I'm not very good at teaching spelling. Well, it's not that I can't teach it. It's that I mostly don't get around to it. So far I haven't really needed to. My oldest three girls have moved up every year in their spelling ability, even though I fall off in teaching spelling after a couple months each year. I believe it is because they all have enjoyed reading. Interestingly, the two who were most avid readers and more willing to read classics, are the two who progressed more quickly. But they all three progressed.
Then I had a son. My son was slower to learn to read, and once he learned to read he didn't progress as quickly in reading (or spelling) because he wasn't as interested in READING. I finally realized I may never get my son to sit and read novels and classic literature for fun. But he will voluntarily read a non-fiction book about paper airplanes, sports, and anything that has captured his interest at the time. That's okay.
But, he hasn't been a natural speller. He is progressing each year, but not as quickly as his sisters did. I need to put more focus on teaching spelling, especially to him. My oldest daughter has graduated from our spelling curriculum. My next daughter is almost done. She has graduated from our main spelling curriculum and moved on to one that is integrated with her literature studies. My third daughter seems poised to finish easily in the next 3 years or so, even with my minimalist approach. But my son may be another story. I don't want to short-change him by assuming he will progress naturally.
Yesterday I sat down and tested my 12 yo daughter, 10 yo son and 8 yo son for placement ... again. So, it's back to working at our spelling lessons. Spelling Power level B for my 8 yo 2nd grader, level D for my 10 yo 5th grader, and level H for my 12 yo 7th grader. My 8 yo could probably move up another level, as he basically taught himself to read and is an excellent speller, but he said he wanted to stick with B and since it will be less embarrassing to his older brother to have him 2 levels behind, I'm fine with that. He'll learn the spelling rules and probably apply them to other words easily.
I have to be diligent with spelling through the end of the school year ... no matter how easy it is to let that one subject wait for another day. Because too many days of procrastination pile up all too easily. I know that from experience.