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Learning Spellings of Homophones

(6 Posts)
NameChangeEx Tue 16-Oct-12 20:22:47

My year 3 son is struggling with his spellings this week and I am struggling to help him.

He has a list of 5 homophones.

The ones that are more common he is getting the hang of quicker, such as write/right and new/knew

But he is struggling with the less commonly used ones.

It is adding to confusion because not only is he having to remember the spellings of tricky words that don't conform to the phonetic way they have been taught to read, he is then having to remember two ways of spelling a word that sounds the same to him.

I have tried discussing the meanings with him, looking for the differences in the spelling of the words, the look/cover/write/check method and had him copying them over and over but the trickier words are not sticking.

Does anyone have any advice on how to help him? I am planning on discussing it with his teacher when I get the chance.

I am wondering whether it maybe isn't the best method to teach them together confused

EasyFromNowOn Tue 16-Oct-12 21:13:31

I think we had that list last week! Is he using each word in a sentence, so he is learning the context as well? We started by doing one after the other, so it didn't matter which answer was given first, just to check that both were known, but then I went on to say a sentence including the word, so it required picking the correct version before spelling it out.

I couldn't think of any other way to do it! <not a teacher!>

Euphemia Tue 16-Oct-12 21:19:44

Which words is he struggling with?

NameChangeEx Wed 17-Oct-12 08:00:37

Easy - we tried that too. That's what I meant by discussing the meanings. We talked about the different meanings and then put them into a sentence.

Looking again at the list it looks like it might be the ones that are spelt similarly that are catching him out.

Euphemia - he is struggling with piece/peace and break/brake and accept/except.

He remembers piece but then goes blank on how he should spell peace even though we've been looking at the spellings since Friday now. He has the hang of brake but then goes blank on break. With accept/except he wants to put an S in them.

He is very good at his spellings normally and is in the top group for his class. They have been having 4 homophones and 4 topic related spellings and he has had hardly any problems with the 4 topic related questions. It has just been the homophones which have really been confusing him.

Euphemia Wed 17-Oct-12 08:13:01

A few ideas below. DD's schools have always used these more creative methods and they've really helped her. As a teacher I use them too, and the children enjoy the variety, while not realising that they are engaging more of their brainpower and learning more effectively!

Obviously you won't try all of them at once, but maybe one at a time and see which work best.

Shaving Cream Practice:
An easy way to clean those dirty tables is to finger paint on them with shaving cream. Squirt some on the table (with your parents permission and supervision!) and then practice spelling your words by writing them with your finger in the shaving cream.

Salt Box Spelling:
Ask your parents pour salt into a shallow box or tray (about 3cm deep) and then practice writing you spellings in it with your finger.

Scrabble Spelling:
Find the letters you need to spell you words and then mix them up in the bag. Get your parents to time you unscrambling your letters. For extra maths practice you could find out the value of each of you words.

Pyramid Power:
Sort your words into a list from easiest to hardest. Write the easiest word at the top of the page near the middle. Write the next easiest word twice underneath. Write the third word three times underneath again until you have built your pyramid

Ransom Note:
Cut the letters needed to for your words from a newspaper or magazine and glue them down to spell the words.

Spell It With Beans:
Use Lima beans (or any dried beans or lentils) to spell out your words. If you glue them onto separate pieces of card then you made a great set of flash cards to practice with for the rest of the week.

Pipe Cleaners Or Tooth Picks:
These are just a couple of suggestions of things you could use to for your spelling words.

Tasty Words:
Just like above but this time try and find tasty things to spell your words with, like raisins. Then when you spell them right you get to eat them!

Design A Word:
Pick one word and write it in bubble letters. Colour in each letter in a different pattern.

NameChangeEx Wed 17-Oct-12 08:23:39

Thanks Euphemia. I am a teaching assistant myself but for Infants so haven't dealt with Junior spellings yet, so a lot of the above are familiar to me already. Some look good for my son.

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