Fun ways to practice spelling

Now that I am homeschooling a 2nd grader, I have found myself diving into the world of spelling.  Being a former English teacher, one would think that would be easy.  Not so much.  I have an extreme dislike of memorization as a learning technique.  Don’t get me wrong, there is a place for memorization in learning; however, I do not like memorizing facts, lists, etc. as a means to learning without a deeper knowledge.  With that being said, I taught at a school that required spelling tests and memorization.  I watched middle and high school students memorize spelling words for the test but be unable to spell them 2 weeks later.  I didn’t want that for my children.

Because A-Man reads well above his grade level, it is difficult to find spelling words that challenge him.  We have a spelling workbook that I am guessing is a 3rd or 4th grade level.  We work through 1-2 pages a week. He gets most of them, but there is the occasional word that trips him up because of a tricky blend.  A-Man is very active so I limit our workbook type work so he doesn’t explode at some point during our school day!

In order to mix things up, we play hangman with the spelling words.  It helps him see the word being built letter by letter and he remembers how it is spelled.  He loves this so much he put a hangman board game on his Christmas list!  T-Man gets involved by erasing the dry erase board and guessing letters (usually the letter A).

Today, I came across another spelling activity that seemed intriguing.  123 Homeschool 4 Me has a Connect Four spelling practice worksheet.  I was skeptical because I have downloaded or checked out many worksheet packs that are supposed to be for a specific grade level and I have found them to be a bit easy or a bit too advanced.  This is geared for grades K-4.  

Each worksheet has a favorite character on it (Little Mermaid, Cars, Star Wars, Merida, etc.).  The child writes ten spelling words for the week and then choose 4 activities to complete to make a row, like the Connect Four game.  The suggestion is that once the row is made, the child receives some sort of reward.  I haven’t decided on my feelings about offering a reward but I definitely like that this is another fun way to practice spelling words.  

Some of the activities are very simple (write in a complete sentence) and I may create some more interesting alternatives.  Use 4 words in your penpal letter may be a bit more exciting and applicable. Overall, I do like this activity and will definitely plan to use this or tailor it to meet our homeschool’s needs.

What fun methods do you use to practice spelling?

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