Are you a naturally wonderful speller?
I'm jinxing myself to posting a ton of spelling errors by writing this, but I don't use spelling-check machines at all. I've looked into how they work a few times, and noticed that the spell-checker hates all proper names and the hyphens and intentional international spelling I enjoy using on occasion.
Other people are totally dependent on checkers, which is odd because it seems to me that it's much, much more trouble than it's worth. But I don't think that it follows that I'm some naturally wonderful speller. I brought home a good plenty of C's and D's as a small child and was well-known for my terrible handwriting. Thankfully my parents understood and were always kind-hearted about accepting my limitations, so long as I tried my hardest.
(NOT. I just wrote that to see if my mom were reading the blog LOL. I guess I would have very mixed feelings about being homeschooled myself. If I had to deal with "report card day" every day at home, maybe public school is a blessing. Then again, if my mom taught me and saw how genuinely hard some of these subjects were for me, maybe I'd have not run away from math and scholarly reading for... um, years after college. I've learned that you spit out exactly what the teacher wants on the test, and forget the rest. Come to think of it, maybe that's a good education. Mmm, you decide what you think and let me know in the comment box. Hm...)
Anyway, I was a "krapy" speller as a kid, ok? I think that the spelling work I did from the old Scott, Foresman readers didn't really do a bit of good. I think I just grew into spelling well.
No, really. I mean that.
I use spellers with Emperor and Elf, but really, Emperor could skip this subject entirely. Often on the pretests he'll get 100%. Elf does not instinctively spell strange words like "trachea" correctly like his brother. Then again, he's nowhere near as poor a speller as G. Bless him, G spells "Russia" with THREE R's and an -sh. Really.
What I find good about using spellers is that they help the child know the correct way to spell, even if he doesn't always use it. Now I can circle "because" in his writing and just tell him to correct that mistake. I think seeing something written correctly and practicing the correct spelling helps later in writing. I don't know that it's following X curriculum and not Y. I think it's the act of practice.
I've also heard that one should NEVER allow a child to see poor spelling as this will teach the child how to spell the word incorrectly. I am not sure if I agree with this, because Emperor sees plenty of his brothers' poor spelling and seems unaffected.
We use Bob Jones third grade spelling. There are 36 units, which for *us* translates into about a year and a couple months' work. We do a unit or so every two weeks because Elf reallly has trouble in this department. There are little crosswords or fill-ins to do each week, and a dictionary page to complete about every other week. Once a week, a journal-writing exercise is called for and the children read about the history of a word (just a couple brief paragraphs).
If you homeschool, what do you use for spelling, and do you think it makes a big difference?