• Laetitia deVries

"halp i carnt spal"

Many of us struggle with spelling.

Spelling is complex and requires a specific teaching and learning focus. Turning sound into print while thinking about all of the various spelling rules, exceptions to rules, words that sound the same but spelt differently with different meanings, and different letter combinations, there is no doubt spelling is complex and challenging.

Spelling words correctly helps us to accurately and clearly communicate our thoughts, ideas and imaginative creations, therefore being understood and valued. So it is important!

Spelling is decodable and does not need to be a mystery. If we learn it in sequence and ensure there are no gaps, spelling can be understood and very empowering.

If your child is having trouble with spelling it can be debilitating in their own self-esteem, self-confidence and self-belief they are capable learners and authors. It can be a sign of learning and thinking differences that require consideration when learning these spelling complexities.

Some important considerations

  • Many children turn to their devices to help them correct spelling so they can record more quantity of information. Technology is fantastic for this, however, if your child is relying on a spell checker on their device it can also actually interfere with the learning process.

  • Your child may also avoid using words they don’t know how to spell for fear of getting them wrong

  • Spelling is required for nearly every subject at school not just at writing time.

  • Not being able to spell is frustrating and persistent destroying self-esteem and motivation. It is difficult to maintain a focus to progress forward without direct pathways to becoming a great speller.

  • Knowledge of spelling directly links to reading success.

  • Your child may become withdrawn from in-class activities or group learning so they do not get noticed for spelling errors.

But grammar matters too.

Grammar is the way we use words to make sentences. We learn grammar mostly as we learn to speak. We require grammar to communicate our messages accurately and correctly.

An example of a grammatical mistake during writing could be when you intend to use a certain word but end up using a different one through a spelling mishap. The word may be spelt correctly however, they are used incorrectly.‘Your and You’re’ ‘It’s or its’ ‘There, They’re or Their’ are some common examples.

And punctuation?

Punctuation if not put in the correct place can completely change the meaning.

I find inspiration in cooking my family and my dog.

I find inspiration in cooking, my family, and my dog.

Let’s eat grandma!

Let’s eat, grandma!

I love my parents Kylie Minogue and Kermit the Frog.

I love my parents, Kylie Minogue and Kermit the Frog.

Important steps towards becoming a great speller


We need to be able to say a word correctly in order to be able to write it. Your child may write a word as it sounds to them. An ‘f’ sound for ‘th’, or ‘w’ sound for ‘r’. Oral language is a vital step in the process of learning to spell.

Letter / Sound Relationships

To be able to spell a word we first need to understand what each letter of the alphabet name and sound is. Then we can discover how we can build words by putting these sounds together in order, such as ‘c_a_t’ sounds make the word cat.


Understanding syllables is a great way to break larger words into smaller manageable chunks for spelling.


Rhyming is a fun way to help children learn about word families so they can spell more words independently using the knowledge they have, such as (cat can be changed to hat, fat, bat, mat, sat.

Spelling rules

long and short vowels, word endings, silent e, or double consonants to name a few to help understand.

So what’s the tricky part?

Tricky or sight words are challenging to learn. Tricky Words are words that we use a lot in our writing but are hard to spell. They are tricky because you cannot write the sounds you hear to spell them correctly. They are words that we just need to remember what they look like.

If you have a child struggling with spelling we can help. Action Stations Learning have put together a Multi-Sensory Spelling Kit packed full of activities and equipment that is not only engaging and motivating but scientifically proven to work! This kit is designed to provide learning opportunities at home to learn and remember tricky words. The hard words.

These activities are loads of fun and designed with the learning brain in mind. By engaging our senses in different ways we are activating our working memory, a part of our brain where we hold new information. It is our brain's pathway to our long term memory but is also where we can sometimes lose track of what we are doing and then become overwhelmed or confused. Our goal is to work with the brain to move new information into our long term memory.

Explore a range of opportunities to engage with a variety of writing surfaces for a tactile effect both horizontally and vertically. You will also be using different textures and pressures on writing surfaces, developing your visual-spatial awareness while engaging movement and exploring the use of colour, all of which assist us with focus and memory.

You can have fun with these activities knowing that each one is an opportunity to access, organise and learn new information into the long term memory.

Check out our online shop to view our that can be sent to your door or download the DIY version to create your own fun kit for practising tricky words at home.

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