A couple of days ago, I read this on Real Clear Science:

Why Spelling Tests Don’t Help Kids Spell by Misty Adoniou

I highly recommend this short article, but I would like to pick out one sentence:

Nor is getting children to write their spelling words out 10 times, even if they have to do it in rainbow colours.

I have, from time to time, found myself dealing with children or overseas students over the matter of English spelling and grammar.  With the youngsters, one thing that struck me as unhelpful is the use of coloured letters.

I knew one boy who was dyslexic, and managed to mask this for a short while at school by tagging on to the colours of the letters.  To another, the colour seemed to be an unnecessary distraction.  

I would particularly award the booby prize to our local Early Learning Centre which sold a set of magnetic coloured letters with four ‘a’s and only one ‘e’!  How many words in English have even two ‘a’s, let alone three?  ‘Aardvark’ doesn’t count, because it’s Dutch for ‘earth pig’.

I also remember an arithmetic primer, where the calculations were ‘mediated’ by two cartoon robots called Prep and Prop.  To my mind, distracting garbage!  My impression is that much of this sort of stuff is designed to catch the imagination of the purchasing parent.

Again, may I urge you, read Misty’s article!