Word Families and Patterns
Good spellers also recognize familiar spelling patterns and understand morphological word structure including common prefixes, roots, and suffixes. It will be easier for your child to learn when words are taught in groups that share a common pattern or structure. This is better than learning “rules” in isolation, especially rules that have many exceptions. A popular program for home use that builds on common word elements is AVKO Sequential Spelling, which was developed specifically for children with dyslexia. Make sure that your child's word list for each study session includes only words reflecting the pattern being studied. Work with your child's teacher to modify school spelling lists so as to avoid confusion, and limit the number of words being studied.
Do not try to teach your child homophones, such as “their” and “there,” in the same session. Most people with dyslexia find homophones extremely confusing, and they will not be able to simply memorize the difference. It is better if the words are taught separately with words sharing a similar pattern; for example, “there” can be taught along with “here” and “where.” Make sure your child learns word meanings along with spelling; it will aid in memory to associate meanings with spelling patterns, as opposed to individual words. That is, it may be easier to remember that the “ere” sequence is associated with words signifying place (“here, there, everywhere”).
Have your child look up words with irregular patterns in the dictionary to learn about the word derivations and etymology. She will soon discover other keys to spelling — for example, that the word “their” comes from the Old Norse