to spell accurately.
If your child is exhibiting any of these symptoms, you should consider speaking to a professional about possible intervention options. There are numerous apps and programmes available to help children with their spelling. Apps like Spell Wizards can help your child practice their spelling skills while having fun. With the right tools and guidance, your child can overcome their spelling difficulties and build the confidence they need to succeed.

National Curriculum Spelling List

Tips for helping your child improve their spelling skills

1. Break down the words: Breaking down words into smaller parts can help your child understand them better and make them easier to remember. Have your child look at the root of the word, any prefixes or suffixes, and identify any tricky spelling patterns.
2. Play games: Games are a great way to help your child practice and improve their spelling skills. Try making a game out of flashcards with spelling words written on them. You can also find online spelling games, apps, and websites that can help make learning more fun.
3. Read more: Reading is a great way to learn how to spell words correctly. Have your child read books, magazines, and newspapers. Encourage them to look up any words they don't know or that they find difficult to spell.
4. Practice regularly: Regular practice is key when it comes to improving spelling skills. Have your child write out the words they are having trouble with multiple times a day to help them remember how to spell them correctly.
5. Get an app: There are many different apps available that can help with spelling. Some apps provide quizzes and activities that can help your child practice and test their knowledge. Others provide helpful tips and tricks for remembering difficult words. Look for an app that suits your child's learning style.
With these tips in mind, you can help your child become a better speller in no time! With regular practice and guidance, your child will soon be confidently spelling words correctly. So don't hesitate to ask yourself "How can I improve my child's spelling mistakes?", "How do I help my child with struggling spelling?", or "Why can't my son spell?" It's never too late to start helping your child become a better speller!

Common mistakes parents make when trying to help their child with spelling

Trying to teach your child a ‘trick’. The most common mistake parents make when trying to help their child with spelling is to try and teach them a ‘trick’ – such as writing the word backwards or in capitals – to remember how to spell it. Unfortunately, these tricks are usually ineffective, as they don’t provide any real understanding of the rules that govern spelling in English.
Giving up too soon. If your child is having trouble with spelling, it’s important to be patient and keep encouraging them to practice. Don’t give up on them too soon, or they may become discouraged and start to view spelling as an insurmountable challenge. Focusing on memorisation. Many parents focus on having their children memorise lists of words, but this isn’t an effective way to learn how to spell. Your child needs to understand the rules of spelling in order to truly master the subject.
Ignoring the underlying causes. If your child is struggling with spelling, it could be caused by something other than a lack of knowledge. It’s important to consider any underlying issues such as dyslexia, auditory processing disorder, visual-spatial difficulties, or poor fine motor skills.
The good news is that there are several strategies you can use to help your child improve their spelling mistakes. Encourage them to read a lot and use mnemonic devices such as acronyms and rhymes to help them remember difficult words. You can also have them practice writing words using alphabet letter tiles, or use a spelling app like Spell Wizards to practice words and build their confidence. With patience and practice, your child can become a confident speller!

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