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Silent E: Teaching Kids the Whole Truth

Today we’re going to bust another phonics myth. You have probably heard this one…

“Silent E makes the vowel say its name.”

And if you look at the following word pairs, that rule does appear to be true.

tap --> tape
fin --> fine
mad --> made

In each example, Silent E changes the short vowel into a long vowel (in other words, the vowel says its name). Dozens of popular phonics programs teach this, and it is one of the most common reading and spelling “rules” taught to beginning learners.

This would be a good rule if it were the whole truth.

The Truth about Silent E

But that’s where the problem arises: after kids learn this rule, they encounter hundreds of words that don’t fit into this easy pattern. They start to see words all around them, such as horse, love, and puddle, in which Silent E doesn’t make the preceding vowel long…and then they start to doubt what they are being taught.

Some students are naturally intuitive when it comes to language patterns, and they can fill in the gaps and move on. But many students take the “rule” at face value and think that the problem is with them—that they just can’t figure out English.

This situation is frustrating and unnecessary, because…

Silent E Has Many Jobs

The chart below shows seven jobs of Silent E, along with sample words.

Jobs of the Silent E Chart

Click to download and print this Silent E infographic!

Saying “Silent E makes the vowel say its own name” is like saying “dogs are black.”

Would your child believe you very long if you tried to convince him that all dogs are black? While it is true that some dogs are black, it is not true that all dogs are black. Dogs can be brown, white, sable, yellow, or mixed.

In a similar vein, not all Silent E’s do the same job. Sometimes they make the preceding vowel long, but they can also do six other jobs.

Teaching the Truth about Silent E

When students know the truth—the full story about Silent E and all of its jobs—they aren’t thrown off when they see Silent E at the end of a word. If it doesn’t make the preceding vowel long, there are other options to explain its existence. Students can trust their education, instead of being misled by a myth.

Knowing the truth also opens the door to some interesting word discussions. For example, did you know that Silent E can do two jobs in a single word? Check out the word race—Silent E makes the A long and makes the C soft. Other examples in which Silent E has two jobs include hive, mice, trace, page, and cage. That’s pretty neat!

How We Teach Silent E

In the All About Reading and All About Spelling programs, we teach all the jobs of Silent E. (In AAS, the jobs are numbered differently because we lumped some together in the “Handyman E” category.) We teach the jobs step by step, one lesson at a time, so students can master the concepts at their own pace.

Are you interested in seeing some sample lessons? Click to download!

All About Reading Level 2 Lesson 14

Download “The First Job of Silent E”

All About Reading Level 2, Lesson 14 sample lesson

All About Reading Level 2 Lesson 39

Download “Soft C and the Second Job of Silent E”

All About Reading Level 2, Lesson 39 sample lesson

All About Reading Level 3 Lesson 8

Download “Pickle Syllables and the Fifth Job of Silent E”

All About Reading Level 3, Lesson 8 sample lesson

Were you ever taught the various jobs of Silent E?

Free report - '20 Best Tips for Teaching Reading and Spelling'

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Leave a Comment

Oluwatosin Odebode

says:

I love this. You are wonderful.

greta collins

says:

Thank you for a wonderful program. We love AAR and AAS

Amanda J.

says:

I’m excited that AAR and AAS look at the big picture. We’re only in Level 1, but this building approach is a comfort.

Kim

says:

I don’t remember being taught any rules for silent e and I love being able togive my son reasons for why something is spelled the way it is. It gives the program credibility in his mind I think and he loves doing the work!

Joy

says:

I would love to use your reading programme for children in my facility. I have had the privilege to download some of your free e-books and would like to purchase a a reading level package sometime in the nearest future.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Joy,
Our recent article, 12 Reasons Teachers Love All About Reading and All About Spelling, may interest you.

Danielle

says:

This is so helpful! I’ve used a different and very popular curriculum for years, but we learned that one of my sons is dyslexic and he just wasn’t getting it. We made the switch to All About Reading and Spelling and I am amazed at the progress with just completing the first level! I have recommended this curriculum to several homeschool moms, and it’s a no brainer that I will continue to use this and start my soon to be preschooler off right! It’s easy to teach and fun! I only wish All about Learning had curriculum for every subject. Homeschooling would be a breeze!

Merry

says: Customer Service

Hi Danielle,

I’m so glad this is helpful, and I’m especially excited to hear about your son’s progress–that’s wonderful! Congratulations to both you and your son!

Danielle

says:

Thanks so much! I’m excited too! I can’t stop smiling while listening to him read. I’ve even caught him reading a book with flashlight in hand after bedtime! I’m so happy he finally WANTS to read!

Dawn

says:

Great article! Thanks for all the awesome information on your site!

Dominique

says:

This has even helped me understand the rules for using a silent E!

Merry

says: Customer Service

Yay!

Kim

says:

Im so glad I get to use AAR with all of my kids. I love knowing they will have a solid foundation in reading! We have the pre-reading and its working so well.

Ellen

says:

I grew up learning phonics rules, but I don’t think I ever saw this explicitly. Thanks!

Michael

says:

Great information. Thanks for the post

Maralynn Jacoby

says:

I really love this. i was just starting to wonder how i would explain the silent ‘e’ and came across ‘love’ so knew it would be confusing. This is so helpful!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Maralynn,
I’m glad we could help you explain love to your child! :D

It is crazy that one could make it through graduate school and never know the “method behind the madness” when it comes to the English language. I used to never know where to begin in explaining to my children why a word is spelt the way it is… AAS has definitely taught this momma something!

Merry

says: Customer Service

Hi Chelsi–I know the feeling! It’s great to be able to learn alongside our kids though!

Kindra

says:

Wow didn’t realize there were so many silent E rules! I’ve always just heard of silent e making the vowel say it’s name.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Kindra,
I was surprised when I first learned Job #3. I had been taught that have and give have silent Es because English used to pronounce these words with long vowels but our pronunciation changed over the centuries. This is not true. Silent E is there for a reason that has nothing to do with a changed pronunciation.

Anyway,

MrsA

says:

The silent E rule is outdated seeing as you have to explain so many exceptions to intuitive children.

Merry

says: Customer Service

We actually find just the opposite is true–that when kids have the full knowledge about how silent E works, they feel empowered. We teach the jobs incrementally throughout our programs so that it’s not overwhelming for them.

Hollie

says:

I was taught some but not all of the various jobs. Thanks for giving all the rules so there doesn’t seem to be so many exceptions!

rha

says:

My little guy likes to know why…hence explicit phonics justor like this.

Shannon Gassman

says:

The jobs of silent “e” have worked great for my 2nd grader! Made it much easier for him to remember everything the silent “e” can do to a word!

Jody Steger

says:

So depressed . Sometimes it’s just easier to be ignorant. Kinda like I felt when hearing “when two vowels go walking the first one does the talking” isn’t good enough either.

Merry

says: Customer Service

Aw, don’t let it get to you, Jody. It’s never too late to learn some of these concepts.

Candace Doriety

says:

Makes sense!

