Source: Romalda Spalding, The Writing Road to Reading, 29 Spelling Rules
q is always followed by u and together say /kw/. 'qu' is a consonant.
c before e, i, or y says /s/ (cent, city) but followed by any other letter says /k/ (clock, cat)
g before e, i, or y usually says /j/ (page) but followed by any other letter says g (glove, gate)
Vowels a, e, o, and u usually say their names (long sound) at the end of a syllable (na vy, mu sic)
i and y usually say the name i (long i) at the end of a syllable, but not always. (hi, cy cle but u ni ver si ty)
y not i is used at the end of English words (rain, ray)
There are five kinds of silent e's
'or' may say 'er' after 'w' (work, worry, worst)
use ei after c If the sound is long a, use ei (neighbor). There are some exceptions to this. It is a short list of words.
• sh may be used at the beginning or end of a base word (ship, wish). • sh can be used at the end of a syllable (fin ish). • sh cannot be used at the beginning of a syllable in the middle of a word. (only 1 excepton: wor ship)
Words ending with a silent final e are written without the e when adding a vowel ending
The phonogram sh is used at the beginning or end of a base word at the end of the syllable but never at the beginning of a syllable after the first one except for the ending ship
The phonograms ti, si, ci, are used to say sh
si is used to say sh when the syllable before it ends in an s (ses sion) or when the base word has an s where the base word changes
si may also say zh, as in vi sion
Often double l, f, and s following a single vowel at the end of a one-syllable word (will)
Use ay to say a at the end of a base word
Vowels i and o may say i and o if followed by two consonants (find, old)
s almost never follows x
All, written alone, has two l's, but with another syllable, only one l is written (al so, al most)
till and full have one l (same as 21)
dge may be used ONLY after a single vowel that says â,ê, î, ô, or û (badge, edge)
adding a suffix to a word that ends with a consonant and y, use i instead of y unless the ending is ing
ck may be used only after a single vowel that says â,ê, î, ô, or û (duck, back)
26! 26! capitalize 26!
Words beginning with the sound z are always spelled with z, never s (zoo)
ed has 3 sounds and is used to form the past tens verbs
Words are usually divided between double consonants within a base word.