• User AvatarMiriam McKenzie
  • 28 Apr, 2023
  • 3 Mins Read

How do I spell….

How do I spell….

A few blogs back I posted on the blog image that here I was writing my next book. Lol. Turns out, I have written another book. Not only wrote it but published it too. It’s not for sale yet but check out my YouTube channel or other social media outlets for me reading it. I have a friend who has an amazing voice who’s going to turn it into a song. But that’s later on.

Recently, I was told that teachers get asked 100 questions a day. (It’s probably more like 1 million.)  So if you live in the same house as a teacher and they bite your head off when they come home and you ask something like “what’s for dinner?” then please understand they have just spent all day answering questions and they’ve had enough, quite frankly.

Out of those 100 questions 99 of them will be to ask how to spell a word. Because children, like most men, prefer  to use someone else’s brain rather than their own. So the book I wrote is the answer to that question. It’s called “How do I spell…”

The … is important because it means there’s more to come and to find out more you need to turn the page. This is how books work. Page one tells you how to figure out how to spell a word all on your own!! Who knew? When you are learning to spell a new word it might take a bit of practise to get it right but that’s ok. You can’t run a marathon with no practise, or swim an ocean.

Page one says, “Write down the sounds you can hear”. It’s written there 3 times. Some sounds are tricky and because there are 44 sounds in English I can understand this. There are also 1140 ways to spell those 44 sounds so the hard part of spelling in English just got ramped up a few notches. Luckily, there are only (only) 175 common spelling sequences that help the learning more straightforward. The theory goes, and this is the one I subscribe to, if you learn how to spell those sounds it’s easier for you to spell more words. Other people out there agree with  me too, so that’s good.

The next question you ask children is “What sounds are tricky for you?” (this is page 4 so you might be able to build a picture of how big this book is.) and you can help the child work out those sounds. Then let them give it a try, as in write it down how you think it should be spelled. check if it is right and practise, practise, practise. It’s the practise that embeds the words into our head so when we need to use that word we can recall the spelling instantly and without much effort of thought.

The back page of the book has a note for parents breaking down the method and giving the reasons why this method of learning to spell works.

BUT. And this is a big BUT, if a child can’t say those sounds correctly then learning how to spell them makes it even more challenging. Before children learn to spell, and also read, they really need to learn how to say the sounds first. One child I’m working with can’t enunciate the SH sound, it comes out S. So when she’s writing a story she struggles with words like ‘she’ and ‘show’. She finds it really frustrating that she doesn’t hear the difference and therefore spell the words correctly. Incidentally, my YT channel has videos explaining the techniques of how to to say those sounds with exercises to practise, just in case you’re interested.

Of course, my books and courses also have instructions for how to say all the 44 sounds in English. Links are the buttons below.

‘Fanks’ for reading and have a great week, Miriam.