Mariette Hosamsooi

says:

Great information. Thanks for the great programs​. It helps my daughter so much

Tina Gower

says:

Silent E was so hard for me to earn. Your way teaches it so well.

I ally enjoy reading your blogs. They give many great ideas. My granddaughter is dyslexic and very resistant to reading because the rules I learned in school make no sense to her.

Megan

says:

I love how fun and easy AAS is to teach and brings clarity to what used to be confusing spelling patterns. Thanks so much!

Menke

says:

:) This is one of the reasons I decided to go with AAR. Especially given the fact that I am not originally from an English speaking nation, I love to be able to use a program that doesn’t leave any gaps. Bonus: my son loves the readers!

I wasn’t ever taught the jobs of Silent E, but now I’m learning them along with my children. Yay for homeschooling!

We are learning this is AAR level 2. I didn’t realize all the jobs of -e-. This is a great program!

Donald Knight

says:

Again, very informative and useful!

Elizabeth Norris

says:

I’ve loved learning the additional jobs of silent E alongside my child! So interesting!

Ila

says:

Great post! My child is in public school and we have used AAR as a supplement. It has helped him tremendously.

Laura

says:

Great post! Thanks!

Kathryn Taylor

says:

I started my son on AAR this year. He has improved with his reading so much! We are so excited see what this next year brings!

Shari

says:

This program continues to be a blessing to our family. My youngest sons are progressing so much faster than before. Thanks!!!!

Jessica

says:

I love that your program explains to kids how the rules of reading work.

Joanna Lanoue

says:

Ooh I love this! What a good point: Not all dogs are black!

Sravani

says:

Really Nice Artical Thanks For Sharing Very use Ful

Mama

says:

We are using Abeka phonics and just finishing up K5. My daughter asked why “horse” is has an ‘e’ on it and I do not know why!! Though this posting is helpful and I enjoyed the sample lessons it does not explain they why behind words like ‘horse’ – is that just one of the “rule breakers”? Thank you for your help!!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Horse’s Silent E is doing Job #4. The E is there to keep the singular word horse from ending in an S. This is to allow the eye to quickly and easily distinguish between singular words (like horse or lapse) and words with the suffix S to make is plural (like laps and cars). There are over 180 words in English that have Silent E performing Job #4.

I hope this clears things up for you and your daughter. It’s a great question and shows she is really thinking about words.

M

says:

Teaching children multiple strategies is the key to a successful reader. There is nothing wrong with teaching that Silent E makes the other vowel say it’s own name, IF you teach them that it is ONE thing to try. Just as teaching them that it is okay to have a black dog, as long as it’s okay that a yellow dog is okay too. It is not a myth, it IS true. Flexible readers make strong readers.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

M,
The “myth” part comes in with programs that teach that making the vowel before it say it’s name is the only thing silent E does. I have seen such programs.

It is important for those learning to read and spell, especially those that struggle, to know the whole picture of silent E and other phonics.

Deb

says:

I have tried several times but I’m still unable to print the silent e poster. I’ve printed the Floss Rule, Making Words Plural and Kids’ Club posters without any problem; however, this one will not print. Do you have suggestions that may help me?

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Deb,
Have you save the poster in pdf format and opened it in Adobe Reader? Here is the direct link to download and save it.

If you have it open in Adobe Reader, and it still won’t print, please let us know.

Tenkasi Viswanathan

says:

Great examples! Thanks.

Staci

says:

Thank you for this! Great info!

Heather

says:

That’s why teachers who know how to teach reading don’t teach that silent e makes the vowel say it’s name. We teach the “vowel-consonant-e” syllable.

Cristen Chermak

says:

I can’t wait to use this program with my students. I teach a multi-level K-2 class with varied ability levels within each grade level.

joan green

says:

i tried very hard to join your give away contest. I desperately wanted the AAS system. but the instructions were so confusing I couldn’t participate. It asked you to do tasks but there was no way to move on and complete them!! I’m disappointed because your system sounds so wonderful and I have an 11 year old granddaughter who is ADD and needs all the spelling help she can get. I’ve just bought the first level so i can work with her, but the expense is tremendous.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Joan,
Were you able to get the entry for commenting on one of our blog posts? You have to get that entry before you can open the rest. I’m sorry you are having trouble with our entries. Rafflecopter is the most common blog giveaway entry format today.

Perhaps you can try again? It is working well for me right now.

Joseph

says:

Does male have a silent e

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Joseph,
Yes, male has a Silent E doing it’s first job, making the vowel before it long.

Carolyn

says:

Awesome post! Can’t wait to use it on my struggling reader!

Melanie Felix

says:

Thanks for the free download. It is of great benefit to me.I’m now starting to teach silent e.

Melissa Foley

says:

Thanks for teaching us about ALL the jobs for Silent E!!
I have a question about syllable tags for Silent E.
We are using AAR Level 2 this year, so my son learned the Name Game Syllable Tag for syllables with Silent E. Now we are in AAS Level 2, and it has introduced the VCE Syllable Tag for syllables with Silent E. Do we need to use both syllable tags? They seem to be for the same spelling pattern.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Melissa,
The two tags represent the same concept, and either one could be used in either AAR or AAS. We published AAS first and called the syllable by it’s more recognized name “Vowel-Consonant-E” syllable, but over time we found that it was difficult for children to actually say that. With AAR we changed the name to “Name Game” syllable, simply because it was much easier for children to say and remember. Also, the AAS VCE tag looks a lot like the consonant-le tag, and sometimes those are confused. Eventually we’ll be updating AAS, and then the tags in both programs will match.

Marie

says:

This could not have come at a better time!!
I am just starting to introduce “silent e”
Thank you for the free download and sample sheets- they are very useful!

Gloria

says:

Hello,

My daughter just started learning about the jobs of final silent e in school. I am confused about two of the words she was taught though. Her teacher tells her that the “e” in “cage” functions as its 3rd job (makes “g” say its second sound “j” while the “e” in “page” functions as its 1st job because it makes “a” say its name. But doesn’t it also make “g” say “j” as in the case for “cage”? One can also say that in “cage”, that it can be the 1st job as the “a” in “cage” says its name.

I am confused on how “cage” and “page” are treated differently. Would it not be fair to say that for these two words, “e” has two jobs and functions as both its 1st and 3rd job rather than one word has one job while the other has the other job?? They both sound the same and spelled the same except for the first letter.

Thanks for any clarification or insight you can provide.

Gloria

Gloria

says:

Sorry, just to clarify my earlier email at 6:04pm on December 3rd, 2015, my reference to “3rd” job is the order in which she was taught by her teacher. It would be the “2nd” job with reference to your ordering of the many jobs of final silent e.

thanks,
gloria

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Gloria,
I’m really not sure what the teacher is getting at. You are correct; the silent E is functioning in both it’s 1st and 2nd job in the words cage and page. When we teach these words and ask students to decide which job the E is working in, we would say either job was correct and point out the second job if the student only noticed one.

Sorry I’m not much help.

Gloria

says:

Hi Robin,

Thank you for your prompt response. That was very helpful. I find grammar in the English language difficult to master and even with rules and guidelines, there are always exceptions!

