Homeschool Mastery Academy is dedicated to recommending quality resources to benefit homeschooling families. This blog contains and is monetized through sponsored posts and affiliate links. Please see our full disclosure policy for detailed information.
Homeschool Spelling: How to Keep it Simple and Fun!
Homeschool spelling for kids doesn’t need to be difficult or time consuming. With these ideas, you can be sure your kids are building their spelling skills while having fun—because everyone learns better when they are enjoying the process!
How to Homeschool Spelling for Your Elementary Student
1. Connect Spelling to Life
Begin with a list of common words they will use on a regular basis. So many spelling lists are composed of words kids don’t encounter on a regular basis. When this happens, it’s not uncommon for kids to memorize a word for a test and then promptly forget how to spell it. Kids need to connect what they are learning with real life.
That’s why we’ve set up our spelling lists around common childhood themes like chores, family, trees, vacation, music, shapes, time, feelings, fruit, baking, ponds, gardens, and more. We’ve chosen the things kids have experience with in their everyday lives. That way they hear the words they are learning in context of how it is used.
Tip: You can add your own word to the lists we provide. For example, pay attention to your conversations when you are talking about “feelings” and see if there are some words you use on a regular basis that aren’t used.
2. Involve Their Senses
The more sense involved in learning, the better kids will remember what they’ve learned. Write the spelling words on the practice paper we provide, but don’t stop there! Have them write words on a white board. Get out a set of alphabet blocks or magnet letters from when they were young and have them use them to spell the words. Have them write the words with their finger through sand. You can even make homemade playdough for them to use to form the letters and words.
Tip: Keep a set of spelling activity supplies in a small basket or tote. Having everything already made and gathered in one area will save your time and sanity! You can store homemade playdough in ziplock bags, letter magnets or blocks, and a small lap sized white board and marker.
3. Make a Game Out of It
You can easily create a fun game with index cards and colored pencils. Have students write each word on an index card. On another card, have them draw a picture that goes with the word. Use the cards to play a concentration type game by matching the picture with its word. When the game is over, take the picture card and hold each one up for your children and have them spell the word out loud.
Tip: Be sure to keep the cards. This game will make a great review, and you can use the pictures like flashcards for spelling out loud. Each six weeks, gather the cards together, mix them up and see how well they remember them.
4. Use the Words in their Writing
Have kids make a word bank of their spelling words from the theme of the week. They can write these at the top of their paper, on an index card, or white board (setting up this activity is spelling practice for them!)
Challenge them to use as many of the words in a sentence or paragraph(s) that they can. It can be a long silly sentence, or a descriptive paragraph, or even a whole story. For older elementary students they can write a short “how to” paper based on a theme. Like, “How to Bake Cookies Everyone Wants to Eat” or “How to Eat Fruit the Right Way.” Encourage them to be creative.
Tip: Partner with your younger children. If your kids are too young to write a full paragraph or story, let them dictate the story to you, but when you get to one of their spelling words ask “how do you spell that?”
Make Homeschool Spelling Fun
By keeping homeschool spelling fun, you’ll find kids both learn and retain the information. Don’t worry if they struggle at times. Kids tend to get better and better at spelling the more they encounter words in different contexts. Approaching it in a simple, non-stressful way will make them and you want to keep learning.