I also have a almost 12 yr ds who can spell basic words but not when you get up there or add confusing parts. I talked with the company and they said it may be overkill but start at level 1 because : #1 it will build confidence & #2 you will make sure you're not missing anything that will be covered in later lessons. Now he did say a couple things; you could start with level 2 but if he doesn't know things then you'll have to back track and depending on the child this will feel like he's/she's failing. Also, if you miss something it will come back later to bite you.
I needed my son to feel like he was winning the spelling battle and decided that the money would be worth it. I also have children who if I loved it could use it. I also didn't want to skip anything cause I am not a good speller myself and needed this child (has low self esteem) to feel like he was makiing huge progress.
I bought level 1 and 2 at the same time, with the knowledge if I didn't like it and didn't open level 2 I could return it. I am LOVING it. My son is feeling so good as he does 3 or more lessons a day. You are now wondering if he would have missed something and was it worth it. YES he would have missed the idea's on what each sound made as you have to have them tell you every letter sounds; so the "O" says, short o, long o, oo as in to, and short u as in oven. That is one he didn't get right away and only about 3 others. Otherwise he's flying along. I am totally in love with this program. He is loving it also, No more battles, or feeling like he can't spell. No more competition as he flies throug his spelling words each day.
Only 25 lessons in the level 1 book and we are over 1/2 way through and will be moving on next month to level 2. I don't regret buying level 1 and will use it for the rest of my children. My 1st and 3rd born are over achievers, they can memorize something by looking at it, they are prefectionists. (they take after there dad!) I like the way this program teaches spelling, lays it out, uses different senses, and is supper frinedly.
So I don't know where your child is at but I really think the way it's presented if you can start at level 1 do 2 lessons or more a day and then buy level 2. Maybe you can find it used somewhere (I haven't been that lucky)?
Good luck I know your child (sorry you didn't mention boy/girl) will do great as I have tried many things with mine and he's feeling great about this one. On top of the world. He also feels good about getting so many lessons done in a day. Misty