Parent's Corner

Below you will find some helpful homework hints to use while you assist your child/children with their homework. Please visit this site often to view more helpful hints in other subject areas.


1.  A vowel followed by a consonant is short; code it with a breve.  A breve looks like a smile placed over the short vowel.  Examples:  log, cat, sit, wet, tug.

2. An open, accented vowel is long; code it with a macron.  A macron is a line placed over the long vowel.  Examples:  no, me, we, so, go, hi.  When there are two vowels in a word, the first one is long and the second one is silent.  Examples:  coat, ride, read.

3.  Twin or double consonants are two identical letters side by side in a word with only the first letter making the sound.  Examples:  ball, class, stuff.

4.  A consonant digraph is two letters that come together to make one sound.  This is different from a blend.  In a blend, the two sounds can be distinguished.  Examples of digraphs:  sick, when, church, ship.  Examples of blends:  truck, slice, spend. 

5.  A vowel digraph is two letters with the first letter making a long sound and the second letter remaining silent.  Examples:  seem, bay, laid, tooth.

6. Three letter combinations make the same sound:  ur, ir, er.  Examples:  fur, bird, her.  The other r-controlled combinations are ar and or.  Examples:  for, cord, more, far, march, card.  One exception is when w is before "or".  The "or" then says "er".  Examples:  work, word.

7.  There are two ways to spell the /k/ sound.  Spell the /k/ sound with a k if the sound comes before e, i, or y.  Examples:  kid, milky, skip.  Spell the /k/ sound with a c if the sound comes before a, o, u, or any consonant.  Examples:  cat, clip, cup.  Spell the final /k/ sound with the digraph ck after a short vowel.  Examples:  black, lock, neck.  Spell the final /k/ sound with the letter k after a consonant or a vowel digraph.  Examples:  milk, week, bank.

8.  "Qu" are always together.  Example:  queen, quick, quiet.

9.  For final /s/ sounds, after a short vowel, use ss.  Examples:  boss, miss, grass.  After a long vowel, use ce.  Examples:  space, ice.  After a consonant or vowel digraph, use se.  Examples:  false, rinse, horse.

10.  When a word ends with a silent "e", drop the "e" before adding a vowel suffix.  Examples:  make + ing = making,  rule + er = ruler.

11.  A diphthong is  two vowel sounds that come together so quickly that they are considered to be only one syllable.  Examples:  join, boy, mouse, cow.

12.  Wild words contain either the vowels "o" or "i" followed by two consonants.  The vowel is long when followed by the two consonants.  Examples:  wild, colt, kind.

13.  Ghost letters are the letters "g", "k", and "w" when used in the digraphs gn, kn, and wr.  These letter used to make sounds but in the digraphs, they are silent.  Examples:  knife, gnaw, wrist.

14.  When a vowel is added to a root word that ends with one vowel and one consonant, the final consonant is doubled before adding the suffixes ed, ing, and y.  Example:  sit + ing = sitting.

15.  When "g" or "c" are followed by "e, i, or y", they usually have the soft sounds of "j" or "s".  Examples:  gem, gym, city, cent.

16.  A prefix comes at the front of a word.  Examples:  encamp, undo, indoors.  A suffixcomes at the end of a word.  Examples:  running, worked, lovely.

17. Compound words are made up of two words that come together to make a new word.  Examples:  workshop, doghouse, butterfly.

18.  Another way to put two words together is by making the word shorter by leaving out certain letters.  These are called contractions.  Examples:  was + not = wasn't, I + am = I'm.

19.  Abbreviations can make words shorter by leaving off some of the letters.  A period is put in place of these letters.  Examples:  Mr., Dr., Sept.

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