Spelling Rules

Some of the More Common Rules Used

1. Why We Underline Vowels
From the first word, “me” they met this rule. When you see an underlined vowel it
will be a rule – if it is at the end of a syllable [which could be the end of a word also],
the rule is this:
“The vowels a, e, i, o, and u usually say their name at the end of a syllable.”
So with any word that has an underlined vowel, it is generally this rule.

2. Why We Underline
We underline ‘double phonograms’ in a word, such as the sh in she. This trains the
eye to see these phonograms as units of sound other than what these say as single

3. What Does a Number Over a Phonogram Mean?
If you see a 2, 3, or 4 over a phonogram it is showing the number of the sound that is
used by this phonogram in this particular word. This is where you can help your
child by helping them to say the sounds of the word to see which sound is being used
so they can put the correct number over the phonogram.
3   2         3        4
Example: do   this   soup   pull

4. What Does This ^ Mean?
In our language there are phonograms [letters] that do not say one of their usual
sounds, like the word the. We write “the” but we say, “thu”. It is called a “schwa”
in the dictionary and is marked with a backwards, upside down e. This sign [^],
called a caret, we put over words that have the schwa over it in the dictionary and
call it a “think to spell” word because they hear one thing and have to remember to
write another.
Example: thê â tô

5. Syllables
In order to record and help the brain to order the rules of our language, we divide
words into syllables. This will eventually allow the brain to instantly, in
milliseconds, recognize patterns and allow for correct pronunciation and spelling of
words. We instruct them to leave a “clock letter space” between syllables. This also
prepares them for the correct spacing between words in sentences.

6. O or I Rule
The rule is: “o or i” followed by 2 consonants usually say their name”. We won’t see
this rule too often in the next few months however it is a rule, nonetheless.

7. Y, Not I at the End of an English Word
This rule is used as an example with the word “my”. The ‘y’ is underlined because
we use a y, not an i AND we mark the y AS IF IT IS AN I. And when a vowel is
saying its name, we underline it. So, here we have two rules in effect – the vowel
saying its name and y, not i, at the end of an English word.

8. Silent Final E Rules
Job 1 It peeks over the consonant or consonants to make the vowel say its
name. Example: gate [draw a ‘rainbow’ over to the vowel]
Job 2 U or V can never end an English word. Example: blue or have [we
underline the ‘u’ or ‘v’ to show that it is a rule]
Job 3 To make C or G say its second sound. Example: chance or large [we
underline the ‘c’ or ‘g’ to show that it is a rule]
Job 4 Every syllable must have at least one vowel. Example: little
Job 5 No job! This Silent Final E just is there and there is not a reason. Example: are
Job 6 So we do not think it is a plural word. Example: house

9. We double underline silent letters.
Example: sup er (In speech some letters are not pronounced even though