The BEST Way To Study For A Spelling Test

With the school year kicking off, you can bet that it won’t be long before our kiddos are staring at tests and quizzes. And the likely first test will be a spelling test, as teachers usually get their students into the weekly spelling routine early on.


If you are like me, that spelling list sits on the fridge with intentions of daily, parent-led spelling review, only to be forgotten and neglected.


Lemme offer you an alternative…


While this spelling study strategy may be time-consuming at first, your child can quickly take over creating the pages.


Use one sheet of lined paper for each spelling word.


  1. Write the word across the top of the paper
  2. On the next line, write a dash for the first letter, then write the rest of the letters as usual
  3. On the next line, write two dashes, then the rest of the letters, and so on. Your paper will look something like the one below, where I used ‘spelling’ as the target word.


  1. Let your child look at the paper, when you cover the top line (with the complete word written)
  2. Your child fills in the first letter
  3. Cover the line your child just wrote on
  4. Your child fills in the missing letters on the nest line, and so on.


  1. By the time your child gets to the bottom of the page, he/she will be writing the complete word




Why? A few reasons:

  • Your child is moving from having more structure to less structure. This is how we learn, but taking baby steps toward mastery.
  • The dashes help make the task less intimidating by providing some “hints”. Your child is less likely to try to add and extra letter or leave one out since the dashes will help guide them.
  • Your child will probably be silently repeating the letters, in the right order, while filling in the blanks. This mental rehearsal helps them memorize the spelling of the word.


I hope you find this strategy helpful. I also have a video where I demonstrate this strategy HERE


As always, I love feedback, so let me know your thoughts on this or any other spelling study strategy!



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