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Homeschool: Four Easy Steps to Becoming a Better Speller

Follow these four easy tips and you'll be making fewer spelling mistakes in no time.

With the Scripps National Spelling Bee in full swing this week, accurate spelling is on our minds. Indeed, making mistakes like spelling "receive" as "recieve" in a work email are pretty embarrassing. But they happen to the best of us and the good news is that researchers haven't found a link between being a bad speller and a lack of intelligence, which means you can improve your spelling skills. Here are four tips to becoming a better speller in your everyday life.


1) Nail the 100 Most Commonly Used Words: The good thing about the English language is that while we have hundreds of thousands of words, the 100 most commonly used ones are pretty easy. So easy, in fact, that most kids usually master them by the time they leave first grade. If you need to brush up on spelling words like "be" (and we kinda hope you don't), here's a helpful tutorial.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5oDhRx9_5Nk

2) Learn These Seven Basic Spelling Rules: For most of you, tip number one was a freebie, so here's where the real work comes in. If you can memorize these seven basic spelling rules—think "i before e except after c"—and their exceptions, you're going to make fewer spelling mistakes.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sliyBcvrtVM

3) Conquer the 100 Most Misspelled Words: Now all you have to do is practice the correct spellings of the most misspelled words. No, we aren't going to make you write them out ten times each. Instead, YouTube has a super helpful interactive spelling bee. They say the word and three choices flash on the screen. Depending on which choice you click, you're going to either hear applause (and automatically get advanced to the next word) or get a 30-second lesson on the correct spelling.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yDNjweAX_wI

4) Don't Faint (But If You Do, Get Up and Spell the Word Correctly): In 2004, National Spelling Bee competitor Akshay Buddiga was tired, hungry, and feeling the pressure of the final round. Just before spelling his next word, he fainted. But, in a totally boss move, he got up a few seconds later to spell his word: alopecoid. You aren't competing in a National Spelling Bee, so don't stress out over your efforts to improve your spelling. And, if you do make a mistake, be like Buddiga and don't quit!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=06JUfkiMOVc

photo via Scripps National Spelling Bee