Gloria

S. Vilar

says:

I just used this page to show my Spelling Bee group some things about silent E to help them with improving their spelling.
GREAT information!
Thanks so much!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome. It’s kind of cool to think we helped spelling bee kids; I tend to think of them as amazing spellers that never need help.

Yvonne

says:

I was taught only the first job of the Silent E. No wonder students struggle so much with spelling and reading! Thanks for the informative post!

Abbi Cord

says:

Wow! Thanks for the helpful information. I was not taught phonics as a child and so I am learning along with my kids. This is really helpful.

Kara

says:

Thank you for this infographic. It is very useful. I’ve never seen anything like it before. Even though it’s thorough, it’s not complicated (at least not to me). It should really help our son, for whom spelling correctly does not come easy.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Kara,
You are welcome. I know our team works hard on these. Did you know we have other spelling infographics? You can get them from this page.

Erin

says:

This is really helpful. I need all the phonics help I can get as I try to teach my preschooler to read!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Erin,
We are glad to help!

Amy K

says:

Being new to the world of a dyslexic child, and all the challenges posed by teaching them to read and write, I realize I sure take for granted the ease of learning I had. I never had to learn all the nuances of “magic e”. I am fascinated by all I am learning on the All About Spelling (& Reading) website and hope to dig into this curriculum soon! Thank you for creating this curriculum that appears to be just what the doctor ordered.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Amy,
You are welcome. Please let us know if we can help in any way.

Rachal Pollard

says:

This is great! Thank you for the infographic, it will help me remember too!

Margaret H.

says:

I just started using the AllAboutSpelling with the 11 students I teach at a small rural school. I love the straightforward lessons broken into steps. My students have known only one job of silent e up to this point, so I am excited to present these other scenarios to them.

Nancy A.

says:

Dear Marie,

I am an ESL mom so the use of AAR has been a great help for me trying to help my strugling reader dd (7). Rigth now we are in level 2, lesson 13: The name game syllable type and I cannot understand why there are some words in the activity book for this lesson that do not follow the name game pattern I will very much appreciate your feedback.

Words from the word flipper & practice sheets:

Care, bare, dare, fare, hare, share, rare, ware, bare

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Nancy,
This is an issue of a regional accent.

Care can be cair, with the long A sound. However, in some regions of the English speaking world, the vowel-R-E word ending causes the word to sound like it has two syllables, such as cay-er. And in still other regions, the vowel changes and the R isn’t quite pronounced, becoming almost keh, with almost a short e sound.

Pronunciations vary by region, so if it’s not strictly a long A sound for you, just let your child know how you would normally say those words. R is a tricky letter because it’s hard to say without certain vowel sounds before or after it. We consider it a long A, but if there is a better way to explain it to your children that makes more sense to you, do that instead. You can let your child know that while some people pronounce these more like long vowels, it’s a different sound in your region. (It’s a good time to point out how people have such varying pronunciations of words!)

Our newest edition of AAR level 2 includes this note in the “Before You Begin” section of step 15, The Name Game Syllables:
“In some regions, the R may slightly change the vowel sound in Name Game syllable words like bare, care, dare, fare, and rare. If these words are pronounced in your area with more of a short E sound than a long A sound, or if the pronunciation causes difficulty for your student, you may wish to teach them a Leap Words.”

I hope this helps. Please let us know if we can help in any further way

Nancy A.

says:

Thank you so much for your prompt response and the explanation Robin. We live in Canada and we pronounce them exactly as you described, with a short e. I’m so glad your new edition includes this note clarifying it is a matter of regional accent. I love the AAR program!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

I’m glad my response was helpful to you, Nancy. Let us know if you ever need more help for anything.

Faith Vittitoe

says:

Before this I din’t realize all the jobs of silent e.

Melissa

says:

I didn’t know silent E had so many jobs! I’m looking forward to learning along with my son as we begin All About Spelling this year.

Yvette Gooden

says:

Thanks much for the information you share to assist persons like myself who teach students you were not trained to teach. Thanks again. Very helpful.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Yvette,
You’re welcome! We are committed to helping adults help students succeed in reading and spelling!

Michelle

says:

This infographic is great! My daughter is big on memorizing phonetic rules and the “silent e” rule has been giving us fits lately, precisely because of these variations. She will love this printout. Thank you for this!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Michelle,
You are welcome!

Did you now we have other printouts for other rules too? You can get them here. http://info.allaboutlearningpress.com/spelling-rules-posters

Lynette Williams

says:

This infographic is great. Thanks!

Kaysha

says:

I love going through All About Spelling with my son. It is rules and explanations like this that I was never explicitly taught. It is nice that he will have the set of strategies to rely on.

Merry at AALP

says: Customer Service

Hi Kaysha,

I’m so glad you’re enjoying All About Spelling with your son!

Cynthia

says:

Very helpful.

Melissa

says:

I love how All About Spelling thoroughly explains rules and their exceptions! My little learner gets frustrated when she is surprised by the exceptions to rules, so this program will help her tremendously.

Merry at AALP

says: Customer Service

Melissa,

I have a son who is the same way–he wanted explicit instruction and didn’t care for surprises (even good ones, LOL!)! He did very well with AAS.

Druceal

says:

I was never taught of all jobs of e. I am learning so much as I teach my children.

Michele G.

says:

I enjoyed reading this blog about the many jobs of the silent E! Very insightful.

Julie

says:

We used the “Silent E Book” last year in level 3 with great success. It helps to have a category to place the words into. The scientist in my son is learning to be a good speller too. Thanks.

Niki P

says:

Great information. Looking forward to trying AAS for the first time this year!

Kirsten P

says:

This is SO good to know as we are just going to start AAR this fall. Good to keep this in mind and not teach the oh so common rule that is just going to confuse my kids in the future! Thank you!

Kari

says:

Good to know!

Debbie

says:

Wow! It’s never too late to learn something new! As a “retired” homeschooling mom who wishes she had found this for her son, I’m checking your curriculum out for my grandson.

Merry at AALP

says: Customer Service

I agree, it’s never too late to learn something new!

Lisa

says:

We LOVE All About Reading!

Erin Acevedo

says:

This is great! I’m printing this out for my daughter AND for the students I tutor.

Karin B

says:

This will be our first year using All About Reading. & I’m so excited!

Karen

says:

I am using AAS level 1 and I love all the charts that you are posting. Is there a place that I could purchase all the charts? Thanks!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Karen,
We do not have these charts for sale, but we do have printable versions of each of them available for free. You’ll find the Jobs of Silent E one in this blog post; here is the link. http://downloads.allaboutlearningpress.com/downloads/Silent-E-The-Many-Jobs.pdf

The others (Kids’ Club rule, Floss rule, and Making Words Plural) are available on this page. http://info.allaboutlearningpress.com/spelling-rules-posters

We’re glad you are enjoying these charts and finding them helpful. Thank you.

Tara

says:

I have Dyslexia and have struggled all my life. I am so glad my children don’t have to. I wish I would have had this taught to me.

Jeni

says:

This is very helpful! Thank you.

