This year, for the first time, I am teaching spelling as it's own subject. That is to say, I'm not doing an all-in-one language arts program that tries to cover it, and I'm no longer hoping copywork will do the job for me. ( I know it does work for some, but not for us.)
I didn't want to spend money on something very comprehensive this year, so to the Internet I went, and came across K12. What a great site! They've got loads of resources for reading, comprehension and spelling, plus games and worksheets. Since I'm feeling the need for doing some catch-up, the girls are doing the second grade spelling list. The list is 16 words each week, and the method is:
Day 1 - Write each word 3 times.
Day 2 - Alphabetize the list.
Day 3 - Write 2 or 3 sentences with 2 or 3 spelling words per sentence.
Day 4 - Test.
Day 5 - Write any misspelled words 3 times each.
And that's it. It's been going well, too. The girls don't like writing the words out a lot, so they make an extra effort on the test. They like working together to alphabetize them, so that makes it fun.
Each week's list contains a couple easy words, for encouragement purposes, a large chunk or words that follow a similar pattern (ou- words or ol- words, for instance), and then a few challenges. A note of warning, though - there are some real toughies in there. Last week one of the words was "resources". I think that's pretty challenging for a second grader, which is partly why I don't feel too bad for treating it as meeting a remedial need. Having said that, it's probably a good one to use for the more gifted spellers out there.
This site has also has some great worksheets and drills for grammar and comprehension. I'm thinking about incorporating the comprehension worksheets, particularly since they go along with the weekly spelling lists for extra reinforcement.
Okay, homeschooling parents, what other spelling tools have you used to great success? What have you wasted time and money on?