Part of our Spelling Series: Oy, Oi, Those Diphthongs! diphthong - A complex speech sound beginning with one vowel sound and moving to another vowel or semivowel position within the same syllable (Webster’s II, 1984). Somehow it helps me a little that the definition of a diphthong uses the word “complex?”  Because that word sounds … Continue reading Phonograms

The Next Step: Blended Families

Part five of our Spelling series: Blended Families You’ve been working with your child on the single-sound consonants and the first sounds of vowels.  He knows that most of the e’s on the ends of words are silent but busy.  He’s wanting to know how to spell everything and trying to read signs and cereal … Continue reading The Next Step: Blended Families

Let’s Get Started

Let’s Get Started I’ve established that simply telling children, “English spelling doesn’t make sense, just learn it,” doesn’t work for me.  I have also asserted that teaching phonics is essential.  After my foray into a bit of the history of English, someone commented, “Fine, but I still don’t know how to teach spelling.” All right … Continue reading Let’s Get Started

A Severely Abbreviated History of English

Part of our Spelling Series:   “The English have no respect for their language, and will not teach their children to speak it. They spell it so abominably that no man can teach himself what it sounds like.” - Pygmalion, Bernard Shaw The other day, my daughter (who is just now beginning to homeschool her first-born) … Continue reading A Severely Abbreviated History of English