I’ve been doing lots of work on spelling with my 11 year old son ahead of the dreaded SATS.

It’s actually been really interesting as I’ve tried to come up with strategies to help him remember how to spell tricky words. These are exactly the same methods I talk about in Sentence Works courses.

Sometimes, you just need to think about what the words actually mean. He initially wrote government without the “n”. We then discussed what the government actually does – ie govern – and that has helped him to remember it.

If you’ve been to a Sentence Works course, you’ll know all about mnemonics – clever ways of remembering difficult words. So we looked at the word “favourite” and now he just thinks of OUR favOURite. (This works with our neighbOUR too).  He had a habit of spelling “queue” as “que”.  I reminded him that a queue might be longer than you’d like, so repeating the last two letters makes it longer.

I wish he knew some Latin, because that would help him remember to spell “desperate” which so many people get wrong.  If you are desperate, it means you’ve lost hope. Latin for “I hope” is “spero” –  this helps you to remember the second vowel is an “e”, rather than an “a”.

Do you have any ways of remembering awkward words?