Scroll down for the thirty-minute Spelling Strategies video.

According to the Oxford Dictionary website there are plenty of words that follow spelling rules but “there are some tricky words you just have to learn like necessary and rhythm.” But they don’t tell you how you can learn them.

Using spelling strategies to help you learn, remember & recall spellings are so important.:
* using memory tricks (mnemonics),
* seeing words within words,
* using sayings and rhymes,
* using syllable breakdown,
* knowing common letter patterns,
* understanding the history of words and spelling.

piece or peace? hear or here? to, too, two? there, they're, there?

These are homophones -same sound, different meaning and spelling and are troublesome. The computer will say yes it’s the correct spelling for either one but is the meaning right?

One strategy we can use is the word-in-a-word memory trick:

there = here, there, where
A piece of pie.
add an address.
A secretary keeps a secret
hear with your ear

rhymes & sayings help
I've used this on the odd occasion when I need the word rhythm like right now as I'm typing this! Use the letters to make a saying.
rhythm has your two hips moving

or if you have to write a sick note!
dash in a real rush, hurry or else accident
or the American version is diarrhoea (without the 'o') so dash in a real rush, hurry else accident!
stomach upset

embarrass = embarrass 2 x Red cheeks because I'm 2 Shy Shy (play on too as 2) embaRRaSS or
I go Really Red and So Shy

necessary = it's necessary to have 1 x Collar and 2 x Sleeves (neCeSSarry).


It’s necessary to remember the cesspool in the middle - necessary
Emma faced a dilemma - dilemma
a new environment will iron it out - environment
Please keep quiet about your diet - quiet diet

Do you have any tricks you use? Let me know.

Spelling Strategies video. You'll need a pen and paper.

Spelling Strategies & Secrets: The essential how to spell guide (second edition)
(suitable for British and American users)

spelling strategies & secrets book

spelling strategies book

Available from and

Improve your spelling knowledge - the background, history, patterns, rules, how to learn and remember spellings.