Kimberly

says:

I had no idea that “silent e” had so many jobs!
Reading English can be so confusing – even though I can do it, I can’t tell you HOW or WHY so many of the words are the way they are, thank you for creating a way we can teach our kids who struggle with it!

Merry at AALP

says: Customer Service

Glad this helps! I learned a lot when I took my kids through these jobs!

Sandra

says:

Thank you for the info graph, we love our visual aides!

Donna Y

says:

Thank you for this post and infographic!! Things like this are tricky to teach!

I taught writing for students in elementary through high school grades for 15 years. I love the emphasis that All About Reading places on reading aloud to students, and encouraging reading at the student’s level. Reading is directly linked to writing and verbal expression. I’d love to see my grandchildren use this curriculum!

Merry at AALP

says: Customer Service

Thanks for your feedback, Diane! There are so many great reasons to read aloud to kids: http://blog.allaboutlearningpress.com/6-great-reasons-to-read-aloud/

One of my favorite elementary teachers used to read to us–and even my high school lit teacher used to read portions to us at times. Those teachers really stand out to me in my mind.

dana reinsel

says:

Hoping to try this, to get my boys to be better readers.

Donna

says:

This is a great article. I started homeschooling my older child after he had learned all the basics. Now with my 4 year old, I’m going to have to do all of the basics with her and this is a great way to teach her. Thanks!

Heather

says:

I love AAR so much for my 5 year old that I want to get the rest of the levels as well for my son!

Roberta

says:

Thanks for clarifying. I am excited that All About Reading will help me teach these lessons in the correct way.

tanya

says:

I have just started homeschooling and find that the silent E jobs are great………and don’t remember learning them specifically. Thanks AAS

Jessica Tomlin

says:

We love AAR and AAS!!

Julie B.

says:

I don’t have any recollection of learning spelling rules and now that I’m teaching my children I find it quite challenging to believe that my kids need to memorize all these spelling rules.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Julie,
Some children do not need to memorize spelling rules in order to be good spellers. We often refer to such students as “natural spellers”, and they just seem to somehow internalize the rules subconsciously.

However, many students cannot learn to spell English well without being taught these rules and patterns explicitly. If one of your kids is like that, you’ll know. They will still be using C, K, and CK randomly for the /k/ sound, far beyond the age when such things are cute anymore (writing backe for bake). They will use Silent Es like decorations, placed on the end of words for no apparent reason (spelling match as mache). They won’t know to double consonants when adding a vowel suffix, and instead of changing the y to i and adding es, they will change the y to e and add is (writing peneis when they mean to write pennies). Each of these examples my own children have done when they 9 or older, some even after they have started All About Spelling and learned the rules (but obviously needed more review to master them).

All About Spelling is specifically designed to help the following groups of kids:
– Kids who need remedial spelling help, whether they are behind or struggle to keep up in spelling.
– Those who never learned the spelling rules.
– New beginning spellers, to prevent spelling problem.

I hope this clears things up. Please let us know if we can help in any further way.

tauni

says:

I never learned that rules for silent e as a child. I am enjoying leaning all kinds of reading and spelling rules with my kids! Thank you AAR and AAS!!!!

Jenny

says:

I loved using AAR with my 2nd grader

Paige

says:

I love AAR and AAS!

Michelle bowling

says:

My son struggles with reading and since I love the all about spelling series, I think this would be perfect for him

Lydia R.

says:

I recently read Uncovering the Logic of English. I combined their Silent E rules with AAS’ Silent E rules and teach that set of rules to my seven-year-old. (We’re up to AAS 3).

Handyman E takes care of the jobs not covered by the previous four.
5.1. Handyman E keeps a singular word from ending in s (and looking plural).
5.2. Handyman E makes a word look bigger.
5.3. Handyman E makes th says its voiced sound /TH/.
5.4. Handyman E distinguishes between two words
(clarifying pronunciation and meaning.)
5.5. Handyman E is added for an unseen reason.
e.g. The E used to be pronounced instead of silent.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Lydia,
Rule 5.2 must be something Logic of English teaches, as All About Spelling and All About Reading do not teach that a job of Silent E is to make a word look bigger.

Lydia R.

says:

That’s what I wrote:

“I combined their Silent E rules with AAS’ Silent E rules and teach that set of rules to my seven-year-old.”

kristina McGuire

says:

would love to use AAR level 3 with my daughter.

Michelle

says:

Love it!!

Kourtney

says:

Wow that is a little overwhelming. I had no idea that silent E had that many jobs.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Kourtney,
Don’t be overwhelmed! We present the information altogether here to show the complexity of the issue, but in our programs we introduce the jobs one at a time, with time between learning one job of silent E and the next. This way the student can master each one as it comes along. I’ve been through all the jobs of silent E with three kids so far, and none of them had any trouble with them.

Wakethetook

says:

Thanks once again for tackling a confusing element with clarity. We love All About Learning Press!

Corri Montgomery

says:

I love your explanations for all of the uses of the letter E. I was not taught this information in school but thanks to you, my son will know it.

Amy Turner

says:

Thank you so much for this article! It is a big help!

FAith

says:

Love this program!

Rachel

says:

I am needing this program! I feel like we need to start all over again!

Wanda Fisher

says:

So true! In an effort to make things “easy” for kids, we are actually just confusing them!

Alison

says:

Great reference for teaching that tricky silent e!

Nicki B

says:

Was happy to hear that we are using a curriculum that is in line with helping readers with Dyslexia. I was doing something right and didn’t know it.

Merry

says: Customer Service

Hi Nicki,

I love when that happens! Yes, both All About Reading and All About Spelling are Orton-Gillingham based, which is a proven method for helping students with dyslexia and other learning disabilities. Marie is a member of the International Dyslexia Association, and was an instructor for the graduate level courses in Orton-Gillingham Literacy Training offered through Nicolet College in Rhinelander, Wisconsin for 3 years. She is also a member of Pro Literacy, has previously served on the Board of Directors of the Literary Task Force in Wisconsin, and tutored students for more than 20 years. If you haven’t had a chance to watch their story about her son’s struggles, you may want to check that out (they were told he would never read). Quite amazing!

Failure is not an option: http://www.allaboutlearningpress.com/about

If you ever have any questions, know that we are here to help. You can post or email support@allaboutlearningpress.com.

Amy

says:

Very interesting! I knew about 5 of them from AAS, so I read the list of 7 with interest.

Merry

says: Customer Service

That’s pretty good, Amy!

Valerie

says:

This was an interesting read!

Laurie

says:

Just started AAR3 today and reviewed these. Love the program!

Taylor

says:

Awesome info! I will be bookmarking this for a few months down the road!

Sarah

says:

Very good information! I am sure I will refer back to this when we begin first grade in the fall.

Kate

says:

I just love your methodical introduction to the Silent E Rules. So far, my kids are content to get a spelling to a word whose rules they haven’t learned yet. It doesn’t hurt their feelings that they don’t know how to spell “fairy” or “castle” when I simply explain that we haven’t gotten to that rule yet.

Merry

says: Customer Service

Kate, it sounds like you are doing a great job with your kids! (And now I’m curious what story they are writing about fairies and castles!)

