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Real world application of words or spelling dictation is a wonderful way to teach spelling to your child. With this method, you say the word, use the word in a sentence, then your child repeats it and writes it down. This differs from the traditional method of studying and memorizing lists of words. By applying real life meaning to spelling words, your child is more apt to remember the spelling of the words from week to week. Following, we explore 6 basic steps for spelling dictation for you to implement at home:

  1. Dictate A Sentence. Depending on the grade level of your child, keep it simple. You may use as few as two words to get started. Do this each day using words which your child already knows how to spell. To improve focus and attention to a task, only dictate the sentence one time.

  2. Repeat After Me. In this step, your child repeats the sentence using their short term memory skills.

  3. Let’s Get Writing. Allow your child time to process , organize and write the sentence. It is ok if errors are made. During this process, your child is working from memory to recall and sound out the words of the sentence.

  4. Check For Errors. Ask your child to read what they wrote to you. By doing so, they are learning to proofread their work, they are self-correcting and they are problem solving to correct any errors.

  5. Last Look. Before moving on to the next word and sentence to dictate, check your child’s work. Did you spot a spelling error that he/she missed? If so, this is the time to review spelling rules such as i before e except after c (most of the time).

  6. Mistakes Are OK. Emphasize to your child that this is a learning process. The goals of spelling dictation are improvement and progress.

Adirondack Learning Academy’s Elementary Language Arts/Reading courses introduce grade level appropriate spelling words. Spelling dictation is a great way to reinforce the spelling words presented in your child’s online curriculum offered through our program. Together, we can make spelling easy!

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