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Spelling Phonetically

My child is having trouble with a lot of the words that cannot be sounded out like “who,” “their,” etc. What can I do? Also, my child spells phonetically, but many of his spellings are wrong. For example, he spells “daug” for dog and “burd” for bird. What can I do? Thanks in advance for your help.

The two problems you mentioned are very common as children learn how to read. Some words in our English language can’t be sounded out, they just have to be memorized and retained. These are called sight words. I didn’t catch the age of your child, so if he’s a relatively new reader it’s just a matter of continually increasing his vocabulary until he’s familiar with the many sight words that he’ll need to read. But since he already seems to have a phonetic-based idea of reading, he’ll be much farther ahead on the words that he can sound out. Great job, be patient and the sight words will come. When he comes across one in a book, help him by saying the word and then letting him move on with the story. He’ll begin to remember and retain these sight words. The other problem, phonetic spelling, is a good sign of phonetic learning. He’s applying what he’s learned in his spelling about how our language should sound. Unfortunately for the beginning speller, it doesn’t always work that way. Again, time and an increased vocabulary usually takes care of this problem. But be patient, many children are phonetic spellers up through fourth grade, even beyond. They eventually remember what words follow the rules and what words don’t. It sounds like he’s got a great start, and time and exposure to words will help him solve these two problems. Keep up the great work, and enjoy the process of learning and working with your child.

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