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.

Never Too Young to Write a Book

Writing a novel is a big achievement. Many adults aspire to write a novel one day but rarely find the time or the right story to tell. Kids have imaginations that run wild, so why not tap into those novel writing aspirations early on? Kids can be picky about books, but they may be more likely to pick up new ones if they know that they have written one themselves.
Child drawing pictures for her book
Working on a book with your kids can be beneficial. Not only will kids be able to exercise their creativity, but they will also be actively exercising their writing and communication skills with the help of their innate creativity. Writing a book is a great artistic activity for kids of any age. Craft and retail department stores usually have all of the materials that you need: blank books or journals, crayons or markers, glitter and glue, you name it. Some may even carry book making kits with all of the materials that you might need included along with some fun guides, suggestions and additions. A great website with great book making materials for kids is http://www.barebooks.com.
Once you have all of your ingredients, kids can begin brainstorming about what they may want their book to be about. They can retell a story of something that happened to them in the past year, such as a fun family vacation or an exciting achievement at school. Encourage them to use photos but drawing pictures can also work, allowing them to be expressive and imaginative. Kids can also write about fantastical stories. They can make up their own fairy tale, write about an adventure that they would like to have someday, or write about characters that they have thought up on their own.
If kids are looking for inspiration, they can look to books and stories that they already love. Even researching for ideas can open them up to new material. No matter where the inspiration comes from, their final product will be something that they can be proud of for years to come. Not only that, but it can serve as a great piece of memorabilia from their childhood as they get older.  You can even pitch their stories to independent publishers such as http://www.KDNovelties.com.

Tying in activities with key learning skills can be easy. Writing and crafting a book cannot only unleash a child’s imagination but it can help them learn how to best use their skills and improve them all while having fun.

Writing to Read

Summer is a magical time for children. They look forward to its freedoms and are more than excited for their free time. This undoubtedly means time to play and for many kids this may not include any activities that actively engage with their critical thinking, which can have an effect on their academic and reading skills. It is suggested that kids read at least six books over the summer in order to retain the reading level they finished the previous school year with, but there are other fun ways to engage with kids’ critical thinking and reading skills, and one such way is writing. 
Writing is dynamic. The act of writing asks kids to think analytically and exercises their reading abilities as well. Reading and writing are intrinsically linked, and the act of practicing writing coherent sentences, thoughts and ideas can help foster kids’ reading skills throughout the summer. Asking your child to keep a journal can be beneficial in more than just one way. Asking them to write about what they have done over the summer, whether day by day, week by week or after day trips and vacations, has them reflecting on their own lives and helps them develop key communication skills. Kids don’t just have to write journals, they can write poetry or even short stories as well. These more creative forms of writing will inspire their imagination, the use of which also helps with critical thinking and reading comprehension. 
Writing can ignite a child’s imagination
Reading is important for kids in school, but writing is too. Practicing one of these skills actually helps develop their skills in both fields, and it can absolutely be fun as well. Additionally, ask your kids to read what they write when they are finished. This will help them exercise their reading skills and will help create memories as well.
Making reading and writing can be a lot of fun. It can also provide your family with gems from your child’s life. They’ll enjoy reading their journals when they are older, and you can share their written creative work with the family for years to come.

KD Novelties publishes personalized books for kids and have been putting smiles on children’s faces for over 10 years.