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Temporary Spelling

What Is It?
Your child is getting an enormous amount of information right now. In the midst of the process of learning the name of the letters, the way the letters are written, the sounds that represent them, and what happens in their mouths to form the letters, your child is testing out this information.

Your child should be writing every day. They may try to spell difficult words and get them wrong. Don't correct the errors if they are beyond what your child has been taught. As they are taught more, their spelling will become more nearly standard and, finally, correct. Encourage them to write as much of the word as they can (see below) This forces them to use the phonics they know, but be aware that they will try to write words beyond their skill level.

EXAMPLE: the word 'gorgeous' may come out 'grjs'. This shows that your child has learned the four consonants and knows how to sequence them correctly. That's great.

If the word 'gorgeous' comes out 'grsj' then the error in sequencing should be addressed and the child should be asked to correct it.

How It Works
Tell your child that if she or he only knows the beginning sound to write that letter, and draw a line to show they don't know the rest of the word.
EXAMPLE: With the words 'temper tantrum' your child may only feel the t at the beginning of each word. They would write t____ t____

If they could feel the end of the words as well, they would write t____r t____m

If they can feel letters in the middle of the words, they would write tmpr tntrm

Your child's independent spelling should gradually reflect what has been taught. Don't be surprised if she or he uses letters and patterns not yet learned.

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