Angela

says:

My son so enjoyed learning this! He is an analytical thinker and wanted the whole story!

Lea Nichols

says:

Love All About Reading!

Amanda

says:

This will come in handy during our upcoming homeschool year! Thanks for all the helpful info!!

Heather Hart

says:

I can’t wait to get into these lessons, as the questions about silent E have been rising from my 6 year old. It can be a bit confusing. Glad to have this tool to help!

Annie

says:

We are loving the pre-reading program and are hoping to start Level 1 in September!

Debra ShannonPatel

says:

This is very useful

Cindy

says:

I love how this is taught in All About Spelling. It has helped my kids understand it better!

Jacklyn B.

says:

Awesome!

Celia R.

says:

I didn’t realize silent E had so many jobs… looks like I’ll be learning with AAR too.

Kristie Wheeler

says:

These lessons help my children so much, 5 boys and they all love All About Reading and Spelling. Even the older boys come in when I pull out Ziggy Zebra-so much fun learning! :)

Merry

says: Customer Service

That’s so cute! I love it when older kids show they are still interested in “kid” things.

Kim G.

says:

We love All About Reading.

Michelle

says:

I have a struggling reader. This looks like it would be a good fit for her.

Jodi Helwig

says:

AAR is a great program. My daughter is learning and slowly gaining confidence.

Amy Aldrich

says:

I’m learning so much along with my child! Thanks for your awesome products!

Jennifer Freeman

says:

Silent E is a favorite in our house. Lol

Halima

says:

The layout of this is brilliant! My son struggles with spelling because he was told that all of the other elements were exceptions to the rule.

Merry

says: Customer Service

It really makes things easier when we understand how they work!

Amy McPherson

says:

I never learned the other silent E jobs until I was teaching my son all about spelling. I always thought anything besides making a vowel say its name were exceptions. It was eye-opening.

Kimberlee

says:

Wish I had known all this when I was a kid!

Kimberly

says:

Those silent E rules helped my speller. We are just starting them with the struggling reader. I hope that having the rules will help. :)

ulanda dean

says:

Thank you! My son struggled with this for a long time.

molly

says:

Looking foeward to learning more about the letter E!

BZ

says:

Nicely done lesson for silent e.

Jennifer

says:

Excited to start using All About Learning curriculum with my ADD son for the first time this school year!

Tracy

says:

Looking forward to learning more myself!

Angela

says:

I don’t remembering learning anything other than silent e makes the preceding vowel say its name. After that we just learned the exceptions to the rule but not the reasons why. Thank you for this tool.

Merry at AALP

says:

You’re welcome! I’m glad it’s helpful!

Mary Kay

says:

I had no idea silent “e” had so many jobs! I don’t remember learning such rules in school. Breaking it down in the above format makes so much sense. This will be most helpful. Thank you for providing this download.

Colette

says:

Wow, I’m learning so much about English that I don’t remember ever learning in school. We have started All About Spelling, Level 1 and already my daughter is making progress. The above information about all that the silent E does is great. My daughter definitely struggles with it. Thanks for posting this and the great print-out to keep handy for her!

Solene Malkamaki

says:

Just love AAR program. I switched from other phonics/learning to read curriculum for my 5th child and the result has been amazing. Granted, he may have done well with the other programs I used in the past with my older children. However, this hands-on tool is super easy and fun to use with very minimum teacher prep. I had started one of my struggling spellers on the AAS program and gave up when life got too overwhelming schooling 6 kids (including my now 12 year-old blind son) and being pregnant with my 7th baby.
This year I intend to jump back into AAS and expect some improvements in my daughter’s spelling. Because the 2 programs contain many similar elements I believe it will be easier to teach this time around and I know I will enjoy it!
I’m looking forward to starting my young reader on the AAR Level 3 and will get my 1st grader going with Level 1.
Thank you for providing such excellent material and so many resources to the homeschool community,
Solene

Merry at AALP

says:

Hi Solene,

I’m glad AAR has been so helpful for your 5th child!

One thing that can help with AAS is to set a timer for 15 or 20 minutes and just see how far you get each day. We find that short daily lessons accomplish more than longer but fewer sessions.

Hang in there!

Stephanie Maxheimer

says:

I am so excited about this! Glad I found something to help lay it out for me to teach.

Leann

says:

I can’t wait to try all about spelling. I wasn’t taught like this in school!

Misty

says:

Thank you. My child learned only that the silent e made the previous vowel long. We noticed that it was not a consistent rule…I told we would learn all those rules when we get to level 2. :)

Merry at AALP

says:

Your child is very observant, she’ll be a great reader/speller!

Beth Churchill

says:

I was only taught that bossy “e” makes the vowel say its own name.

Rita Stein-Grollman

says:

Thank you so much for this! It will be so helpful with my lower grades!

Sarah

says:

Yay! Would love this!

Leni T

says:

Perfect timing for this! We are just starting this step in AAS2! Thank you for the infographic!

Elissa Hardy

says:

This is an awesome program!

Sarah Marie

says:

What I love about what my kids learn in AAR2 is that they apply it to EVERYTHING they read! These rules really help, and if one doesn’t sound right, they know what to try next! I really appreciate the in-depth phonics it has to offer!

Merry

says: Customer Service

This is great, Sarah, good for your kids! I’m so glad the program is helping you and your children!

Merry at AALP

Shane Colone

says:

I grew up with the silent E rule too! We’ve encountered difficulties in the process of learning reading as well. I love the thoroughness of All About Reading! That along with the amazing organization of lessons is what keeps us coming back-not to mention the fun activities!

Carolyn Goldammer

says:

Is the Silent E poster available to print?

Linda Difino

says: Customer Service

The poster is now available to download by clicking on the graphic or the link below it in the blog post! Thanks for asking! -Linda (AALP)

Steph

says:

They say that English is actually one of the more difficult languages to learn… when reading things like info on the silent E, it makes it easy to understand why that’s said!!

Christina Morales

says:

Wow! I did not know that. I have been telling my kids that sneaky e sneaks up on the vowel and scares it and makes it say its name. This is from the phonics I’ve been trying to shove down my daughters throat. Now my brain is spinning from having to learn a new thing! Its fine though because I love to learn new things. Thanks for this information.

Jennie Chatman

says:

I found this very interesting. I did not not the silent E had 7 jobs. I can see where it would be confusing to children. I will be printing this off to refer too, We had a lesson in My father’s World on the long E. Now when we encounter an E in a different situation I will know. I had wondered about that in the back of mind but did not actually realize it till now. Thank you!

Maya

says:

No, I was not taught the 7 jobs of silent E, although I was taught a more solid phonics program than the American schools teach. That is the reason I love your curricula – they explain why we read and spell the way we do, vs. just making students learn long lists of words.
I was wondering if you could offer a printable of the 7 jobs of the silent E above. Like a mini poster we could download and print out for easy reference.
We are currently on AAR Level 3 and have covered more than half of the silent E jobs. Sometimes, when I want to review the rules, I need a quick reference instead of going back to Level 2 to remind myself what it was exactly (so I can quiz my child). It would be a helpful resource, if you could provide a printable. Thank you!

