Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Review: Sixty Second Spelling Tips (plus one or two other useful things to remember!) by Charlotte Comley

Being a parent I have resorted to many creative methods and employed numerous quirky tricks to help my offspring master tasks and stills. Be it tying shoe laces, learning left from right, phonics, alphabet, counting or times tables, inevitably you end up racking your brain to invent fun ways to help you children learn.

We do these things because we want to support our children, to give them every advantage we can to empower them to be self-sufficient and be well equipped for education and their life beyond. Of course sometimes, some children require more of your creativity because they have other factors that make mastering these skills even more laborious. One obvious one is dyslexia which can affect reading but also spelling.

I know that I myself have spent hours of time and energy creating visual aids to help my son to prepare for his 11+ exams, creating picture based cards to help him learn the extensive lists of vocabulary he had to digest weekly. However our current project is to boost his spelling, which is quite a challenge as I am myself dyslexic. Whilst trying to come up with exciting and varied techniques to help him learn, I have found myself wondering what methods and tricks other parents have employed; and wouldn’t it be great if they shared a few of their successful ones.

So what music to my ears when I learnt that fellow writer, and SCBWI member Charlotte Comley has just done just that; she has penned a books sharing her wisdom called, ‘Sixty Second Spelling Tips (plus one or two other useful things to remember!)’

The book is available on Amazon for Kindle and priced at the incredibly low 99p [Press Here for Link], is formatted in an easily accessible way, and sets out different approaches and techniques in their own sections along with straightforward introduction, explaining how that work, and how to implement them.

The books starts with visuals in a section titled ‘How Pictures Can Help Your Child Learn.’ The section starts with pictorial images that are designed to help children remember and be able to differentiate between commonly confused letters, like; d g p q, by depicting the letters as things that begin with the letter for example: the ‘d’ becomes a ‘d’ and a ‘dinosaur’! The chapter then continues with small acrostic poems to help children remember to spell particular words, many of which Charlotte and her children have created; they are everything a child needs them to be; fun and amusing with an air of the ridiculous – perfect for committing to memory. To make them even easier to commit to memory Charlotte has paired them simple illustrated depictions of the acrostic poems, making it easier for visual thinker to digest.

The Book continues to tackle other spelling issues both explaining why people find them perplexing (which for me I found it very reaffirming to know that there are reasons why I find spelling difficult) along with presenting well-crafted tactics to help with mastering spelling.

In Sixty ‘Second Spelling Tips,’ generously shares all the years of her experience and plus all the tricks, techniques, she has developed, and what is peculiarly good, is that fact that she takes the time to explain spelling rules, and issues in a non-patronising way and at the same time, promoting fun and amusing alternative spelling learning experiences, such as using games and exiting practice techniques, all of which are included with the book.

I truly think that Sixty Second Spelling Tips is an excellent tool to be in any parents teaching arsenal, it certainly has helped me with my spelling, and in turn assisted me in supporting my son.

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