Is there a best way to learn to spell a word?

Can we trust spelling rules?
Does read, copy, write, work?
Should you write a word out 3 times? 5 times?
Can phonics help?

Few people agree on the answers to these questions. Yet we all need to learn new words throughout our lives; so we need to know how to learn new words.

  • Students continue learning words throughout their school years
  • Children need our help preparing for spelling tests
  • Employees and business owners learn new words as work changes

Even many of the things we do for pleasure, like reading and word games, benefit from a growing vocabulary.

So what is the best way to learn a word, and why is that still such a mystery?

The learning methods mentioned above have their place. They also have their limitations. Rules and phonics may explain some spellings but they don't help learners master unfamiliar words or change bad habits. Words misspelled for months, or even years, won't be fixed by explanations, copying, or a little repetition. Something more is needed. Perhaps the best way to learn to spell is still a mystery to most, because none of the recommended methods go far enough.

You really need a method that helps you ...

Spell a word correctly first time every time, as you write it,

without interrupting your train of thought!

Imagine a learning method that combines the most helpful strategies, and also turns learning into habits. Now imagine that method is also fun to use, easy to learn, and easy to remember!

You don't really need to imagine such a method.  You're about to learn to spell using a new method that works like magic and takes just minutes ...




Are you ready to use the 3 ways?

You need a word to learn. If you've come to this page from the Wordskillz™ Spelling Quiz, you may already have your word. If you haven't done the Quiz yet, click on this link.

NOTE: Do you want to use this method to help someone else? You can do the Quiz with them, then help them practice the method. Or just sample the method yourself for now.

Got your word? Let's get started! Do each of the following activities:

#1 - Look at the correct spelling of your word and: 

a. Say the names of each of the letters.
b. Look away, and repeat the names of the letters.
c. Still looking away, repeat those same names over and over to a steady beat
d. Continue to repeat the letter names, this time saying them faster and faster

#2 - Do the following:

a. With your eyes closed, picture the word in your mind's eye.
b. Still with your eyes closed, say the name of each of the letters while picturing the word.

Note: If you have trouble picturing the word, air draw it. As you say the name of each letter, draw it in the air in front of you using great big letters at about head height.

The sensory activities in STEP #1, and memory activities in STEP #2, help you learn and remember your word. When you add the activities for STEP #3 below, you enhance your memory even further. The STEP #3 activities are linking activities.

 Sensory, memory and linking activities will help you learn to spell any word

I call this method for learning words the Wordskillz™ SMiLe Method©! If you remember to 'SMiLe', you can learn to spell any word by doing the right 3 activities in the right order.

What about Activity #3?

For activity #3, you need to do two things before you begin. First, figure out which part of the word you had trouble spelling. For example, if your challenging word was 'phone', you may have had trouble with the 'ph'.

Second, find another word that has the same challenging spelling, so you can link the two words. For example, if you want to learn the 'ph' in 'phone', you could link it to 'graph', or you could add an 's' or 'ed' or 'ing' to phone. Once you've got your word for linking ...

#3 - Do the following:

a. Make up a short sentence that includes the words you want to link.
b. Say the sentence out loud as you write the words you're linking.

For example, you could say the sentence, "I'll phone her, once I've phoned you.", and write the words 'phone' and 'phoned'. This activity mirrors what you would do in real life.

NOTE: If you find yourself pausing before you write the words, if the correct spelling doesn't flow from your pen, you may need to do two additional things: 1. Use #1 and #2 on the word you're linking with, 2. Repeat #3 b. a few times until it's easy to do.

I've got a gift to make this easy for you ...

Since everyone is different, I've made a PDF that includes more sensory, memory and linking activities. Now you'll have more of a selection, so you can choose your favorites or help your learner chose theirs.

You'll also be able to print the list if you like. Keep it within sight so it can act as an incentive and support whenever the need arises.

Print a copy of the Wordskillz™ SMiLe Method© activities to master any word!

Just fill in the form below, for access to your PDF.

You'll receive an email with your password and a link to the PDF.

Once you fill in the form above and

while you're waiting to receive your password ...


I'll show you another way to use the magic formula.

You'll want to use this if the word you're learning to spell is a new challenge,

or one that you've had for months or even years.