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How to Improve Your Child’s Spelling 

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Spelling and the 11 Plus (11+)

Spelling is a foundational skill for your child and is a vital building block in their early education journey. Learning how to spell correctly can make your child a more confident writer and improve their communication skills, articulation, reading comprehension and attention to detail. 

If your child is preparing for the 11+, one of the best ways your child can prepare is to focus on their spelling and vocabulary skills. The 11+ exam usually involves English and verbal reasoning sections, so developing their spelling skills can significantly impact how they perform. 

This article will provide you with some top tips on how to boost your child’s spelling skills and vocabulary. This will include some practical measures to help your child and some resources you can use. 

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1. Encourage them to read more

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One of the most effective ways to develop a child’s spelling skills is to encourage them to read more.

Introducing them to a variety of fiction and non-fiction books not only expands their vocabulary but also familiarises them with sentence structures and literary devices, which will be very useful for future exams such as the 11+.

The 11+ English exam usually contains a comprehension exercise and a verbal reasoning section. Reading regularly can help your child develop their analysis, vocabulary, comprehension and spelling skills in the lead-up to this important exam, ensuring a higher chance of success. 

Reading helps children understand the spelling of words and is a great way to help them learn new vocabulary. You could start by selecting texts that already match their interests and reading level, gradually encouraging them to expand to new topics and more complex books to challenge them.

2. Play word games

Playing games can make spelling more enjoyable for your child. Simple games like Hangman, Scrabble, Boggle, word searches and crosswords can encourage children to think about their spelling without making it feel like revision. 

Putting magnetic letters on the fridge and coming up with words of the day is also a great way to gradually ingrain spelling patterns into their memory, making memorising tricky spellings much easier.

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3. Practise writing

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Another great way to help your child with their spelling is to encourage them to practise writing as much as possible. Writing regularly will help improve their spelling and boost their creativity and communication skills.

Many important examinations, including the 11+, often contain a creative writing section and practising this skill early will help build your child’s confidence in the lead-up to these exams.

You could also challenge them by giving them specific words to include in their stories. If you are also doing regular spelling tests with them, you could ask them to include all the words from that week’s spelling test.

Getting your child to write regularly and checking it through for them will also give you an indication of how their spelling and writing skills are progressing. 

4. Read with them

If your child struggles to read alone and maintain their attention, you could begin to read with them.

By reading with your child, you can ensure they are reading the words correctly and help them if they aren’t. Getting your child to read aloud to you can also help them absorb the story better. 

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You could make reading interactive by asking questions about the story, the characters, what they think will happen or how a particular passage made them feel. This will not only improve their comprehension skills but also make reading a more engaging and enjoyable experience. 

5. Do regular spelling tests with them

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Testing your child on new words they have learned can be a great way to help them retain new spellings and track their progress.

This could be informal, testing them on spellings whilst in the car or on a walk, or you could get them to sit and write out the words you give them. 

If you are struggling to keep your child motivated this way, you could introduce a rewards system into these tests. You could keep track of their spelling scores and reward them if they beat their previous score. 

6. Provide them with learning resources

One of the most effective ways to help your child with their spelling is to provide them with the appropriate resources to take their vocabulary to the next level.

Having a range of educational resources available not only simplifies your teaching task but also ensures your child’s learning experience is varied and effective. 

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At Examberry, we offer a range of spelling and vocabulary book resources specifically designed to strengthen your child’s spelling skills and vocabulary range. This includes both foundational and advanced level texts, in digital and physical formats, to help your child progress at their own pace. 

These books are especially beneficial if you are struggling to come up with new words or exercises for your child to do, as they come with over 600 vocabulary, synonym, antonym, and word choice exercises. They are the perfect preparation for Verbal Reasoning and English 11+ GL Assessment (grammar schools), independent schools, and CEM examinations.

Examberry Papers

One of the most effective way to prepare for an 11+ entrance exam is to use practice tests written by experts.

We offer a range of  11+ revision resources including area & school-specific papers, subject-specific papers, spelling & vocabulary resources, and reading books.

Each of our practice tests:

Spelling and grammar recommendations

Further recommendations

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