Spelling Lists for Homeschooling

I like to make my own spelling lists for homeschooling based on phonics, sight words, and words my child misspell. Below you will see how easy it is to make your own lists.

Before You Begin

Before you make your spelling list for homeschooling make sure that your child knows the difference between consonants and vowels. Also make sure that your child knows the different sounds that the vowels and consonants make. Remind them that if a c is followed by a “e” or “i” that it makes a s sound and a g before a “e” or “i “makes a j sound. Also the consonant q is always followed by a u.

There are different ways to introduce the vowel sounds. I have always started my spelling lists with the short vowel sounds. With the Spalding Method both the long and short sounds are discussed. The long vowel sounds are introduced with the corresponding rule. Also some vowel sounds are phonograms.

Spelling lists for homeschooling should correspond to the different phonograms. We could also say that words should be taught in word families.

Build your spelling lists on


Next we should teach words that correspond to the spelling rules. The Spalding Method has 29 rules. I especially like how she explains the silent e. There are five uses for the silent e

1 if a silent e ends a word it makes the vowel long.

2 words in English do not end in v

3 words in English do not end in u

4 words that end in ble, cle, dle, fle, gle, kle, ple, sle, tle, and zle all end with a silent e

5 no job

Short Vowel Sounds

Start with three letter words with a short vowel sound taught in word families.

Such as;

  • Cat
  • Hat
  • Bat
  • Fat
  • Vat
  • Pin
  • Fin
  • Tin
  • Win
  • In
  • Pen
  • Ten
  • Men
  • Hen
  • Den

My next list contains more words that have the short vowel sound.

Silent E

I would then make a spelling list with silent e at the end of a word. Most children can see the consonant, vowel, consonant, vowel pattern.

Some words on my list might be;

  • Take
  • Made
  • Cake
  • Date
  • Like


What is taught next depends on how much your child struggles with spelling. I have tried readymade spelling lists. My children usually did not do well because phonograms and rules were not systematically taught. What we are trying to do now is to use phonics for spelling. We make lists of words in a notebook under different phonograms and spelling rules. I think that it is helping with their spelling.

Some word list build off phonograms are;


  • See
  • Feed
  • Need
  • Seed
  • Meet


  • Arm
  • Farm
  • Far
  • Car
  • Jar


  • Her
  • Dinner
  • Verse
  • Serve
  • River


  • First
  • Third
  • Girl
  • Stir
  • Bird


  • Turn
  • Hurt
  • Church
  • Burn
  • Nurse


  • Word
  • Worry
  • Worship
  • Work
  • Worm


  • Early
  • Learn
  • Earth
  • Search
  • Earn


  • Book
  • Look
  • Cook
  • Foot
  • Hook


  • Tool
  • Cool
  • School
  • Tooth
  • Boot


  • Grow
  • Snow
  • Know
  • Low
  • Sow


  • Cow
  • How
  • Now
  • Town
  • Frown


  • Thin
  • This
  • Then
  • Them
  • The

I also teach my children about syllables. If a vowel ends a syllable the vowel sound is long.

Sight Words

There are some common words in the English language. Some of the words follow the rules of phonics other words don’t. I usually add two or three sight words to the words that we are learning. A lot of the words are easy to spell because of the words appear frequency in reading.  In the back of Writing Road to Reading there are two lists of Extended Ayres words. In the first list the words are order of how frequent they are used. The second list is in alphabetical order. Many of the Ayres words follow the spelling rules.

Dolch Sight Words is another list of common words. The words are usually listed in grade level.

 Examples of words that a beginning speller should know are;

  • A
  • The
  • Are
  • All
  • Came
  • But
  • Be
  • Have
  • How
  • Could
  • From
  • Some
  • Old
  • Put
  • Of

Missed Words in Child’s Writing

I also have my children keep a list of words that they either ask me to spell for them or they misspell in their writing. I try to see if there are patterns. Does my child need to learn a phonogram? Or did they forget a spelling rule? Or is the word an exception to phonics and spelling rules?

 Spelling Lists for Homeschooling Different Subjects

As our children get older they will have words from different subjects that they will need to learn to spell.  Science, history, and math all have words that your child needs to spell.

Examples of math words are;

Numbers – one, two, twenty, hundred

Shapes – circle, rectangle, triangle

Terms – line, perpendicular, angle, numerator,

Example of history words are;

Revolutionary War



When I make up homeschool spelling lists I try to find words that my child can read and are also in his vocabulary.  If you want to know some of the programs that I have used please read my page on spelling curriculum.

Leave Spelling Lists for Homeschol Language Arts

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