Linda Difino

says: Customer Service

The Many Jobs of Silent E poster is now available for download! Click the link below the graphic in the blog post! Thanks for asking! – Linda (AALP)

Maya

says:

Thank you! Wow. You at AAR are awesome!

Eleasha Tate

says:

Thanks for sharing. I learned a lot reading this blog post and I am hoping it will help me with homeschooling my kids.

Brenda

says:

Thanks for making this quick and easy, especially for the busy mom with multiple children.

Cristina

says:

Nope, I was not taught that way. Thanks for making spelling look so easy. I know it’s not, but you make it look easy, AND fun!
Thanks!

Cole Kelley

says:

Interesting!

Audrey

says:

Thank you very much for this information Marie. Honestly I didn’t even realize that the letter “e” has so many other functions. Will really share this with my colleagues.

marie

says:

thank you so much for this good info.

Anastasha Anderson

says:

I really hadn’t tgought about the jobs of E like this before! Thanks!

MC

says:

I’m wondering how kids manage with this huge array of rules to remember? It seems overwhelming. I understand that some kids aren’t intuitive readers or writers but to navigate all these rules and guides seems such a difficult task to me. I think my daughter is probably quite an intuitive speller but her skills are steadily declining. I am starting to suspect that her intuition has been meddled with too much by this deconstruction into trying to remember the rules. She seems to have given up. And let’s face it, there seems so many exceptions in the English language that the rules are never hard and fast. I don’t know what the answer is!

Hi MC! In AAR and AAS, we teach students just ONE of the jobs of Silent E at a time, over several levels of the program. They never have to remember all of them at once, so it isn’t overwhelming.

Here is a blog post that you may be interested in: http://blog.allaboutlearningpress.com/the-funnel-concept/ . It explains how and why we teach just one concept at a time. I hope this information helps!

KV

says:

I love the helpful tips for teaching reading! Your a blessing.

Rita

says:

Thanks for the rule. I have a dyslexic daughter and I think knowing the different ruled for ‘e’ will be a great help in explaining when she run into words that don’t follow the rule.

Jennifer D.

says:

I had never really thought about it before but this is absolutely true. I can’t wait to start teaching my son to read this year.

Kim w.

says:

This is the whole reason why we are switching to all about reading. Our other reading program just said don’t say that sound but my son wanted to know why! Looking forward to having material to help me teach this subject!

Sharon

says:

I wonder how these materials would work with adult learners, especially English learners

Sharon,
Marie, the author, and other tutors have used these materials to tutor adults. Both All About Reading and All About Spelling have worked well for adult learners.

All About Spelling will work with little or no modifications. If the student already knows how to spell some of the beginning words, the teacher can fast-track through to focus on the concepts being taught (which will also apply to longer and harder words), until they reach harder words. This blog entry shows an example of how to do this: http://blog.allaboutlearningpress.com/using-all-about-spelling-with-older-students/

All About Reading will work, too, but the tutor may want to skip some of the activity sheets and the Level 1 stories, focusing instead on the Fluency Sheets in the student activity book.

From what other tutors have told us, many adult learners are so excited to learn to read that they are happy to read Level 1 stories. They don’t have to linger there long. But the program would be just as effective without the stories if the Fluency Sheets are used, so the tutor is free to modify that as needed, depending on the individual.

When Marie tutored adults, instead of 20 minutes per day of reading aloud to them, she recommended audio books to them. Listening to books read aloud is important for all ages of students.

Let us know if we can help further with this.

Kym M

says:

I, too, learned that Silent e made the vowels say their name, but I must have been one of those kids that figured out the rules don’t always apply for every word. I currently have a 12 yo who is still struggling to read, despite all my best efforts. I am thankful to have found this curriculum. I do believe that there is hope in his reading progress. Thank you, from my heart, thank you.

k

says:

Thanks for sharing!

Cynthia

says:

I’ve wondered how to explain this to the kids. Great info!

Sonya

says:

I’m excited about learning the rules. My 12 yr old son has dyslexic tendencies and can’t spell the simplest words and I need to do something soon.

Sonya,
Let us know if we can answer any questions for you or help with placement. My daughter was 10 when we found All About Spelling, and it made drastic improvements in her abilities to spell within the first couple months. We can be reached by phone at 715-477-1976 or by email at support@allaboutlearningpress.com.

Gale

says:

I am really grateful to to learn all these rules.

However, I still really like the “silent E usually makes vowels say their name” rule, so long as your child also knows the rule that “English is a crazy language, and some words break the rules”–and then read with your child often enough so you can catch the “weird words.” When he hits one, I just say “that’s a weird word…it doesn’t follow the rule” and move on. Cause if I tried to hit my child with 7 rules at once he’d be so overwhelmed. Sure, I’ll get to those…but in our reading, the silent E rule has proven true most of the time so we use it–and it’s an easier one to learn because if you word it that way you can teach it before you teach the difference between long and short vowel (terminology which has never made sense to me, because a short a can be made just as LONG as a long a). There were just so many words that used that that we couldn’t attempt anything but very early readers without using that…but once he learned that, that opened him up to be able to try more real books.

Even rules that 99% of the time are true aren’t true in some strange instances, like when English borrows words from other languages. So knowing that you can trust the rules “most of the time” but that sometimes they don’t work, and you just have to learn the exceptions–well, it’s something I wish people had taught me sooner as a kid.

Gale

says:

PS: But I will be letting my child know that silent e has some other jobs now, before we get to these rules. :-)

Gale,
All About Reading and All about Spelling doesn’t teach all 7 jobs of Silent E all at once. It starts with the first job, and then spaces out introducing the others so that students can master each as they come.

Many children do intuitively figure out many of the patterns and exceptions of English, and move through it fine. However, others do not pick this up. My own daughter was still using silent Es like decorations randomly on words well into the 4th grade, before we started All About Spelling and we learned together the different jobs Silent E has.

becca vachon

says:

The silent e…my daughters arch nemesis. Thank you for the information.

Carolyn

says:

Thank you for the information

Regina

says:

We are new to homeschooling and my daughter is only 2. So, we are just beginning with all of this. This is wonderful information to add to the notes and curriculum ideas that I have been putting together for when my little one has developed enough to understand and have the ability to relate these rules to her reading.

Jessica Y. Kirdyashev

says:

I have been so grateful for this part of the program! Firstly, because I had never been taught these, so I was under the impression that the English language (American English in particular) was just full of exceptions. Secondly, it has been invaluable in guiding my dyslexics who wanted to read “have” as “haiv”. I was equipped to verbally guide them to figure it out on their own.

