The technique that children use to learn to spell words is extremely important. You want to have your stepdaughter learn to "see" words. Here is what she needs to do to really learn every word on the spelling list according to spelling expert, Brad Loomer:
1. Look at the word and say it.
2. Cover the word and write it.
3. Uncover the word and check her spelling.
4. Cover her work, write it, and check it three more times.
The more your stepdaughter uses the words that she is learning to spell correctly in her work, the more she will remember them. Also, a good spelling program for her will have a lot of review built into it.
When your stepdaughter needs help with spelling a difficult word, suggest that she learn to use one of the following techniques:
1. She can simply ask someone how to spell the word.
2. She can use a hand-held speller that will let her enter her version of the word and then a voice will pronounce and spell several alternatives.
3. She can try to find the word in a dictionary. (This actually does work.)