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Spelling for the "Natural Speller"

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I need some sage advice. We are using AAS. I'm not very consistent but when we do it, DS needs one day per lesson. Conceptually we could probably do several lessons a day but he just turned 6 and has an age-appropriate attention span. We are currently on lesson 16 of book 2. I'm assuming this is going to get more challenging at some point but as it stands, this is sort of a big joke. He only misspells a word when he is truly not paying attention. If I have even a portion of his attention he's spot on virtually every time. While I don't personally have the gift of spelling, my husband does and claims he was exactly like this as a child. No formal rules or phonics training but did very well in spelling bees.


It's hard to feel like I'm not seriously wasting my time here. Am I? Should I just keep plowing through and trust that eventually the levels will be challenging enough to warrant something actually being learned? I've been reading a lot of the LCC stuff and although I can't quite make that leap entirely it is tempting to buy into his idea that spelling doesn't need to be a separate subject for most kids.


If I do keep going should I just go as fast as he can or should I purposefully slow it down (only do a lesson or two a week, etc.). Is there any reason a 6 or 7 year old can't complete all 7 levels or it should otherwise be stretched out?

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My youngest is a natural speller. I know that he can spell a given list of words, so we just use a phonics workbook. We did run through Spelling Plus. He ran through all the lists in the book in the second half of second grade and first half of third. I don't know that it was a waste of time, but we didn't bother with getting another program after that.


Ds reads aloud very smoothly without hesitation even on words with which he is unfamiliar. He may have been this way without continuing to review phonics, but I like the idea of Plaid Phonics/ Word Study continuing to review phonics info. Also, it takes hardly any time at all and can be completed pretty much independently.


If your little guy is interested in Spelling Bees, maybe you should look at lists designed for that rather than a spelling program.


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My first grader started at a similar pace - I don't think he misspelled any words until late in level 2. I focused on learning the rules and writing the sentences/phrases and less on the spelling words. We used the sentences to teach grammar. The rules seemed like they'd be useful with more difficult words so he could still apply those ideas for words he did find difficult.


That said, once he gets through level 3 in late September, we're dropping AAS and moving to Phonetic Zoo for him. It doesn't seem worth all the effort when spelling clearly isn't problematic for him.


I'll go back to AAS with my 3rd child and start in kindergarten when the words are more of a challenge.


My third grader (first year homeschooler) went through most of PZ level B this past year and I'm just going to do spelling bee prep with him in 4th grade.

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My oldest child is a "natural" speller and I didn't do any formal spelling with her until 3rd grade when she specifically asked to do it. She placed into level G of "Spelling Power" and ran through the rest of the levels within a single year. After that, I switched her to Hexco Academic spelling bee prep materials.


My DS is a good speller, but not a natural one. He will do all 7 levels of AAS because even though the words are easy for him, he needs to learn the rules. His sister never made spelling mistakes that could be prevented by learning the rules but he does. AAS helps cut down on those. He is doing SP this summer because he has finished AAS 4 and we're waiting on our fall semester charter school materials. But SP doesn't have explicit enough teaching of the rules so he will start AAS 5 in the fall.

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My daughter sounds like yours (AAS and SP level G). What Hexco book do you use/recommend? The choices on their site are overwhelming. I'm not interested in entering her into a spelling bee just challenging her. Thanks :)

So far, we've only used the "Valerie's Spelling Bee Supplement" for 2011-2012, 2012-2013, and Paideia 2006 plus the iPad app "Spelling Bee Master National" (not from Hexco).

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