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Question about spelling for a natural speller...

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I'm going to make a confession and say that we haven't done a lot of spelling over the years.  For background, one of my boys is a natural speller and his twin does ok.  We do Wordly Wise and I use the words for each lesson as a spelling test.  We did Ordinary Guide to Teaching Reading in K.  I also have the teacher's manual for How to Teach Spelling and AAS Levels 1-5 (the books only).


My question is related to my natural speller.  Without any specific spelling curriculum, he rarely ever spells a word wrong.  He won our local homeschool spelling bee this year (his 2nd time) and came in 2nd (a three way tie) in our county bee.  He knows how to spell all those words (1100+) that were on the county bee spelling list.  He could spell all the hardest words in How to Teach Spelling.  But...I've never taught him the rules.  He went out of the bee on words that weren't on the list and he wasn't familiar with.


At this point, do I even bother with spelling for him?  I don't want to make him do work that would be busy work to him.  He is hoping to go to the county bee again next year.


If he doesn't do spelling to learn the specific rules, should I be giving him a specific curriculum to help him for next year?  Vocabulary for Classical Roots?  Something else?  Start Latin?  He picks things up very quickly and has a memory like an elephant.  He is teaching himself Spanish, German, and Italian on Duolingo.


Also, should I keep doing vocabulary to at least expose him to a variety of words?  We do a lot of reading, but is that enough on its own?


I don't really have anyone IRL I can ask about this so I appreciate any tips you can give.







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I also used the Wordly Wise words for spelling when I taught 5th grade in a private school.  Good review of words.  I think it is important to continue to do a formal vocabulary program simply because of the SAT and ACT.  I am assuming your child is upper elementary or middle school.  If you haven't started Latin yet,  I would do that if he has time.  No need for a formal spelling program if he has spelling mastered.  My own rising 6th grader is not a great speller, but he has an amazing vocabulary.  We will finish up spelling this year and move to MCT Caesar's English II.  I think it will be too easy, but I want him to be secure with roots, prefixes, and suffixes. He has also will continue with Latin.  I looked at other root books, and thought MCT might be more fun.  I know personally that if I allow vocabulary to only be from literature it will not necessarily get done.  You could also get a PSAT book and study vocabulary from that. 

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My natural speller did work through R&S spelling workbooks, but I wasn't worried about them for spelling. I started her in the 4th grade book in 3rd grade. She then did the 5th grade book in 4th grade, and by 5th grade was in the 6th grade book that was really more of a vocabulary and a bit of reading comprehension book on this history of the English language. For those reasons, I had her go ahead and finish the series through 8th for the vocab and language lessons she got. She studies Latin which gives her a lot of vocabulary, but only from latin based roots. By doing the R&S she learned Greek and French and other types of word roots and got some good vocab work in. I didn't test her nor hardly ever check any of her work besides to make sure she was doing it fairly consistently. I just wanted her exposed to the info. 

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