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Should You Consider Hiring a Spelling Tutor for Your Child?

Aug 17, 2007
A spelling tutor is a professional who specializes in helping students who have trouble with spelling words. Spelling is a particularly important subject for children in primary school and the dreaded "spelling test" is considered something of a right of passage for many students. While spelling proficiency is indeed very important, the necessity of being able to spell at a high level is not as important as it once was.

While written communication used to consist entirely of the pen and paper approach, most modern written communication occurs either as email or as a document prepared on a word processor. Both types of software usually provide spell checkers that can help correct the spelling of words in the document. Nevertheless, it is very important for grammar school aged children to become proficient in spelling. The question that often arises with parents of young children who have spelling difficulties is--should I consider hiring a spelling tutor for my child?

While spelling is indeed an important topic, the truth is that it tends to be subordinate in
importance to other skills such as grammar, writing, math, science, literature, etc. While we would never want to understate the value of any academic subject, the truth is that spelling is a skill that is less important than most others.

Nevertheless, parents who have a child who has trouble spelling may become concerned and consider hiring a spelling tutor to help their child overcome these difficulties. While this may be an effective solution to the problem, it is quite possible to work through spelling difficulties without resorting to the specialized services of a spelling tutor. That is, of course, unless the child is one of those fortunate few who compete in spelling bees--in that case, what is needed is not a spelling tutor but rather a spelling coach.

In most cases, parents are the most capable to serve as a spelling tutor. Spelling is a subject that does not require the parent to have advanced skills--anyone can read a list of words and check whether the student has spelled the words correctly. Students who are having difficulties with spelling are much more likely to experience positive results from a little parental involvement than what they could expect from hiring a spelling tutor.

The spelling tutor certainly has a place in the educational spectrum, but the importance of spelling is not what it once was. While spelling competitions have become incredibly popular in recent years, the truth is that spelling, while important, is nowhere near as critical a skill as reading, math, science, and other academic subjects.

If your child is having difficult spelling, then you should try to ascertain if the difficulty is indicative of a wider disorder. If so, then you should have him or her tested/treated for that disorder. If not, then it is not something to worry about.
About the Author
Jane Saeman runs an In-Home Tutoring service called Aim High Tutors. Find out about how to help your student reach their full potential at http://www.aimhightutors.com/blog .
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