Jessica,
We’ve all seen those jokes and comments about English rules having exceptions to the exceptions, but All About Reading and All About Spelling has taught me it is the rules that are wrong, not that English is so full of exceptions. Just change the rules (such as teaching all the jobs of Silent E), and suddenly there are few exceptions.
Thank you for sharing.

liz

says:

Hi Marie

Love this. It’s great to see all 7 rules together. I do think, however, that it wouldn’t be a good idea to teach all these at the same time, to young kids. I always teach the “silent e makes the letter say it’s name” rule, a little differently. I call it the “consonant-vowel-consonant-e” rule, and I tell kids (or my foreign students since I teach ESL) that if you see a 4-letter word made of a c-v-c-“e”, the first vowel is long (as a rule). Then, later on, I give them exceptions like love, give, come, and were. Then I explain that some 5-letter and 6-letter words follow the “silent e makes the vowel say it’s name” rule, if the first two or three letters are consonant clusters (stone, stripe), then I mention that other, even longer words can follow the rule if prefixes and suffexes are added on (explore, sublime). So I never tell them something that isn’t true, or that has a million exceptions. I would teach the other 6 rules later on, maybe not even till the following year.

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

Hi Liz! I agree–it isn’t a good idea to teach all of the jobs of Silent E at one time. We only teach one at a time, and we space them out so students can completely master one before introducing the next. Thanks for commenting!

Leah

says:

Wow! I’m sad to say that I don’t remember being taught all the ‘jobs’ of the letter E. While teaching my son, I have tried using the catchy rhymes (I was taught) to help him remember when to use a long or short vowel only to find myself trying to unscrambled his confused mind when we come across words like ‘some, have, live, etc.’ Thank you so much for this great resource and phonics myth reminder. I look forward to using the ‘seven jobs of Silent E’ in our upcoming class and hopefully many more of your wonderful resources. THANK YOU!

Sandrine

says:

Thank you for this very informative article. The curriculum that I am using only teaches the first job of silent E. We came across some words as you mentioned where we could not apply the first job of silent E and I could not really explain the rule to my children but simply taught them how the word is normally read. I am very glad and excited that I have received this post. it answers many many questions for me. Once again thank you very much…

Sandrine

Vikash goel

says:

Hi
I am VIKASH GOEL from INDIA I have three children
And am struggling with my elder daughter who is class
7 and 11 ur old with her spelling and reading
Ability
She would read words wrongly and then spell
Them wrong
She is not weak in studies otherwise but her English
Is pathetic inspite of her being in an English
Catholic Church school in kolkata
I need your suggestions to improve her

Vikash Goel,
All About Reading and All About Spelling were written to help children just like your daughter. If you would like information on placement and anything else, we are available by phone at 715-477-1976 or by email at support@allaboutlearningpress.com.

Carol

says:

Thanks for the lesson samples & the contest entry.

Jennifer Bruce

says:

This is another excellent post. Thanks so much for sharing. I truly believe we should be teaching kids these things right the first time around instead of going back later in lessons. It’s as though we have to say “remember what I told you about silent E? Well, guess what? I I left out just about everything…so here goes…..” We could be teaching these rules just as easily as they arise in reading and spelling alike.
I just love AAS!

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

Thanks, Jennifer! I agree with you 100%–it is so much easier for kids to learn these things correctly the first time around! It’s much harder to “unlearn” something later.

Belle

says:

Glad to see Rule #6 & #7. When we used AAS, my daughters would say, “That is not an English word,” when seeing one ending in i,j,u, or v.
I used several spelling tools for my oldest daughter before she had success. Thanks to AAS, she now has an easier time spelling!

Belle,
This made me smile One of my sons is always pointing out words, saying “That’s a rule breaker, Mom!” Sometimes he’s right, but often I have to let me know it’s not an English word or it’s a name and people spell names in all kinds of crazy ways.

Ruth

says:

Great website. Re-learning. Great nuggets.

Nancy

says:

Silent e has a big job. I am glad I found this list to share with my son. Thank you!!

I love that AAR teaches all the jobs of E. As a teacher in public schools I had not been taught these rules. I had been taught the fun little songs like, “When two vowels go a walking the first one does the talking.” This program, with teaching all the rules has changed the way I teach, and really helped my children, whom I now home school.
Thanks for all you’re hard work.

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

Hi Melissa! Since you are using AAR, you are probably already aware that the “two vowels go walking” rule doesn’t work the majority of the time. But just in case you haven’t gotten that far, you may be interested in this blog post that debunks that myth: http://blog.allaboutlearningpress.com/when-two-vowels-go-walking/ .

Paige Robbins

says:

I love the way this is set up.

Susie Bacon

says:

I just love all of these tips! I never learned all of the jobs silent E has. Thanks, Susie

Carmen Catterson

says:

This is a fantastic way to explain the silent e. Thanks!

Jennifer

says:

No, I wasn’t taught all the jobs of silent e. This blog post helps me understand how frustrating it can be for a struggling reader to try to sound out words with silent e.

Christy Hammersley

says:

I didn’t know the information you gave about the e at the end of a word. I will never tell my daughter that “rule” again.

Christy,
Instead of “rule”, if you teach that Silent E has many “jobs” then it makes much more sense. I remember when I learned the third job of Silent E (learned along with my child) and I suddenly understood why have and give have Silent Es. It really does make so much more sense.
Thank you for commenting.

Samantha Brake

says:

Very interested in the giveaway. :)

Susan

says:

I love that chart!! Thanks for the great info!!

Emily R Bosacco

says:

Thanks for the great chart!

Marta Deely

says:

We love AAR and AAS. We love getting the whole truth when it comes to phonics. Knowing the why of certain words help my girls be batter spellers and readers!

Aimee

says:

I have really enjoyed teaching the different jobs of silent E in AAS. They make so much sense. Some of the rules I did not even know myself, but after learning them, I thought, “Aha! That is why it is spelled that way!”

NKunze

says:

Love the jobs of Silent E chart!

Julie

says:

A great, informative post! I am using all about reading with my son.

Ellie

says:

Again, thank you! We’ve used AAR & AAS for 2 years now. I started using it with my oldest child who was a struggling reader and I’ve continued on with my next child. I will use it for my younger ones as well. The program is thorough, fun, easy to teach and perfect for all types of learners! I’m learning a lot too, and I’ve always been a “good” reader!

Ellie,
Thank you for sharing! I’m happy to hear how well your children have been doing with All About Reading and All About Spelling.

I completely know what you mean about learning a lot with your children. I like to say that I am finally well educated now that I’ve taught one child all the way through high school. :D

Amanda

says:

This site is amazing!! Thank you!

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

Aw, thanks, Amanda! :)

Lacy Smith

says:

Awesome!

Janet

says:

I am really looking forward to starting this program with my son in the fall:-)

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

Hi Janet! Let us know if there is anything we can do to help as you get started with the program! You can reach us at support@allaboutlearningpress.com or 715-477-1976.

Jen S

says:

This is helpful since I’ve been focusing on rule 1 only “with exceptions”. This makes it much easier to understand and teach what those exceptions are.

Stacy

says:

We’re going through this now. Luckily, my daughter catches on pretty quick and recognizes when words don’t follow the “rules.” As she pointed out, “there sure are a lot of words that don’t obey!” Yes, yes there are. This will help me explain why!

Julie Patterson

says:

Knowing all of these rules helps me explain to my children why a word is pronounced the way it is. Thank you for providing an answer to the question “Why?”

