Learning how to spell is difficult for every kid. There are so many confusing rules that it can be hard to keep them straight, and homeschooling a child that struggles with spelling is hard! These common spelling rules and how to teach them should help!

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How to Teach Your Homeschooled Child the Most Common Spelling Rules

If you homeschool your child and are having trouble teaching them how to spell, you are not alone. Sometimes, there aren’t as many resources available to use to teach your child spelling if you homeschool them. Navigating the spelling rules can be tricky. The most important thing for you to keep in mind are the five most common rules. If you instill these rules in your child, then spelling will start to come more naturally after that.

how to homeschool how to teach the most common spelling rules

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5 Most Common Spelling Rules:

1. “I” before “E” except after “C”:

This rule pretty much explains itself, but there are even exceptions to this rule. The exceptions are when the word makes a “sh” sound as in ancient and proficient or when it sounds like “a” as in neighbor and weigh.

2. Words ending in “Y” become plural by adding “-ies”:

When the word ends in a vowel + “Y”, this rule isn’t necessary. But, when it ends in a consonant + “Y,” take away the “Y” and add an “-ies” instead, such as in babies and companies.


3. Words ending in “S” become plural by adding “-es”:

Adding an “S” to a word is the widely understood way to make it plural, but what about when the word already ends in an “S”? If a word already ends in an “S,” such as with bus or business, add an “es” instead so bus becomes buses and business becomes businesses.

4. Drop the “E” to add suffix endings that start with a vowel:

Suffix endings include, but are not limited to, “-ing,” “-ed,” “-able,” “-er,” “-ish,” “-ion,” and “-ation.” So, to add “-ing” to write, drop the “E” and change it to writing.

5. Words ending “F” become plural with a “V”

To make a word ending in “F” plural, such as calf, add “-ves,” as you see in calves. But, if the word ending in –“-ff,” like with cliff, just add a normal “S,” making it cliffs.

Tips for Teaching These Common Spelling Rules:

1. Sound it out, write it, and spell it out loud:

Speaking words out loud can be one of the fastest ways to grasp spelling. Often times, children will start to recognize the practical application of these rules when they hear the spelling of the word pronounced correctly. Seeing a word written on paper and taking the time to sound out each part helps too. Then, have your child write the word and spell the word out loud.

2. Invest in, or download, workbooks:

There are many workbooks on the market that can help teach children these spelling rules, and some free downloadable out there as well. Following the directions in a workbook can help your child get the gist of the particular rules they are learning and practicing.

3. Play word games:

Games are a fun way to get children involved in learning. Most of the time, they don’t even know they are learning because they are having so much fun. There are many different games you can find online to help your child put these spelling rules to use.


I hope this brief overview helps you understand how to teach your child some of the most common spelling rules! Did I miss any important rules or tips?