You cringe when you see these words posted on your six-year-olds door , not because you are barred from enteringI mean who really wants to go in therebut because you fear for your childs future. Well, fear not! What you are viewing is normal spelling development. Just as you respond to a toddlers up or drink without a lesson on speaking in complete sentences, so you should respond by knocking and showing your child you appreciate his attempts at spelling. Children need to take risks as they write. In the draft stage, children should write what theyre thinking and feeling without interrupting their train of thought and fluency with spelling concerns. If they have to spell every word correctly, their writing will be too limited to have any substance. Corrections can be made later. But not all writing needs to be corrected... only writing that will be published such as letters to Aunt Bessy and final reports for school. If you overwhelm your child with corrections, your child will be reluctant to write. Children learn conventional spelling the same way they develop speech... by imitation. So, reading is essential to better spelling! The more words they see in print, the better spellers they become. And of course, practice makes perfect. Keep writing materials handy. Put together a writing center with pens, pencils, markers, crayons, and pencil sharpeners. Stock different kinds of paper: lined, unlined, fancy stationery, cards, envelopes, construction paper. Be creative. Have a dictionary available. A thesaurus is another excellent writing tool to help your children choose a variety of words and avoid the overuse of nice and good. Once your writing center is set up, provide reasons to write: thank you letters, get well cards, birthday greetings, grocery lists, complaints or grievancesusually a favorite. Then share your childrens writing; if its totally unreadable, ask if you can print some of the words underneath to help you remember what theyve written. Write notes to your child, keep a journal or diary where you respond (spelling correctly of course) to their entries, ask family and friends to answer letters or notes, and create all kinds of lists such as for packing for a vacation. Most of all, remember not to panic at the spelling attempts. As adults, we have dictionaries, spell check on the computer, and secretaries, so give your children an edge and make content, not spelling, the priority in their writing.