Honestly, I don’t ever remember learning syllable rules when I was in school, and amazingly enough, I still learned how to read. When I first started hearing about syllable rules (as a teacher) they were complicated statements like, “with a CVC pattern, if the vowel is short then divide after the second consonant.” Holy cow! First, if I have a hard time memorizing a list of wordy rules like that, how in the world will kids memorize them? Second, how would a kid know if the vowel was long or short if they weren’t able to sound out the word?
I think syllable rules are only worthwhile if they help kids decode words. I spent some time looking through syllable rules and picking out the ones that are actually usable to kids:
Now, just like with all “rules” pertaining to the English language, they don’t work in all situations, but they are at least something to get your kids going on, and they work in most situations.
A little further explanation:
One vowel sound per syllable: Sometimes two vowels team up to make a single sound. So, the word “bake” is only one syllable even though it has two vowels because the a and the e work together to make one sound (the long a sound).
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Ready to dive into kid-friendly syllable rules with your class? Save yourself some time with this activity pack. Click HERE to check it out.
Multi-Syllabic Decoding Strategy
Here’s a way to put the rules together in order to decode multi-syllable words.