Holly Swinton: dyslexia speaker, trainer, author and assessor » News » Got Zero Time to Work on Reading and Spelling?

Got Zero Time to Work on Reading and Spelling?

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Carving out time to keep working on kids/teens’ reading and spelling accuracy can feel overwhelming.  A huge number of dyslexics struggle with forgetting the phonic patterns/common letter strings.


Things like touch-typing can help.  But if you’re after something requiring zero time (after initial set-up), try displaying the vast number of common patterns around the house, attached to objects e.g. ph on a photo, air on the stairs etc. Draw their attention to these as you move around the house.


It temporarily affects the beauty of your house and is a bit of work to set up, but you could do it with your child/teen (say one per day).  It would mean that they would have ownership and within two months you’d have all the main possibilities for them to just learn by osmosis over the next year to help their reading and crucially their spelling.  If you’re short on time or their buy-in, this is a great way of doing something powerful to genuinely help them.


Here are some suggestions for possible links around the house/flat, in case you get stuck:

ai (ay as in mail)

a-e (ay as in cake)

ay (ai as in play)

aw (or as in drawing)

au (or as in laundry)

ar (ar as in car keys)

al (or as in wall)

air (air as in stairs)

are (air as in square)

ea (x2 eh as in bread and ee as in tea)

ear (x3 ear as in year, air as in bear, er as in earth)

ee (ee as in teeth)

e_e (ee as in evening)

ei (x2 ee as in ceiling and ay as in eight)

eu (oo as in queue)

ew (oo as in new)

ey (x2 ay as in grey and ee as in keys)

er (ur as in letter box)

igh (ie as in light)

i_e (igh as in bike)

ir (er as in bird)

ire (ire as in fireplace)

ie (x2 igh as in pie and ee as in movie)

oa (oe as in soap)

oar (or as in board)

oe (oa as in toe)

o_e (oa as in note)

oo (x2 oo as in loo and uh as in book)

oi (oy as in coins)

oy (oi as in boy)

ou (x3 ow as in house, oo as in soup, uh as in cousin)

ow (x2 ou as in brown, oa as in window)

or (or as in sport)

ore (or as in snore)

u_e (oo as in tube)

ue (oo as in blue)

ui (oo as in fruit)

ur (er as in turn)

ure (yur as in nature)

dge (j as ledge)

soft g (ge, gy, gi) (j as in orange, as in gym, as in giant)

soft c (ce, ci, cy) (s as in centre, as in circle, as in cycle)

y (x4 y as in as yellow, ee as in mummy, igh as in my, ih as in bicycle)

war (wor as in warm)

wor (wur as in world)

wa (wo as in wash)

qu (qu as in quiet)

qua (quo as in squash)

quar (quor as in quarter)

ch (x3 k as in christmas, sh as in chef, ch as in chair)

tch (ch as in watch)

th (th as in bath)

sh (sh as in shower)

wh (w as in white)

ph (f as in photo)

-tion (shun as in celebration)

-cian (shun as in musician)

-sion (shun as in revision)

-cial (shul as in special)

-tial (shul as in confidential)

-le (ul as in table)

-se (s as in house)

kn- (n as in knife)

wr- (r as in wrong)

-mb (m as in comb)


Here are my top 10 spelling apps.  


Want more of a plan?  


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