Most elementary school aged kids have a test for spelling words every week. Many do well on these tests, because they study. Many spelling lists show children similar patterns and rules. (You can make this kind of studying fun by using magnetic letters. I've made a video showing how to make and break words with magnetic letters.)
I'd like you to try something new with your child. Make a list of words YOUR child needs to learn. It's easy to find words your child uses a lot and consistently misspells. Just look at what your child has written over a period of a few months.
My youngest son spelled quite a few words consistently incorrect in first grade. I looked at his writing from school and his journal to find words he needed to learn. I made a list of these words and put them on the refrigerator. He looked at them everyday. We didn't use magnetic letters. That would've been fun I think. He's in second grade now with his twin sister. He doesn't spell many words wrong anymore. It helped to draw his attention to the words HE needed to learn along with regular spelling words from class.
My daughter's spelling was very random in first grade, but she had a skill of spelling sight words she learned in school correctly. She was different from her brother. She grabbed on to high frequency words. Her twin brother tried to use phonics and sounding out to spell words. (He spelled w-u-s for was, but his sister usually spelled that one right.
I didn't make a list or focus on my daughter's spelling in first grade. I didn't think of using magnetic letters and making it fun until now. My second grade twins are doing great in spelling now. They usually get 100% on their spelling tests. I'm going to start looking for any consistent spelling errors this year and have them practice with magnetic letters. I'm only finding a few to work on. Here are examples of some of my daughter's writing from first and second grade:
Every was a word my daughter did not know how to spell in first grade. I underlined the word with Wikki Stix.
My daughter is still having trouble spelling every in second grade. This is a word she spells a lot. If I help her with this word, then she won't be practicing spelling it wrong over and over.
Here are a few more words I can help my daughter practice I found in some of her writing this year.
My children keep their favorite work from school in a box and write in journals. Do you keep some of your child's work or have your child write in a journal? Start collecting or have your child write in a journal and use this writing to find words to practice. If children spell a word over and over wrong, it takes extra work to learn to spell the word correctly. If a brain practices something many times, it remembers it this way. It makes sense to catch common spelling errors your child makes early, so they can start writing them correctly. (Try to teach only a few at a time with young children. Don't overwhelm! Invented spelling and attempts to sound out in the early stages of writing is normal. My advice in this post is for a first grader and up who seems to consistently spell the same word wrong over and over.)
Did you notice how I used Wikki Stix to underline the words in my daughter's writing samples? Wikki Stix are fun and can be used to help teach reading. My youngest son is home sick from school today with a stomach ache. He made a guitar with Wikki Stix while I wrote this post.