Learn Common Phonics Rules and Sounding Out Tricks

Helping a child learn to sound out words can be difficult.
Free sites like Reading Bear or Starfall are helpful.

Parents can learn a few phonics rules and tricks to sound out words to help their children sound out words while reading good books.

It takes time, patience, good books, and a little knowledge about phonics to support an early reader:

Learn these common rules and sounding out tricks to help a child sound out words:

CVC - A vowel between two consonants in a word or syllable usually has a short sound. Another vowel or a silent e will usually be necessary to make a long sound. (got, goat, can, cane) Click here and here for videos.
VC - A vowel at the beginning of a word or syllable usually has a short sound. (at, in, it, on, after, enter, under) Click here for a video.
Schwa Sound - All vowels can make the unstressed short u vowel sounds. Check out this post to learn more. Click here for a video. (Please excuse the misspelling of watermelon.)
CV - A vowel at the end of a word or syllable usually has a long sound. (he, me, she, no, go, so, before, bicycle, baker) Click here for a video.
Third Sound of a - An a followed by u, w, r, ll, or lt will usually have the short sound of o.
Y at the end of a word - The y can sound like an i or an e. The long i sound usually happens in short words. (my, why, sky, fly, shy, by) Click here for a video. The long e sound usually happens with more than one syllable words. (happy, family, monkey, party)
Sound of c - The letter c usually will have the soft sound /s/ before an e, i, or y. (cent, circle, cycle)  Most other times it will have the hard sound /k/ . (cat, cut, cook)
Sound of g - The letter g usually will have the soft sound/j/ before an e, i, or y. (cage, giraffe, gym) Other times it usually has its hard sound. (go, gate, gum)
Silent e - The silent e on the end of a word makes a vowel before it have a long sound. (bike, rode, tune, rake)
Other spellings of the sound /sh/ - The letter combinations ti, si, and ci make the /sh/ sound. (motion, tension, special)
Consonant Blends - Two or three letters each make a sound but should be voiced quickly together and recognized as a group. (bl, cl, fl, pl, sc, sk, sl sm, sn, sw, scr, str, and more) Click here for a video.
Letter Combinations - Letters combine to make special sounds. (sh, ch, th, wh, ph, ee, ai, ay, ow, ou, igh, ar, or, ir, and more)



Carolyn Wilhelm said...

Oh, you have shared so many helpful tips here that many people working with children do not know. This will be so helpful!

Mark Boline said...

Love the spelling rules!

I've got a little to add on the silent final e, for which there are five rules. This is one of the favorite things I learned about teaching reading.

1) Makes the vowel say its name as you mentioned.
2) English words don't end with v or u. Silent final e is added to cover up those letters (love, blue)
3) The silent final e makes letters c and g use their soft sounds (chance, charge)
4) All English syllables must have a vowel (little [lit tle])
5) No job e. It is there for no observable reason (are, ore)