Can’t we just use Spelling Checkers?

Why is Spelling so Hard?

Those of us who struggled with spelling ourselves, or are in the process of helping little ones learn their ‘tricky’ words, would love the answer to this question to be “Yes!”  Spelling rules just seem, well, unruly, and anyway don’t too many corrections crush creativity?

The problem is that we learn spellings in a variety of ways.  Sometimes we have to spell the whole word from memory, these are the dreaded ‘sight ‘or tricky words, but more usually we need to sound out and decode words using phonics (letter sounds).

Words are both symbols on paper and sounds we say.  So when we read words we hear them in our head.  This is what makes poetry or songs work well and sound attractive (or not).  If we can’t hear words when we read them we won’t enjoy their rhythm or rhyme.

You might say, but why not just spell phonetically?  Sadly, there is no one way to say a word (just watch Coronation Street), and this is made more complicated by English being spoken by people all over the world.

Also, if words that sound the same (e.g., rain, rein and reign) were spelled the same way, their meanings would be harder to work out.

Spell checkers are fine as an aid, but the student who spells “does” as “dose” will not see the mistake, and will continue with the misspelling habit.  However, the good news is that technology can help us learn our spellings more efficiently, with tuition programmes, online resources and spelling gadgets.

Back to the tricky words then; try getting the child to see the shape of the word (using joined up handwriting), say, and hear the word.  This will help the ‘working memory’ learn better!

Find out more about tutoring here…

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What parents say...

Albie
Albie had been diagnosed with mild dyslexia and his reading age was around 2 years behind!  The standard in private school is often higher, so we were worried about the Entrance Exams.  Soon after he enrolled he started making rapid progress.  The school say he is now Level  5 in literacy and the teacher can see a lot of difference.  His reading age has shot up and the gaps in maths have been filled in and he has caught up amazingly quickly. It has definitely, definitely made a difference and I have recommended the centre to my friends.
Jilly (Albie’s Mum)
She is a quiet girl and I was concerned that her poor spelling was not being corrected.  When she saw the progress Bella was making in such a short time, I enrolled her for Maths as well!   It has transformed her thinking and she now has the self-esteem to ask questions in both numeracy and literacy.
Ms R Temple
“Dear Howard Thank you so much for all these lessons you’ve been giving me!  They really have improved my work at school and now I can put all your help to good use with my SATs.  Thank you so much for everything! From Lewis”
Lewis (student)
Thank you so much for helping me with my maths!  I have come along much more in maths lessons at school! Hopefully, depending on whether I need help when I go to Secondary School I might come back again. (I hope so)  Thank you again. Madison.
Mrs H Breen
I would like to thank you for the enthusiastic way in which you have helped Vicky gain confidence in her abilities to learn.  She has been a different child since coming to you and has a more positive view now!
Vicky's Parents
Thank you for your lovely card.  You have helped with my creative writing and vocabulary.  I have grown in confidence and I appreciate your help.
Naomi
Sophia

Sofia says “I Love to Learn Now!”

Sofia’s mum brought her to us as she was having a few problems with maths at school.  She liked it so much that now she comes for English as well!  Mariana says that now “Sofia is more confident with math now and she’s coming to I Love to Learn for pleasure.  She is very happy with her teacher, she says she is very kind and patient.”    
Howard JonesI Love to Learn
At the time of writing this testimonial, my daughter has had only 5 sessions and her confidence and ability has increased significantly!  (Now) she talks of enjoying maths and of her abilities in maths instead of her inabilities, participates more in maths lessons at school and is keen to do her maths homework, both from school and from the sessions.  As a parent I am thrilled that her confidence has grown significantly and would recommend I Love to Learn without hesitation.
S BondParentPortsmouth
We brought him to the centre in Year 6 because he just had no idea about maths.  This year won the ‘Most Improved in Maths’ certificate for his year.  He also came top of his class in 2 out of 3 maths exams.  Coming to here is the best thing we ever did!
Mr S White
I would like to thank you for everything that you have done, and also pass on my gratitude from Lottie because she has learnt she has really benefited from and her confidence in maths has vastly improve, so much so that she now tells me that she looks forward to maths class at school!
Charlotte's parents