Spelling Mastery: Teaching Children to Spell

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Did you struggle to learn spelling in school? Are your students or children struggling now? Sadly, learning spelling has never been easy… until now! Spelling Mastery Program is offering a solution for the long, boring process of memorizing thousands of words.

Reason of struggling to spell

According to study, despite having a very flexible requirement, kids often face difficulty to reach even the minimum standard for their level, especially in spelling. For example, it’s very common to find students in grade 3 fail to correctly spell basic words such as ‘was’, ‘but’ etc.

There are a number of reasons behind this problem:


Often in classes, learning spelling is hardly given importance. Teachers keep the spelling section for homework and parents also tend to neglect the mistakes their kids are making while writing. You must instruct your students to spell properly and give necessary lessons about it.

Also, if you don’t apply engaging activities in your spelling lesson and just give a list of words to memorize, students will lose interest after some time. Because of this, the whole process slows down and eventually ends without giving a good output.

Commercial Approaches

Parents, and sometimes the teachers, are likely to apply methods and programs highlighted in the media to teach spelling. In reality, many of those programs involve spelling rules and patterns that aren’t dependable and complicates the process of learning spelling.

Just because a program got a good review, doesn’t mean it would be suitable for your kids. You need to understand the individual needs of each student and plan your lesson accordingly.

Texting Language

Because of the rise of texting language such as ‘I m8 b l8 2dy, sry’ or ‘gd n8’, people often argue if learning correct spelling is needed anymore. Well, it will always be important and students should learn it from the beginning to improve their reading and writing skills.

And to be honest, it might be convenient for texting, but no one would like to read a novel like that! If you don’t believe me, check out reviews about poorly written stories. The spelling and word selection are 10 times more likely to be criticized than the plot!

Learning to spell can be easier when you find the right educational platform for your students. Check out our spelling shed review to learn more about it.

What is Spelling Mastery

Spelling Mastery Program is the 6-level Direct-Instruction based program that is supported by Australian Council of Educational Research (ACER). It is widely used in Australia as well as in other countries. Each consists of 60-120 short lessons that teaches student using the approaches below:

1. Phonemic Approach

Teaching students the relationship between letters and the spoken sound and applying them to learn spelling.

2. Morphemic Approach

An approach for advanced students involving suffix, prefix, and word bases combined with spelling rules and patterns.

3. Whole-Word Approach

Explaining students the meaning and root of a word to show how these affect the spelling. This approach is often used for irregularly spelled words or when spelling is different than the word sound.

In the Spelling Mastery program, all 3 approaches are applied according to the skill improvement of the student. More so, it consists of direct instruction based lesson plans to teach necessary spelling skills and cumulative practice to master those skills.


  • Placement Test: This initial test evaluates students’ skill and determines which level in the curriculum would be appropriate for them. This is the first step to spelling mastery, therefore, mandatory for every student.
  • Short-length, straight forward lesson plans to reduce pressure on students.
  • Key information and instructions.
  • Strategies, patterns and rules to help students memorize words without actually memorizing them.
  • An enormous collection of spelling words.
  • Bonus activities and regular evaluation.
  • Suitable for all levels of students including ESL and also for the students with learning difficulties, for both personal use and for class.
  • The program includes guides for teachers, workbooks and necessary softwares.

Direct Instruction

You might be wondering what direct instruction means. The system is a proven way to teach students spelling which based on the works of Siegfried Engelmann that involve-

  • Sequenced Curriculum:
    • It involves gradual development to ensure thorough development of necessary skills. You can easily track your child’s improvement and the speed of improvement
  • Grouping:
    • The grouping process of students should have flexibility (to some extent) so that they can find their rightful place in the curriculum.
  • Mastering:
    • Think about swimming or martial arts classes. Do students advance just after learning a move? No, they need to master the move to go to the next level. Just like that, students would go to the next stage of spelling after mastering the rules or other lessons they received in their current level.

