Why Spelling Matters

Making reading a regular habit can help to significantly improve reading comprehension and understanding, but so can other skills – spelling being one of them. Studies have shown that an understanding of the key elements of spelling, the sounds and letters used to make up a complete word, can result in better reading skills.

A study conducted by Catherine Snow in 2005 underlines how the relationship between letters and sounds can be better understood for spelling, as well as reading. According to Snow spelling and reading build and rely on the same mental representation of a word. Knowing the spelling of a word makes the representation of it sturdy and accessible for fluent reading. The study also found that the ability to read words by sight, versus sounding out letters, is a skill that requires the ability to match letters and letter combinations with sounds. Not all words are visually distinctive, especially words that are similarly spelled or contain the same letters and in different combinations. However, learning to spell can help support memory for sight-reading whole words, which can be used in both spelling and reading as a result.

Spelling can be difficult for some, but there are plenty of ways parents can encourage these skills, much like how they can encourage reading outside of books.

Break It Down Daily
Ask your children to read off road signs, cereal boxes, you name it – but have them sound out letters as well. Tracing words, drawing words, and familiarizing them with letters can help tremendously.  Listening skills also play a crucial part in daily activities such as asking your child “what letter does ‘bat’, end with? What letter does ‘sock’ begin with and so on. Playing these games can help your child’s ability to hear sounds in words.

Encourage Vocal Skills
Spelling and reading are both intrinsically tied to the sounds of letters and letter combinations. Encourage them to read aloud. Children need to use the language they will be writing. Having a conversation, telling stories, playing word games and even play-acting can help kids develop key vocal skills as well as improve their vocabulary.

Bring Writing into the Mix
Writing regularly can significantly help children spell, and read as well. Writing can help children get their thoughts down on paper and can help them sound out and express their thoughts and feelings. By creating a visual element, such as writing down letters and words, kids are more likely to develop key spelling and reading skills. Their penmanship, and their spelling, may not be perfect at first, but if it is a routine activity, they will grow more and more familiar with the act of writing, spelling, and communicating effectively.

For younger kids you can write each of the words, and then have them trace it with a black crayon. Just make sure your child uses straight, not curved, lines when he outlines the word.

Get Creative
Applying study skills you may have used in college can help, too. Just as a university student may color-code their notes and post-its, using anything from highlighters and finger paints to cut-out construction paper and sidewalk chalk, you can help bring letters and spelling to life by making it a little more fun, and vibrant, too.

Old methods still work well such as purchasing letter magnets for the refrigerator and having them spell out words. Rhyming games are fun and help children to think and make similarities with letter sounds.  The idea here is to do it in daily bits and segments so that each time you do some sort of spelling lesson it becomes a game and children will love to learn.

How to Learn Reading Using Sound Reading and Phonemic Awareness

Reading is one of the most focused-upon areas of academia. It is the key to learning most anything else. The ability to read well, understand abstract concepts and to communicate effectively is essential not only in the academic world but in the world at large, so it is no wonder why reading skills are so heavily emphasized in school. So why aren’t more teachers and schools focusing on tactics that really help kids to read well?

Numerous studies have been conducted over the years testing the effectiveness of teaching methods and angles, and now there is software available that can help children to read better much more easily than ever before, the main problem being that many educators may simply not be aware that it exists.

Sound Reading Solutions is a revolutionary piece of software that focuses on phonemic awareness, something that many studies have shown other methods are lacking in. But what is phonemic awareness? Phonemic awareness is a subset of phonological awareness in which listeners are able to hear, identify and manipulate phonemes, the smallest units of sound that can differentiate meaning. For instance, you can separate the spoken word “cat” into three distinct phonemes, /k/, /æ/, and /t/. In order to do this, you need an understanding of phonemic awareness.

This sort of skill can be especially helpful for children reading words they have never read before, and may not even know at all, allowing them to sound out the words and create a sense of meaning within their minds regardless of their knowledge or lack thereof. Vocabulary building is essential, and many children can continue to learn larger concepts on their own, including words that they may not be familiar with, by gathering and insinuating some sort of meaning from phonemic understanding.

According to studies conducted by Vickie Snider, phonemic awareness has a direct correlation with a student’s’ ability to read as they get older. Phonemic awareness builds a foundation for students to understand the rules of the English language, as well, which can be especially helpful with speaking, writing and communicating effectively. These sorts of skills also provide kids with skills that they can apply to increase their oral reading fluency and understanding of the text.

Sound Reading Solutions provides exercises and other helpful tools that allow children to build phonemic awareness at different grade levels, which can help them to become better readers overall. Sound Reading programs heighten speech and language abilities by teaching students the skills they need to read with ease and confidence.  We urge you to take a look at this software and see how it will help your child read easily and on their own.

Please be sure to check back here for reading tips and parenting resources on a weekly basis and KDNovelties.com for personalized books that promote literacy in a unique way.

Sound Reading Software from Sound Reading on Vimeo.