17. We often double l, s, f, at the end of a one syllable base word. (with a SHORT vowel.)
This is called in other circles FLOSSY pattern.
This pattern is why we have fluff, ball, grass, but not pooff or baill. Some programs toss Z in there. The only issue is that there are just a handful of words that end in z. (buzz razz fizz frizz jazz scuzz, topaz whiz quiz) and 1/3 of them we don’t double. So, leave off the z.
Common Long Vowel Rules
Rule 18 mirrors Rule 6. Remember how if you hear /I/ at the end of a word or /E/ at the end of a multi-syllable word, use I? Now we have one for /A/. There is also a long I/O rule here that is super-useful:
#18 Words ending in /A/ are spelled AY.
There is also a long I/O rule here that is super-useful:
#19 I and O may say their long sounds before two consonants.
Our therapist calls these “old, wild words.”
Not All Phonograms Are Equal
Let’s pause here to go over some sounds options. AAS and other curricula rarely point out how RARE some of the phonograms are. By the end of the series, you have upwards of 10 ways to spell /E/ with no stratification.
Let’s put these in order so that you can talk about it during your rule application after dictation.
- At the end of a word, /A/ is usually “ay”.
- In the middle of a syllable, it’s usually “ai” or “a-e.”
- At the end of a syllable (not the last), it’s usually a.
The phonograms ea, ei/ey, and eigh are NOT COMMON. None of them even have TEN words in English that use them, so in our house, they have stories to group them together. I would never list them as a normal spelling option when you’re trying to remember how to spell a word. Memorize the sentence kid, if it’s not one of those, use one of the four NORMAL choices.
- EA = We took a break and had a great steak, yea!
- EY = They obey and put the prey in the whey.
- EI = The reigning heir was under surveillance. She wore a beige veil and feigned an afternoon ride, when her horse tripped on a skein and his rein cut off his vein.
- (EIGH gets special treatment) Elves In Green Hats: My neighbor has a sleigh with eight neighing ponies that pull the weight of the freight.
If you dig this kinds of thing, download my Decision Sounds and Less Commons Cheat Sheet.