When I was a kid, we were taught to spell by sounding it out. Not very effective and not very useful. Think about “one” which might be “oh-neee” or “two” which might be “Twoh.” I ended up with my own creative way to learn to spell by sounding it out, verbalizing how the word looks and then memorizing that spoken word to go with the written word. To spell vegetables I would say to myself: “Veh-get-tables,” for watermelon, I would say: “water-mee-loan.” Very elaborate, and a lot of work, and yet I was a good speller. There’s an easier way!
Some people are naturally and easily good spellers without all the rigmarole. They have a different mental strategy. It’s not a sound it out type of thing at all! It’s not about sound. It’s about image. It’s about vision. It’s about seeing.
The best spellers have a visual mental strategy. NLP, Neuro Linguistic Programming, is all about modeling excellence and modeling success. We have studied the minds and strategies of people that are excellent spellers. And we have found what it is they do. And you can do it too.
In a nutshell: it’s all about making a mental image of the word in the mind holding that mental image and simply consulting it for the proper spelling. And attaching a good feeling to a properly spelled word.
Here’s the technique:
Have your child look at the word written on paper. For fun write it in big letters, bright letters, with colored markers.
Hold that piece of paper toward the top of their head and to their upper left from their perspective. (This is where the mind holds remembered mental pictures in our personal space.) Have your child hold his or her eyes turned up and to the left.
Fire off the I feel good about this anchor.* (that technique follows) They get a comfortable feeling, a confident, familiar feeling like: “Yes! That’s the word. I know this word.” Have them stare at the word for 5 to 10 seconds, holding the anchor.
Have them close their eyes and continue to see the word in that space with their eyes turned up and to the left.
Have them spell the word. Just simply copying down what they see in their minds eye, either on paper or by verbalizing. When you have the image you can spell the word. You can spell backwards just as easily, you can pick out any third, or fifth letters. The image of the proper spelling is there in the mind’s eye and you can see it clearly for easy reference. And it feels good to do it! This image is always accessible in your child’s mind for writing assignments, spelling tests, spelling bees, etc.
To learn more about NLP and its wonderful possibilities, check out http://www.seattlenlptraining.com Michael and I are Licensed Trainers of NLP ® through the originator of NLP and we own and operate a private career school here in the Seattle area.
*This portion is about how to set the “feel good” anchor.
Adults perfecting this strategy, do it for yourself. Or parents, walk your child through this process. Think about someone who is a really good friend of yours. A person you feel comfortable with, a person you like, and you feel relaxed with them. It’s a very positive feeling when you’re with a good friend.
Remember a specific moment hanging out with this friend and just feeling so good. As you’re re-living that experience in your imagination again, the feelings come flowing back. The feelings of confidence and familiarity. Touch your thumb and ring finger together, press and hold for one second and then release. Let’s do it again. Think about your friend again. Live the memory again in your imagination being with that good friend of yours, what you do, what you see, how you feel. Imagine it fully. As you relive the good feelings of being with the friend, it’s so comfortable, so friendly, touch and squeeze those fingers together for one second and then release.
You have set an “NLP anchor” for good feelings. Feelings of confidence, familiarity, comfort. We’ll now attach those good feelings to a properly spelled word. To fire off the anchor (bring back the good feelings into the body), touch and HOLD the thumb and ring finger together. Keep holding.
As you’re looking at the word hold and touch and hold those fingers together. Continue to hold them as you study the word for 5 to 10 seconds. The feeling of confidence and familiarity flows in and attaches itself to that word and that spelling. “Hello, my old friend. I know you well!” the mind attaches to the word and the spelling. When you look at the word again you get a good feeling and that helps you spell it correctly.
Play with this! For yourself, and especially for your grade school aged children or grandchildren. Help them be great spellers from the get-go! The confidence of doing well in school will help them with learning and life on a grander scale, as well.
Copyright Connie Brannan, 2015. Mindworks Hypnosis & NLP.