...so how do I tell 4 yo DD not to ask him about words? His recent errors accompanying her drawings include beatiful and staid.
DH was diagnosed in late childhood with a condition (I forget its name) to do with words jumping around the page when black on white. He is a graduate with a professional job and likes doing crosswords so I don't want to make him too conscious of the issue.
Get him a pocket dictionary. Assuming he knows he struggles to spell, he should be happy to use it to check words he's not sure of. Knowing how to use a dictionary is a useful skill to have, so it will be beneficial to your daughter too.
My DH is the same but acknowledges his weakness so we just laugh about it when DD forgets and asks him to spell something. Just make it lighthearted and explain to your DD that we can't all be good at everything and that her DH isn't great at spelling....
My dad couldn't read or write until he met my mum, she taught him aged 17.
Whenever me or my brother asked him how to spell something, he would get us the dictionary, find the word and also make us look at the word above and below it, so we learned three new words each time we couldn't spell one.
This is why I kick everyone's arse at Scrabble
Can't they just look up the word together? Ten they both learn something and your DD learns that it's ok not to know something and its ok to ask for help in learning!