I think one of the reasons she was such a good speller was thanks to the endless spelling games we played. She really enjoys these games and was constantly practising. Once we stopped playing these games, her skills weren't as sharp thanks to lack of practise!
Last year when she brought home her school work from the year, I noticed several spelling mistakes (that sadly hadn't been corrected by her teacher). It made me realise that skills aren't necessarily something that you learn, master and then have for life without practising at all!
Even the phrase - "It's like riding a bike" - meaning once you learn how to ride a bike - you never forget; even with this, if you've gone years without riding a bike you might find (as I did) that getting back on and riding needs a little practise initially to 'remember' this skill and be able to do it competently again! Yes the knowledge is there, but it may be a little rusty!
So back to the spelling. We've started playing those spelling games again - perfect for the car, waiting rooms, boat trips, or any time you like!
One game our girls invented on holiday during meal times was the colour spelling game. One person says a colour and the next person has to spell that colour and then say a different one, and so on. It must always be a new colour - the same cannot be used twice, which makes for some interesting colours later in the game!!
The focus is on the game, rather than the spelling, and both our girls loved this game!
To help us with spelling games this year, I printed out spelling lists that I found online that are geared towards their age and grade in school. There are plenty of sites with printable lists available geared towards the particular grade/age and country you live in.
Do you have any fun spelling games to share? Do you help your kids with spelling?