I am trying to decide what to spend money on for this year. We are starting our HS adventure in the fall, but I expect to need a significant amount of time to "deschool" my ds10 who will be in fifth grade, therfore I do not want to "over buy" what I will not use -- just what I will need as I need it. I am considering science or history for this year, but not both, and not begin either until after Christmas.
Part of me thinks a formal spelling program will be necessary for my older son who struggles so much with it. He has a hard time choosing the right vowels for words, tries to spell words like they sound (which is really difficult if he is mispronouncing the word in the first place), and will often leave out vowels altogether. Orally he flies through presentations, presenting worderful ideas, but he really struggles getting them on paper. He has difficulty forming letters, remembering spaces and puctuation, use of capitals, staying on the lines, etc.
Both of my friends who homeschool have recommended All About Spelling, which concentrates on letter sound recognition and spelling rules. I would like to hold off on purchasing this, as it is a little pricy. I think that copywork will be a gentler approach during the initial year in particular, with focus on neatness and mechanics, but as he is heading into grade 5, I am concerned that this won't satisfactorily address his spelling. (I'm not even a great speller!)
In previous years he has done well on spelling tests in that he would tend to spell the word correctly on the test, although likely lose marks for using capitals when he shouldn't or not forming a letter correctly, but when it came to using the word in his writing, there would be a less than 50-50 shot that he would spell it correctly (an r might look like and h or an a might be a circle with an unattached stick floating off to the side) . This year his teacher has not taught formal spelling, but he has done the bulk of his written work on computer, or completed assignments or tests orally when possible. I like that with CM I can continue to use oral methods for narration -- I think he will appreciate that, although he will hate the copywork if I can't give it significant purpose and interest for him.
What would your advice be in this situation? Have any of you CMers used this program? Does anyone have a child with a similar learning challenge that has found copywork to be sfficient? I am also considering Queen's Language Lessons for the Elementary Child, but I don't know how much it addresses spelling issues.