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 Survival Guide for Parents

SAXON Vowel Coding Rules:

  • VOWEL RULE 1: Short Vowels: (lesson 2) A vowel followed by a consonant is short.  (“The door is closed”)  Code it with a breve.
  • VOWEL RULE 2: Long Vowels:  (lesson 3) An open, accented vowel (not followed by a consonant) is long.  Code it with a macron and an accent.
  • VOWEL RULE 3: (lesson 41)  A vowel followed by a consonant and a silent e is long; code the vowel with a macron, and cross out the silent e.
  • VOWEL RULE 4: (Schwa):(lesson 84) Open, unaccented vowels usually have the following sounds: a is schwa; e, o, and u are long; and i is short.  Any vowel can have the /u/ sound.  Coded with an upside down e. (schwa)

Spelling Rules

  • K and C Spelling Rules: (lesson 23) 
    • k before e, i, or y
    • c before a, o, u, and any consonant
  • Final /k/ Spelling Rules: (lesson 29)
    • ck after a short vowel
    • k after a consonant or a vowel digraph
    • ke after a long vowel
    • c at the end of a word with two or more syllables
  • Floss Rule: (lesson 52) When a one-syllable root word has a short vowel sound followed by the sound /f/, /l/, /s/, it is usually spelled ff, llss, zz.
  • Final /v/ Spelling Rule: (lesson 53) When a word has the final sound /v/, it is spelled ve.
  • Final /s/ Spelling Rules: (lesson 78)
    • ss after a short vowel
    • ce after a long vowel
    • se after anything else
  • Adding a Consonant Suffix: (lesson 88) To spell a word with a consonant suffix, just add the suffix to the end of the root word.
  • Adding a Vowel Suffix-Dropping Rule: (lesson 88) When a word ends with a silent e, drop the e before adding a vowel suffix.
  • Adding a Vowel Suffix-Doubling Rule: (lesson 88) When the final syllable of a word is accented and ends with one vowel and one consonant, double the final consonant before adding a vowel suffix.
  • J & G Spelling Rule: (lesson 109)
    • j before a, o, or u
    • g before e, i, or y
  • Final /ch/ Spelling Rules: (lesson 116) 
    • tch after a short vowel
    • ch after anything else
  • Final /j/ Spelling Rule: (lesson 117) 
    • dge after a short vowel 
    • ge after anything else

Syllable Division

  • How to Divide and Label a Word: (lesson 36) vc/cv
  • Syllable Division Rule vccv (lesson 39) vc'/cv; vc/cv'
  • Syllable Division Rule vcv (lesson 81) v'/cv; vc'/v; v/cv'
  • Syllable Division Rule vc/cvc/cv (lesson 92)
  • Syllable Division Rules vcccv (lesson 99) vc/ccv; vcc/cv

Definitions for Coding and Understanding Saxon Phonics:

  • Breve - a coding mark used to indicate a vowel's short sound
  • Cedilla - a coding mark on the letter c to indicate a soft sound
  • Code - to mark a word with symbols to provide information about how to pronounce it
  • Combination - two letters that come together to make an unexpected sound (ar, er, ir, or, ur, qu, wh); coded with an arc
  • Digraph - two letters that come together to make one new sound (consonant digraphs: ch, ck, ng, ph, sh, th; vowel digraphs: ai, au, aw, ay, ea, ee, ei, ew, ey, ie, oa, oo, ow, ue); underline to code
  • Diphthong - two vowel sounds that come together so quickly that they are considered one syllable (oi, ou, ow, oy); code with an arc
  • Final, stable syllable - a nonphonetic syllable that occurs in the final position frequently enough to be considered stable (ble, cle, dle, fle, gle, kle, ple, sle, tle, zle, tion); code with a bracket
  • Ghost Letter Digraphs -  two letters that make one sound; first sound is silent (gn, kn, wr); silent letters are coded with a diagonal slash
  • High-frequency words - those words that occur most often in written text
  • K-back - a coding mark consisting of a vertical line on the back of a c that makes the /k/ sound
  • Macron - a coding mark used to indicate a vowel's long sound; line drawn above a vowel saying its long name
  • Prefix - a letter or group of letters added to the beginning of a root word that changes the meaning or usage of the word (dis, pre, un)
  • Root word - a word with no prefix or suffix added
  • Schwa - a coding mark resembling an upside-down e placed over a vowel to indicate the short u sound
  • Sight word -a word of which all or part does not follow phonetic rules
  • Sneaky e - the e in the vowel rule v-e; it makes the vowel have a long sound (a-e, e-e, i-e, o-e, u-e); coded by drawing a diagonal slash through the silent e and a macron drawn above the long vowel
  • Suffix - a letter or group of letters added to the end of a root word that changes the meaning or usage of the word (vowel suffix: ed, er, es, est, ing, y; consonant suffix: ful, less, ly, ness, s); suffixes are coded by boxing in the affix added to the root word
  • Syllable - a word or part of a word that contains only one vowel sound and is made by one impulse of the voice; syllables are split with a vertical line
  • Trigraph - three letters that come together to make one sound (dge, igh, tch); underline trigraphs to code
  • Twin consonsants - two identical consonants making only one sound; coded with a diagonal slash for silent letters
  • Voice line - a coding mark consisting of a horizontal line through the middle of a letter or letters, representing a voiced sound (s, th)
  • "Wild Colt" Words - words that only have one vowel and break the rule by sounding like a long vowel