The key to a suitable spelling curriculum is a basic word list, carefully selected and properly graded. Giving too much attention to little-used words and too little attention to frequently used words results in poor spelling ability. Rod and Staff word lists for Christian schools reflect the words the pupil writes now as well as the words he will write as a Christian adult.
Three categories of words comprise the word list—(1) words written by both children and adults like careful and beautiful, (2) words of high frequency in children's writing but of low frequency in adult writing, such as kitten and arithmetic, and (3) words of high frequency in adult writing but of low frequency in children's writing, for example, budget and brethren. Writing vocabularies for adults include more than five thousand words. A spelling curriculum can handle only two to three thousand words. More than three thousand words are included in these lists for grades 5 to 8. The words we will use in our textbooks will be selected primarily from these lists. Not all the words in these lists will be used. A combination of factors will be considered in making the final selections.