What Cooking Pasta and Learning to Spell have in common…

learning to spell

Learning to spell can be as easy as cooking spaghetti ! But you need a recipe first. Have you ever overcooked spaghetti?

As I was cooking our dinner last night, I remembered back to the days when I was teaching the kids how to cook spaghetti.

I had left the room for a few minutes, with instructions for the pot to be switched off in 5 minutes. But they forgot.

Learning to cook and learning to spell

By the time I got back,  there was this molten mess in the bottom of the pot all stuck together , that I simply couldn’t pry apart. To top it, the reason for the forgetfulness, was that the kids had started a game of spear throwing, with dry spaghetti, all across the kitchen….I was not very charmed!

However,  I had a weapon of my own up my sleeve…usually I would have exploded with rage …but you know , during lock down if you take yourself too seriously, you may just blow a mental gasket that you can’t afford to replace at such a time as this.

How to shock a super cool teenager

So I simply helped myself to a little over cooked and cooled pasta, and …shock horror from my teenage kids….threw it at them ! The only difference was that cooked spaghetti sticks like….well you know that analogy !

How to shock a teenager 101! Don’t worry, no one was hurt as the pasta I used  was totally cooled down. 

I got to have a really good laugh and hand them the mops, to tidy up,  while I served them lumps of over cooked pasta  for dinner and prepared good pasta for my husband and I .
I don’t think they will forget that lesson too easily .

How to make pasta and Learning to spelling, stick

This morning, I was struck by a strange analogy between overcooked pasta and  teaching your kids to spell.

Many kids these days are taught to spell by simply being expected to memorize words that they  see, and gain recognition, and then just know how to spell after multiple repeats.

That’s like throwing dry uncooked pasta at someone and hoping it will stick.

If however you teach a child a letter till they can sound it out, then teach them sound groupings till they can recognize them,  and say them.
Then add these sounds together and teach them  how to say and spell them , till you’ve made a word. Add in the rules around the groupings, and don’t forget to explain the meaning as well , and it will start to stick faster.

Much like pasta that is over cooked. It sticks like the glue its made of (flour , eggs and water) and stays put. The power comes simply by using the product correctly, based on it’s ingredients !

For learning to spell, It’s all about understanding the ingredients

Breaking up words into sounds or “ingredients”, allows for easier recognition, through repetition, then add them together with their meaning and you have something that can stick for a lifetime.

Getting better results for your kids

If you’d like to try this method (without involving any pasta tantrums) , I have a great FREE downloadable Working Mom’s Kids Spelling Planner , that works wonderfully with the the McGUFFEY’S ®ECLECTIC SPELLING-BOOK. If you would like to get your free copy , please fill in your details in the form at the bottom of this post to access them.

Yours in finding ways to overcoming learning obstacles,



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1 thought on “What Cooking Pasta and Learning to Spell have in common…”

  1. Pingback: Headbutting spelling problems with great enthusiasm... - 1Minutemom.com

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