Most first graders begin a spelling program as their reading becomes more solid. Some kids pick up on spelling rules quickly while others do not. Spelling can be very frustrating for many kids.
My daughter has dyslexia, so spelling was a nightmare for her. One thing I found to ease the frustration and help her master words was to have her draw a picture of each spelling word on a blank 3X5 card and I would write the spelling word on the opposite side of the card. I put consonants in one color and the vowels in another color (red/blue). This made life much easier for her.
Spelling games are also a great option for kids. If your child is a visual learner, online spelling games are awesome. Spelling printables are effective for some students. The main objective is to discover your child’s learning style and then taper their spelling program to fit their style.