SRA Spelling Mastery

The SRA Spelling is the most well-known version of the spelling mastery program. It is a research-based spelling program for students that focuses more on spelling patterns and rules rather than simple memorization. More so, it enables students to spell words without memorizing each of them. It teaches:

  • Phonemic skills
  • Graphemes
  • Morphographs
  • Familiar and unfamiliar words
  • Spelling patterns and rules
  • Proofreading skills


The program also includes a range of activities to keep the students hooked to the learning process:

  • Phonics
  • Learning spelling patterns and sorting
  • Meaning of words (useful for irregularly spelled words)
  • Word building
  • Writing


  • The program is based on the latest research on learning spelling
  • Less focus on traditional memorization, more on recognizing patterns
  • Lessons are short, easy to follow and efficient. Therefore, they can be easily included in your everyday lesson plan.
  • There is a special edition for teachers that includes resource books, strategies, guidance etc. There is also a Cardinal Edition available for Parochial schools.

What better way to teach your students to learn spelling than to use spelling games to make the experience enjoyable? Learn from out spelling games for the classroom guide now!

Spelling through Morphographs

Morphograph is a logical fragment of a word i.e. prefix, suffix, word base, roots of words etc. ‘-ing’, ‘ly’, ‘dis-‘, ‘en-‘and many other fragments like these are frequently found in English vocabulary. Teaching Morphographs along with spelling rules will help a student spell hundreds of words without memorizing each of them.

Spelling through Morphographs is a one year program for level 4 spelling mastery students or older. The program teaches students about spelling rules combined with Morphographs and offers intensive practice materials for mastering the instructions. Furthermore, instead of a long list of words that will probably take weeks to memorize, if not more, students learn to use certain strategies to spell new words while remembering familiar words too.

There are more than 750 morphographs that are used to spell around 15,000 words including commonly misspelled words in schools. Furthermore, the program teaches all the common spelling rules and also the lesser known ones to minimize the amount of words that needs to be memorized. Students, upon completing the program, will be able to decode words with multiple syllables based on their structure.

As a part of the Spelling Mastery Program, Spelling through Morphographs puts great importance to writing and proofreading for students to be skilled writers and readers. This program is suitable for ESL students and the ones with dyslexia and other spelling difficulties.

Spelling mastery is a great way to help children to learn spelling. Learn more about improving spelling skills from our thorough guide now!

Is Spelling Mastery Program Right for My Child?

The program is based on the latest research on learning and spelling and is backed by experts. It has been distributed by ACER to help beginner level students learn spelling correctly and quickly.

The program, by nature, requires the teacher to observe the student’s response to the instruction, the way it is taught and then change accordingly if the student is not comfortable. It prioritizes the comfort of the student so every child will benefit from the program.

If you are still in doubt, you can use SpellQuiz Spelling Test to check your kid’s progress. You can track their progress using the dashboard to see if a certain spelling method is helping your child or not. You can also use SpellQuiz Quizzes and Vocabulary test to make the learning process more fun and creative.

Tips and Tricks

Also, keep in mind- no matter which approach you take, a student will still need a long time before mastering spelling. There are certain things you need to take care of, such as:

  • Make sure you are giving them enough time to process the lessons. Let them advance at their own pace.
  • Do your research before choosing a spelling program or activity.
  • Don’t try to combine multiple lessons in one. Though the lesson plans are only around 15 minutes long, they still include enough components.
  • There are multiple versions of each program. Choose only one. It’s not intelligent to buy multiple versions.
  • Don’t try to combine different programs. Choose one and follow accordingly. Each program has its own way and pace. Changing or combining them will only hamper your kid’s progress.
  • Instead of focusing on how quickly your kid is going to the next level, check if they are comfortable using the program. A child needs time to adjust with a method. Unless you are really convinced that a program is not suitable for your child, don’t change a program.
  • Use a spelling bee online test to assess the student’s ability and expertise.
  • For students with learning disabilities, break down the lesson plan or repeat the same lesson for a couple of times to prevent overwhelming.
  • Provide your students enough practice materials and exercise to master the instructions.
  • Don’t leave things for homework. Cover as much as you can in your class.
  • Don’t forget to review once in a while.

 Now that you have a clear knowledge about the spelling mastery program, you can easily identify the appropriate one for your little learner.

Happy Spelling!

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