Getting your first grader to want to learn to spell may not be as easy as you think. Some are reluctant to simply write words repetitively as a way of learning. If their pained looks and moans force you to find a friendlier solution, try to get creative! Our ideas aren’t just fun, they’re inexpensive too.

Get sticky: Grab your pencil and some post-it notes and get started. Write the names of the objects and then put sticky notes on them. Let your child search for spelling words until he has found all ten words, for example. If your child is homeschooled, this works great as he can control his list and use household items easily. If your school gives you lists, try pasting the words around the house in fun places. Your child will still read and notice them, and turn spelling lists into games.

Coloring words: Another great way to help your first grader with spelling is to make coloring pages with the words. Your child can color and learn at the same time. Sometimes it helps for a young child to just see the word often enough. It is similar to typing the words over and over again, but much less tedious for the child.

Go fish: Make a deck of cards with the words spelled with index cards. Make sure to match them so you can make combinations. Let your child decorate the cards if he wishes. They don’t take long to do and parents can even enjoy this game.

Eat it: Ever wish you could make your morning trip to school more productive? Then this game is for you. Take the list and break it down into individual words (backup first). Then get two back seat trash cans that look like animals or you can decorate them so the opening looks like a mouth. When a word is spelled correctly, you will give your child that word to put in the correct trash can so the animal can “eat” it. The words they couldn’t spell go to the other trash can for a later game … maybe on the way home from school, until all the words have been eaten correctly. Sound effects are definitely allowed.

Get poetic: It is fun to make special types of poems with spelling words. Why not try a haiku or rite to make the spelling more interesting? Post weekly poems on the refrigerator for the family to review. You will be amazed at the fun things your kids will come up with!

Teaching your child at home can be a wonderful and rewarding experience. However, it can be a daunting task to find the right tools at an affordable price. While some parents prefer to teach spelling simply through reading, others prefer a more traditional method of memorizing lists and testing their child to make sure they are learning this important skill. Why not get creative and help your child learn through fun, hands-on activities that will improve spelling scores and allow your child to enjoy spelling at the same time.

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