Spelling Clues

 

My daughter Louisa (15)

English is a beautiful language! It is the language of the Kings James Version of the Bible. It is the language of Shakespeare. Then, why—oh, why can’t we spell?

Over the years of teaching my 7 children to write, I wonder if perhaps I have seen nearly every misspelling known to man. Tomorrow, friends, though, a lot . . . these common words can be quite challenging. I don’t claim to any system of success, but I do know that giving kids a memory clue can help a great deal! Here are just a few of the clues I have discovered that help my kids spell better:

 

tomorrow
If you break this word down into the original two words—to morrow—it is a lot easier for kids to remember. I tell them, “We are looking to (towards) the morrow (next day).” Once you realize the meaning, you aren’t tempted to double the m which is the most common misspelling.


friend
I say, “A friend is a friend to the end”. Circle the word end within the word friend. Once a child sees the word end, that word is generally mastered.

 

though-dough + rough-tough-enough
Though the dough
Is rough
and tough enough,
We’ll still have bread.

These crazy words are all spelled the same, but not pronounced the same. If you can teach your child the ough spelling, then this little chant will keep things straight.

 

igh
I teach this goofy letter combination by drawing a big eye around it:

Now these words are easier to spell and remember:
sigh, nigh, light, night, sight, fight, might, tight, right, fright, blight . . .

 

a lot, all right
These are both two words! Now, you have it! Don’t combine them into alot or alright. Those are misspelled!

 

together
We go to get her to be together.
to get her = together
Pronounce this word to your children and they’ll spell it right: to-get-her

 

separate
There’s a rat in separate. Can you see it?

Whenever you begin to write the word separate, say the little sentence and write a rat and you won’t misspell it!

 

here, there
Here and there are places. If you are not here, you are there. The word here is included in the word there. Once you can see the word here, it is easy to spell there!

 

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