Karen

says:

Wow! Interesting. We happened to take a longer-than-planned break from AAR2 in June and haven’t gotten back to it yet – and it just so happens that we stopped somewhere between the first job of Silent E and the second! So I guess I mistakenly gave my son the impression that there is only ONE job of Silent E. This is the perfect inspiration I needed to get our lessons going again in a casual summer way again TODAY. Thanks!

Brandi

says:

I was never taught this in school, they were always “exceptions” I thought there were more exceptions then followers! This way of teaching has helped my kids understand words and made them better readers and spellers. It had even taught me some on understanding the English language. I have used your program to teach three of my four kids how to read and I wish I would have had this when I started homeschooling my first child. You make it to easy to teach and for kids to understand and excel at reading. I am now starting the silent E with my fourth child, is there a way to print out this chart? It would be a fun way to help remind him of all the jobs. Thanks!

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

Hi Brandi! With the method we use, there are very very few exceptions, as you have discovered! I’ll ask our graphic designer to put the chart in PDF form. Back to you in the next day or two!

Karen

says:

Maybe I will learn to spell as I teach my son to read!…this is helpful!

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

Hi Karen! You’d be surprised at how many parents have mentioned that they’ve learned to spell right alongside their children! :)

Mallory

says:

I think it’s a good ‘loose’ rule to follow as long as the exceptions are made known.

Momof6

says:

Very true about the silent e rule. That’s what I have always taught my children. Thanks you Mary for providing family’s with the information and teaching tools.

Cindi

says:

Before beginning to use All About Spelling with my son, I had taught him that “silent E makes the vowel say it’s name.” That’s the only rule I had been taught! Spelling was a subject I thought I could teach without a curriculum because it seems so simple. But we both quickly grew frustrated. Now that we’re using AAS, neither of us is frustrated and we’re BOTH learning! :)

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

That’s a wonderful report, Cindi! Thanks for sharing!

Shinderliter

says:

Thank you for this post, I have 3 children that sometimes struggle with the e.

Christine

says:

Great ideas. Although we grew up learning to spell, we were NEVER taught these other rules. Thanks for making us aware of them!

Chantel

says:

Good stuff!

Lee Ann

says:

Thank you for the great information. It will be very helpful when I start teaching my youngest to read this year.

Sandra Reid

says:

I work with children who don’t read or spell intuitively. This chart really helps them figure out why they need an ‘e’ at the end of a word. Thanks for an excellent programme.

Katherine H

says:

Great info!

Kate

says:

Thank you. This will definitely come in handy as my daughter continues to learn to read. :-)

Lori

says:

So helpful! Thank you!

Libby

says:

My mom just retired from teaching 1st and 2nd grade for 30 years. I tell her about all of my potential homeschooling purchases- especially reading! The multiple rules of silent E really impressed her in All About Reading. So did the fact that it was all based on Orton Gillingham. I can’t wait to start it with my youngest in the fall.

Katherine

says:

So interesting!

Kim Carter

says:

Love this! So helpful!

Darci

says:

Marie, Your post comes at a perfect time. We are in level 2…currently working on three letter blends, and know that Silent E is just around the corner. I had a very poor foundation in phonics (I blame this for my poor spelling), however using AAR and AAS with my dyslectic 8 year old is giving me the confidence to keep moving forward, even though its hard (and he still doesn’t like reading). I now know that teaching the single mantra of the “Silent e” rule will only hurt my son’s progress. I’m pretty sure, he’d be the kind of kid who would throw his hands up and say….”but before, you said…..” So I’m glad I’m going into this phase of the program knowing that the Silent E has lots of roles. Thank you so much for these programs. :)

Thanks for this timely post! ~Darci

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

Hi Darci! I’m glad that the timing of this post was perfect for you! I love when that happens. :)

Karen

says:

Number 2 seems…unnecessary to me. The E is still doing the job of number 1 (making the vowel long), so it’s not like it’s only purpose for being there is to dictate the sound of c or g. It just seems like you’re making it more complicated than it needs to be.

Vivian T

says:

Sometimes the silent e makes the c or g say the soft sound without making the vowel long — like in barge and dance.

Karen

says:

Those are helpful examples; thank you!

Courtney Ibarra

says:

We love All About Spelling and can’t wait to try your reading program!

Allyson S.

says:

Thank you so much this this clarification. I didn’t know how to explain the silent e, but now I do.

Jennifer Greenwald

says:

This is very interesting!

MIchele

says:

Love All About Reading. We’ve done levels 1 and 2 and I have seen my son take off in his reading abilities. Can’t wait to do level 3 with him.

Anne Frana

says:

Thanks for all the great tips.

Linda

says:

Just love this… I think teaching would be so much easier with it…

Donna

says:

This is another reason I’d love to get this program for my daughter.

katreena

says:

Would love to try out this program

Melanie L.

says:

So helpful!

Carrie

says:

This is very helpful! Thanks for sharing :)

Sandi

says:

English language has to be one of the most difficult to learn with so many exceptions to the rules.m

Merry at AALP

says:

Hi Sandi,

It definitely is challenging to learn! However, 97% of words actually do follow predictable patterns, and when kids understand how those patterns work, it does help to simplify things.

Melissa

says:

We have levels 1 and 2. We love this program and can’t wait to try level 3!

Deanna Hooper

says:

Looking into buying this for my daughter who is 13 (8th grade) but reads on a 3rd grade level. She was born with microcephaly and is legally blind in her left eye. Since we started HS last year she has moved up 2 grades. Hoping to get through 2 grades this year. Trying very hard to get her to her grade level.

Merry at AALP

says:

Wow Deanna, that’s great progress in a year. Congratulations on your hard work and her’s paying off, as I’m sure it will continue to. If you have any questions that we can help with, please let us know.

Jenny

says:

NO, I definitely did not learn the jobs of silent E until I started using All About Reading/Spelling with my boys.

Timura

says:

All about reading will be great for our family. This is our first year homeschooling so to win would be a blessing for us!

Boris

says:

Wow, there are many more functions of e than I fully remembered at the time I was first teaching my kids to read. Now they are headed into second grade and I am going to be sure to review this with them.

When I first started teaching them to read, it was right around the time we had been given an animated movie Prince of Egypt, about Passover, Jewish captivity under Egypt and the life of Moses. The animated movie had a few scenes of how the slaves were treated, being whipped by the Egyptians. It stuck in my mind.

For some reason when I started to teach the kids about how when their is an e on the end of a word, the first thihng that came to my mind was these Egyptians whipping the poor slaves- and so I blurted out, the e on the end whips the short vowel and makes it have its long hard sound.

well I can see now that perhaps that helped the first stage of using e on the end but clearly as stated here there is a better way to explain and my explanation although it worked for a certain class of e ending words- it won’t suffice for the rest of the effects of e on the end of a word!! looking forward to learning more about your site and what you offer for products….

Robin

says: Customer Service

Boris,
I bet your “whips the short vowel” story made it very memorial for your child. :D. Thank you for sharing.

Kae

says:

Excited for your giveaway! I think it would greatly benefit my son!

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