Spellers at the higher reaches of this competition have generally been studying spelling for 2 or 3 years, and some have been participating in spelling bees for as many as 5 or 6 years. In the first years, the study time is limited because of the age of the speller. However, those at the higher rungs are usually spending 1 to 2 hours daily all year long plus extra time in the summers on spelling.
If one hour of daily study seems insurmountable, it is probably advisable to break study time into shorter segments to keep a student on task. Remember, some of those students at the highest rungs of the National Spelling Bee have been working on spelling words for 4 or 5 years. Your student will probably never know all the words in the dictionary, but he/she can certainly become competitive with extended study over the years.
For those who seek individualized coaching, try Hexco’s Personal Spelling Coach Program. In addition to assisting with expanding a student’s word foundation, coaches focus on teaching word roots, languages, and more. One to two hours of quizzing and weekly instruction is provided and students are assigned lengthy word lists in addition to words found in New Nat’s Notes and Verbomania. Students in Hexco’s Personal Spelling Coach Program are required to study at least one to two hours daily in order to expand their skills exponentially.