From the archives...
The following question was originally posted on the (now discontinued) LOE Forum.
Can you please help with explaining the word "PERFECT" in Chapter 8?
My daughter wants to spell it like "PERFECKT" based on using the rule 26, "CK is used after a single vowel which says its short (first) sound." Thank you.
Hello! Are you using Essentials?
You simply need to tell her that this was a great guess, since that is where CK may be used, but that in this word you use /k-s/ (the letter C) instead.
Spelling Rule 26, "CK is used only after a single vowel which says its short sound," does not say that CK is the only possible spelling of /k/ after a single short vowel, though it is a common spelling there so it is always a reasonable guess. The rule only limits where CK may be used. There are plenty of words, especially multi-syllable words, where another spelling is used after a short vowel (magic, music, lilac, almanac, kayak...). So more than one option is permitted here.
As you are teaching your daughter words, make sure you are using finger spelling, and verbal cues whenever further clarification is needed, to indicate which phonogram she should choose when she is learning a word with a sound for which she knows multiple spellings. For example, in "perfect," while she is segmenting the sounds you would hold up:
- one finger for /p/
- two for /er/ (and if she has learned IR or UR, verbally clarify "the ER of her" as well; otherwise it's not needed yet)
- one finger for /f/
- one finger for /ĕ/
- one finger for /k/ (and verbally clarify: "use /k-s/" so she knows it's not tall /k/)
- one finger for /t/
During spelling analysis (also called spelling dictation), you need to provide all the clarifications she needs for sounds that can be spelled more than one way, so that she has all the information she needs to encode it correctly the first time. If she's already learned the word, though, and can't remember which one to choose while writing it in another activity, just clarify the phonogram for her with a finger spelling or verbal cue.
Yes we are using Essentials.
This is a great explanation and helps tremendously. I think sometimes we make things harder than we need to.
Thank you very much!