“...in the time that it takes one average reading
child to practice one spelling lesson of ten
words they can easily learn one hundred
words correctly with speed reading methods.”

Such was the experience of a homeschool mom who taught SPEED SPELLING techniques to her children, one of whom is ADHD.

Speed Spelling!? What’s that?

Speed Spelling is one of several innovative uses for using speed reading methods to help teach particular school subjects to children.

Speed Spelling was first tried by Dr. Vearl G. McBride, Ph.D. over 30 years ago. In his book Damn the School System--Full Speed Ahead!, McBride gives a brief description of how he taught Speed Spelling (among some other Speed Subjects like Speed Math, Speed Languages, etc.) to young children to help them to learn hundreds of spelling words per week. (McBride’s rare book is now out of print, but if you would like a brief description of its contents, you can read the review of it that I posted on Amazon.com. [If you like the review, let Amazon.com know, they appreciate the feedback]).

When one of my clients decided to try speed spelling with her children, I was thrilled. And when she succeeded, it provided validation to McBride’s work.


Speed Spelling would still be considered experimental at this point, however, the results are looking very good so far. And this gives you the chance to be on the cutting edge of educational research.

I am still looking for more people who are willing to try it out as an experiment and let me know their results. Following is a skeleton lesson plan that you can use to help guide you throughout the process. Feel free to improvise and invent as you steer your children through one of the most amazing innovations in education.

Please let me know how things work out for you.


Teach your children to speed read using techniques from the book SPEED READING 4 KIDS (either Expanded Reading or Dynamic Reading, or both).

Write about 20 words per page on blank pages of standard 8 1/2 by 11 inch computer paper. Write each word in large letters with a felt-tip marker, and write each word with different color marker ink. It is also important that each word NOT be written level nor in neat rows. Instead, make sure that each word is tilted at different angles than the other words. This, and the fact that they are written in different colors, makes each of the words more likely to make an impression in a child’s brain.

Have your child spend 5-15 minutes each day scanning over several pages of words, taking about 5-10 seconds to scan each page.

At first make sure they don't try to gain any comprehension of the words. They are to just "see" the words for the first few minutes, using their "Natural Vision" like when they look out the window and see a tree.

When they have scanned all the pages that you have prepared, then have them go over these vocabulary pages again...and again...and again gradually allowing them to understand more and more, until the 15 minutes is up. Have them try to visualize the words and what they mean as they are going over them.


When they have finished scanning all the vocabulary pages for the day, have them tell you all the words that they can recall, from memory. Give them lots of encouragement even if they recall nothing (in fact, at first, they may recall nothing. If they recall nothing for the first few days, tell them they are normal and encourage them to keep up the good work). The good thing is that THEY TRIED.

Reward them for their EFFORT, not on how well they did. If they are treated well, regardless of ability, they will get better results in the long run.

Repeat this process for 4 or 5 days. Have them tell you the words and their spelling. Also, have them tell you how to spell them BACKWARDS! (yes they can do this too!).

By the end of the first week, you should start seeing some encouraging results. Some children may gain great results much sooner.

As children do this week after week, their ability to do this gets better and better.

Get a new list of words and do it again! Also, review the previous lists regularly. This should only take a minute or so per day.

Another way to review words is to just speed read in regular reading books for 15 minutes per day. As they come into daily contact with these words, they will never forget how to spell them.

One good thing about this is, even if a child misses some of his words, he will still be learning 5-50 times more words than “normal” students do in a similar amount of time. Remember, most children only learn to spell about 20 words per week.

Some children have learned to spell up to 600 hundred words per week using speed reading techniques!


After sending the foregoing lesson plan to the homeschool mom (who teaches speed spelling) for her review, she only had this to add:

“After looking at what you wrote down it looks very thorough in the technique.

“In the future though, if anyone calls to ask you if there is any other way (because one child or a younger child isn't getting it), here is another option that I found out through teaching this to one of my speed reading students:

“Still use the colored marker but start on the dry erase board and in big letters start out with 3-5 words and let them study it for one minute. If the child stresses over writing the words on paper, then test them verbally.

“Do this kind of drill up to 3 times in a one hour period using 3-5 different words each time. Keep doing this throughout the week. Use the same words as the days before but keep adding 3-5 words each time.

“This may continue like this for a couple of weeks until the child gets used to seeing the words. I have found that some children get scared and over-whelmed at starting out with so many words. Sometimes starting out slow helps but most of the time the way stated [above] works. It is still important that they not be concerned if they don't get it at first.

“But some children find immediate success if they can remember a few of the words right off the bat.... I hope this made sense.”
--L. R., homeschool mom, Virginia

George Stancliffe is a speed reading teacher in Washington State and is the author of the manual SPEED READING 4 KIDS, now in its 3rd Edition. His website is www.speedreading4kids.com and he can be contacted at george@speedreading4kids.com

George Stancliffe, author, SPEED READING 4 KIDS
The American Speed Reading Project
PO Box 227, Toppenish, WA 98948; 509-865-7027
Teach kids from 8 on up, including ADD and Dyslexics
email: george@speedreading4kids.com
Web: http://www.speedreading4kids.com

Author's Bio: 

George Stancliffe is a speed reading teacher in Washington State and is the author of the manual SPEED READING 4 KIDS, now in its 3rd Edition. His website is www.speedreading4kids.com and he can be contacted at george@speedreading4kids.com