Homeschooling spelling can be a challenge. I used to think that since my children all love to read they would be natural-born spellers. As they got older and started writing more on their own, I realized that that that wasn't always the case! What to do??? At that point I started searching for a good spelling program. Believe me, I tried a lot of them.
Most spelling programs are simply workbooks that give you a list every week with a couple of pages of exercises to do using the words. Since they seem to be so common, I have to believe that these work for some kids out there!
You can get generic spelling workbooks. You can get Protestant spelling workbooks. You can get Catholic spelling workbooks. They really aren't that hard to find. Just check out your favorite curriculum provider and you'll have plenty to choose from. The ones that I tried worked for awhile, but then the kids (and I!) would get bored of them.
I eventually discovered "The Writing Road to Reading" by Romalda Spalding. I have to admit that I've had my copy for a long time so I've not seen this newest edition. I have heard, however, that they have made it much more user friendly. Back when I started, I had to find a companion guide in order to figure out how to use it.
To me, this homeschooling spelling program makes the most sense. It teaches kids how to spell and read based on learning 70 phonograms - the different sounds that a group of letters makes. For instance, the ch phonogram makes the three different sounds ch, ck and sh.
I have found that once you learn this system, it is so much easier to teach kids how to spell correctly, as well as how to "sound out" words they don't know. When I do resort back to a spelling workbook, I still utilize this method of teaching the words.
If you've never used this book before, try finding a copy to browse through, or better yet, find someone who has used it so they can help you along with the ins and outs of it. It might take a little getting used to, but it is definitely worth it in the long run.
"All About Spelling is a seven level program. It teaches encoding skills, reliable spelling rules, and multi-sensory strategies to help your student become a proficient speller for life. Based on the latest research, this award-winning program provides complete and comprehensive instruction using the Orton-Gillingham approach."
I like this program because it takes the phonogram approach to spelling and teaches the student in all three ways: auditory, sensory and visually. I've been
using it with my two youngest and it has really improved their spelling
and even the reading abilities of my youngest. It takes us about 20 minutes (sometimes less) a day per child and it is very easy to implement. When we first started, my son had to use all three methods to learn the phonograms. As he progressed, I saw that he was able to just listen to me explain the lessen and he would still do very well with the words.
If you have a child who is having problems with their reading and/or spelling, I can definitely recommend the "All About Spelling" program. It is easy for the parent to teach as it is all laid out in the Teacher's Manual.