Brilliant top tips to help your child with their weekly spelling tests

October 5, 2018


You may already know that we are NOT having the best of times when it comes to the dreaded Monday morning spelling test. 2 weeks in a row it’s been blinking awful. And twice I have left the house for work, and had to come running back again because of the upset it’s caused. If anything, I really wish the word ‘test’ could be taken away, as well as having it on a different day.


Both Mr Button and I are quite academic, so of course we know the huge benefit that comes from learning your spellings. And, despite the upset, you may be surprised to know that actually, Little Button does very well in her spelling tests.  


Spelling tests



She’s on a rolling streak of 10 out of 10 at the moment, and most importantly, is now able to use the learnt words in her writing and reading . So the technical aspect of learning her spellings is sinking in brilliantly and she does actually enjoy everything about them, apart from the test at school itself that is.


We look at spellings daily (on a good week). Take imaginary photos of them. Practice spotting the words in her reading book. Make up silly songs about the words and also pop them into silly sentences.  It’s been working well.


We’ve not been shown a specific way of teaching spellings, so I’ve been really interested to find out how other parents go about helping their little ones get to grips with their spellings. Here’s what they’ve said. 



Brilliant top tips to help your child with their weekly spelling tests – for parents, by parents


Sophie from Old House In The Shires says…

-5 minutes everyday is better than a last minute dash of 20 minutes the night before.

-Practise in different ways: orally in the car, in soap in the bath, plastic letters and with paper. This makes it fun with small children!


-Spellings are related to sounds at this age (phonics) so make this connection with your child. E.g if the sound is ai/ay show them! (They should know….).How many of the words have ai in them and how many have ay? Where is the ay in the word? Where is the ai? (Ay is often at the end, ai is often in the middle).

-Some children need tricks to help them remember such as rhyme or mnemonics. For example, the tricky word ‘could’ c….then the rhyme, ‘oh, u, lucky, duck!”


-Finally, don’t worry about your child. Your child does need to practise at home but they also need to know that it’s ok to not get them all right! The transference of the spelling skill to their own work is more important than a one off test.  



Sara-Jayne from Keep Up With The Jones Family says…

Reading – the more they read, the better they generally spell. We also do air writing, make songs out of the spellings and anything that makes it more fun. Honestly, spelling tests drive me crazy and in year one? How ridiculous. Schools are sucking the joy out of learning test by test, and I say that as a teacher and a mother.



Beth from Twinderelmo says…

My twins are in year 1 and the eldest is really reluctant to practise her spellings (or do any form of learning at home!) so I try to make it into a game. She does her words then she can ask me to spell 5 things. She makes up some rather interesting words so it’s all light hearted and makes her enjoy doing hers.



Jemma from Yorkshire Mum of 4 says…

I think with spellings it is just practise practise practise. We have a white board at home and we can write it on the board, let our 6 year old read it and then get them to try and spell it. Word games with missing letters can help with learning letters.



Sarah from Digital Motherhood says…

There’s an app you can download called Squeebles, much more fun for kids to practice than just asking them.



Michelle from What Mummy Thinks says…

Try to make learning spellings fun! Michelle has written a really interesting post about spelling tests here which is definitely worth a read.



Jo from A Rose Tinted World says…

My partner is a teacher, and he gives the children the following worksheet.


Spelling tests




Amy from All About A Mummy says…

Try practising out loud as well as written down.



Jemma from Have Kids Will Travel UK says…

It’s practice for us, luckily my daughter loves learning them and so will ask every day to do them after school and the repetition helps. We also put them on a white board so she can do them when she wakes up earlier than the rest of the house. Other ways to make it fun are to spell it in a sand tray, using different colours, using letters in the bath and we’ve got scrabble letters too that will come in handy for my son I think when he gets to that age.



Rim from Curious And Geeks says…

My son enjoys playing on his ipad, so to make the training funnier for him, we downloaded several free applications. We played them every time he wanted to use his ipad and he managed to make loads of progress without even realising it. We liked the Zat phonics screening check.



Claire from This Mummy Rocks says…

Be patient. Do the Say, cover, spell method. Remind them of their phonics. Make up rhymes to help remember words and letter order.



Gail from Yammy Mommy says…

My son is still in Reception, but he is excellent at spelling. We bought pots of magnetic letters and make up little games. We spell funny sentences and see who can make the other person laugh. We also play ‘Chain Letters’ (if you’re old enough to remember!) taking off certain letters to make new words. He loves playing these games and it’s a lovely family time activity.



Do you have any top tips to add?

Or maybe you have a suggestion on how to make Monday mornings less painful!?  


This post is part of #Blogtober18.




9 responses to “Brilliant top tips to help your child with their weekly spelling tests”

  1. I love these ideas. I’ve used a salt tray before with coloured card hidden under the salt so that it makes a rainbow pattern when they write the word #BlogCrush

  2. Millie says:

    So many lovely ideas. I wholeheartedly concur with little and often and a variety of ways, especially if you make it fun as it seems you indeed do. #BlogCrush

  3. Kirsty says:

    Great tips there. Fortunately my boys just seem to have great memories the problem we have is my youngest actually learning how to spell and read from the process. He can learn by rote easily but doesn’t understand what he has learnt! #blogtober18

  4. Sophie says:

    Great post Annette. Thankyou for linking and featured my ideas. Xx

  5. Lucy At Home says:

    So many great ideas here that I’ve not thought of before! My daughter went through a phase of HATING doing her spellings and would have a melt down every evening we tried, but thankfully she has been better since starting back in September. However, I’m bookmarking this list for future reference!

    And congratulations on being BlogCrush-ed AGAIN! Woop woop! #blogcrush

  6. Ashley Firth says:

    Thank you for sharing these tips! My 4 year old has just started spellings and I’ll certainly be trying these tips! Thank you for a great post!

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