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How to Help Your Child Study for Spelling Tests

Updated on September 27, 2013

Spelling Tests

Spelling Test help us master basic word patterns, it is not all about memorization.

Inside the App

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Spelling Tests

Spelling test are a right of passage for any early elementary student. My first grader took his first spelling test this week and I found myself on the other side of the coin. I was no longer the teacher giving the list and the tests, I was now the parents worrying and fretting over whether my child would be prepared and do well on the weekly spelling test. It was nerve racking wondering if he had studied enough, whether he knew his words, and whether I had prepared him correctly.

Read the Words

Make sure your child can read the words and understand what they mean by putting the words in context.

There's an App for That

There are lots of great apps out there to help your child become a great speller. Whether you are looking for premade lists or creating a list from teh spelling words that are sent home there is an app for that.

My current favorite app haooens to also be a free ones. A+ spelling allows me to customize each week's list and lets me or my child record the word so that when they hear the word being said it is their voice. I personally let my first grader record the words as I input them for the week, this is a brief intro to his words and lets him see what the words are and how they are pronounced. This week we had to re-record on of the words because he thought "of" was "off." This also created a great eachable moment about the different between the two words.

This app also allows kids to practice the words in several different ways.

Who Studies for Spelling Tests

Do you help your child prepare?

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Post the Spelling Words

Make sure the words are visable to your child somewhere in the house. My sons have bunk beds so we hang his words over his head, he can see them while he is laying in bed. Last year before the bunk bed they went on the wall. I have seen other people that place them on the bathroom mirror so that when the kids are brushing their teeth they can practice spelling.

I have seen other parents place the word list on the back of the seat in front of their child so every time they are in the car they see them.


The most important thing is to make the words visible during the week so that the child knows what they words are and can practice their words.

Spelling Test

Spelling Test
Spelling Test | Source

Silly Sentences

This was always one of my student favorite activities when I taught. Challenge the student to create a paragraph or sentence (based on their ability level) that includes all of their spelling words. This gets the kids thinking not only about how to spell their words but also about the meaning of the words which in the long run will create a better foundation on learning the words.

There's a Spelling Pattern???

Especially in the beginning most spelling list have a pattern. Make sure that you look at and point out the pattern. This week was the short a sound. So all of the words had the vowel "a" in them. Sounds like common sense buyt most of our children won't automatically recognize that fact. The first day my son tried to spell a word with an "e" we stopped and talked about the patterna dn how "e" was not part of the pattern.

Practice Time

practice those words
practice those words | Source

Let them get it Wrong

Don't jump in right away when they are practicing and correct the words if you see them get it wrong. Let them make the error and at the end come back and correct it. Then find ways to help them remember the correct spelling versus the way they are spelling the word.

Be Prepared with Encouragement

No matter the outcome if your child worked hard and studied be prepared with encouragement and understanding. Listen to how they felt during the test and what they think will help them so better or continue to do well next time.

The only time a consequence should come into play is when the child has not worked hard during the week and has failed as a result of not studying or being prepared because of their actions not yours. This means if you did not have time to help or remind them they should not take the fall. If they are old enough to not need reminders and made the conscious decision not to do school work then there needs to be consequences.

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