Just because your child is a poor speller does not mean that you should give up and just accept this. Students with dyslexia especially have a difficult time spelling words.
Following are some tips to help your poor speller become a better speller.
Have the student practice spelling lists with two different colored markers. Have the student practice by writing the spelling word consonants with one marker and vowels with another. Then, as the student gets better (or for older students), have him/her write prefixes and suffixes in one color and the base word in another. You can use any combination that the student might need, such as blends in one color and the rest of the word in another.
Write the spelling word in multiple colors on a large card. Hold the card up to the student for about 10 seconds, and then take it away. Have the student copy the spelling word. Check to see if it was spelled correctly. If it isn’t you may want to break the word into pieces, and just work on one piece at a time and then put the entire word together.
Hold up one of the cards that you made for the spelling words from number 2. Take the card away. Have the student write the word backwards on a piece of paper. Check to see if it is correct.
Make sure that the student is strong in phonemic awareness. You can research these little sound components called phonograms, like “at” and “an”. Write them in color and a picture that can go along with it. Have the student use a marker to sound out these words. Then, have the student write the word families from memory. I have found this helps students learn to spell more than any formal program. We have this program, The Dyslexia Reading System, available at learning-aids.com if you don’t want to make your own. Although these cards are intended for reading purposes, we use them for spelling as well.
Do dictation with the student. Orally call off a sentence that contains the student’s spelling words. Have the student write what you say and then go back together and edit any mistakes. Concentrate just on spelling. If the student misspelled a word, have him/her correct it and then move on to the next word or words.
Practice auditory discrimination. Give the student two different consonant sounds, such as /m/ and /n/. Say them out loud very slowly. The student is to tell you whether the sounds are the same or different. If the student makes a mistake, redirect him/her back to the sounds until he/she can hear the difference. When the student can hear consonant sounds correctly, move on to vowel sounds and then to simple words that have those basic phonemic units.
Practice auditory memory. Call off three words that are simple and one syllable, such as bat, ball, glove. Start with related words to help the student make an association. The student is to repeat the word combinations back to you in the exact order that you presented them. When the student masters these words, go on to unrelated words and then to unrelated multi-syllable words. Next, move on to four word sequences, and then five word sequences.