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My 8 year old can't spell - please help!

(19 Posts)
SuzysZoo Sun 06-Mar-11 20:22:44

My DS is 8. He in in year 3. He reads very well and is a pretty keen reader, so I know that is fortunate. However, he really struggles to spell anything right. He can read Harry Potter but he can't spell "does" or "brother" or "grown" for example. Is it possible to be able to read well but still suffer from some sort of dyslexia with spelling? Has anyone else encountered this problem? Any suggestions/hints for teaching gratefully received!

squidgy12 Sun 06-Mar-11 20:41:20

Message withdrawn

pinkhebe Sun 06-Mar-11 20:44:32

Eek my 8 year old is the same! I'm watching for the solution grin although his teacher doesn't think it is a problem

Hulababy Sun 06-Mar-11 20:46:28

Is it possible to be able to read well but still suffer from some sort of dyslexia with spelling?


My DD is 8y (y4) and also a very good reader, but her spelling is nowhere near the same level, although within "normal" ranges for her age, but lower end. She can learn 10 spellings each week for school spelling tests, including some pretty tricky ones, but she doesn;t retain them well and her spelling in her independent work is entirely at odds with her spelling test results.

She has been assessed and doesn't have dyslexia as such but several indicators that are dsylexic like. She has had just over a year of twice weekly support sessions and her speling is improving massively. She has done a lot of intensive phonics work, plus learnt a lot of strategies and techniques to apply when she is writing independently.

TheVisitor Sun 06-Mar-11 20:47:01

Many 8 year olds can't spell. Actually, some can spell words, but can't be bothered to actually think about it! My boys can still be guilty of this at nearly 12.

IndigoBell Mon 07-Mar-11 08:52:58

Don't worry about whether or not he has 'dyslexia'. Some EPs will give you a dx of dyslexia for very poor spelling, some won't. But either way no magic doors will open. You'll have the same kid, with the same poor spelling.

If he can't spell, he needs to be taught how to

There is no quick fix. It requires you to go through a spelling program with him every night for a long time.

I have used all 4 of the following spelling programs:

apples and pears
This is a very good spelling program. 10 mins every night. Goes through all the spelling rules. Def not a quick fix, but I quite like it.

stareway to spelling
This book just concentrates on the 300 most frequently used words, which make up 75% of text, rather than on teaching you spelling rules.

nessy games player
this is a computer program that goes through the spelling rules - but it goes through them quite quickly.

seeing spells achieving
This is a method to teach spelling to children who are visual learners. Quite interesting.

weegiemum Mon 07-Mar-11 09:01:11

My dd1 is 11 (in p6, y5) and is just now beginning to improve her spelling.

Her teacher said it was mainly down to her having so many things she wanted to write down that she didn't stop to think!

We did loads of extra phonics practice at home and that seems to have made a big difference.

But then I'm not the world's best speller either, so I do sometimes wonder if it runs in the family!

2pinkmonkeys Mon 07-Mar-11 10:16:01

i am a great reader but cannot spell to save my life!

spelling is a different skill and takes alot longer for them to remember how to spell a word than it does to be able to read it.
dd is only 6 but is a briliant reader but her spelling is very average. her teacher gives them thewords they are spelling wrong in their writing for spellings time and time again until they are spelling the right all the time. it means that they have the same words cropping up on several occaisions but at least they seem to stick and dd's spelling is improving because of it.

maverick Mon 07-Mar-11 11:02:56

OP, if you scroll down on this page, you'll find the Main Points to Help with Spelling.

I hope you find the rest of the page content interesting too as it explains how the good reading- poor spelling gap occurs.


IndigoBell Mon 07-Mar-11 11:25:26

Superphonics spelling from maverick's site looks good....

LindyHemming Mon 07-Mar-11 13:46:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

maizieD Mon 07-Mar-11 13:54:01

How can you use a dictionary to check a spelling? In most cases you need to know the correct spelling before you can find it...

LindyHemming Mon 07-Mar-11 14:16:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

littlebylittle Mon 07-Mar-11 19:09:54

Also, remember that spelling is one of several skills within writing too. So a child could be a good writer overall, good structure to writing, good sentence construction, imaginative, good vocabulary choice and not be good speller. I would gave children who performed poorly on spelling but would get level five for writing. And that's fair. So good writing skills and good spelling don't always go hand in hand. I'm hoping that spelling will be better and better taught as phonics are embedded in the primary curriculum.

SuzysZoo Tue 08-Mar-11 12:46:05

Oh - thank you so much for all these responses. I have found them very interesting and I will certainly check out the spelling tools listed and other web pages. Hulababy's comment about the spelling lists sounds familiar. DS was the kid who could learn his list each week and get 10/10 but would not then retain and use what he had learnt at all. He can spell the same word three different ways in the same sentence, in fact. I will go back to basics again with the phonics and see how we get on...I also like the idea of bribery and I have tried that. I told him he could have some new lego once he could correctly spell the 100 most common words. He did this reasonably easily but does he remember and use them now? No!

feelingsik Tue 29-Jan-13 16:34:28

I got here buy searching on the subject. Very good suggestions and I was going to get everything suggested, till I saw the prices. Could not help but saying this. Its appalling that educational tools costs so much, truly outrageous

smee Tue 29-Jan-13 17:10:09

My son's dyslexic (also Yr4) and he's a great reader, so L4 sats, etc, but his spelling's woeful. Not saying your son is at all, as lots of 8 year olds can't spell, but you can definitely be a great reader and dyslexic.

Kikilee08 Fri 19-May-17 10:40:58

My 9 year old girl is quite bright an is reading at an above level. She cannot spell an really struggles. Her teacher suggested she be tested for dyslexia an I agreed, but Looking further into it I think it's dysgraphia?..

GU24Mum Sun 21-May-17 22:10:20

My 9yr old is dreadful - and can't remember capital letters much either. The worst homework days are when he has spelling sentences to do but I'm at work as my OH is even worse - they send the attempts to me by What's App and I have to correct them and phone back the correct spellings. Have had to explain to OH that me just writing the sentences and DS copying them really isn't what the teacher is looking for!!!!

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