How important is good spelling and grammar to a child? Is it important in a world that works with digital documents, emails, has autocorrect on every device and even allows us to use artificial intelligence at the click of a button? Shouldn’t it be the quality and uniqueness of work that we should we be focusing on rather than the spelling and grammar of a word? The honest truth is that, even though we live in a world that provides endless opportunities to cut things short and simply google the way a word is spelt or placed in a sentence, the skill of having good spelling and grammar is still valuable. Learning how to spell and include good grammar lays the very basic foundation to what will help your child achieve success later on in life. View them both as building blocks to what will help your child become a strong and confident writer. The majority of academic exams are written, with there being a heavy emphasis on the quality of work solely relying on how well an individual is able to present their writing to the examiner. If your child is constantly pausing to think about how to spell a word, it can interrupt their flow of thoughts, which can affect the calibre of their work. Instead, you want to ensure your child is confident in their choice of words, so they are able to construct great sentences and communicate exactly what they are thinking. There are many things that you can do to help your child get to this place. Below is some advice from this boy’s school in London on supporting your child with their spelling and grammar.
Help them develop their auditory and vocal skills
There is a pattern to follow when it comes to an individual that is good at spelling and grammar. They are also great readers and speakers too. Reading is one of the easiest ways to help your child strengthen these skills. Don’t limit your child to the books they read at school or bring home occasionally. Encourage them to visit the local library to pick out a handful of books to read with you or independently in their own time. If possible, read to your child every day. Try and restrict the amount of tv and screen time they have as well. Your child needs to work on their vocal skills too and they cannot do that when their brain is distracted by a tv programme. Give your child plenty of opportunities to talk to you, in order to work on their language.
Write down what needs to be practiced
It’s all good and well trying to spell words vocally, however, some children work a little differently and need to be able to visualise a word to have it engraved in their brain. Get your child to write down any words that they struggle to spell out and ask them to try and visualise the word every time they use it. Writing a word down is much more beneficial than typing it out on a tablet, so try the old-fashioned route every now and again.
Children love to point out when adults have gone wrong somwhere, so use this to your advantage. Write up a paragraph full of noticeable grammatical errors and get your child to try and find them. You can make it a little more difficult by changing it up and not telling them there are any errors. This is a fantastic activity that is simple but will show how alert your child is when it comes to spelling and grammar.
Remember, learning these skills is a gradual process and won’t happen overnight. Give your child some time and patience as they will get there in no time.