G needs extra help with his spelling. Upon closer examination, I discovered that he has a really tough time with even the basics. The short vowel sounds are what we began working on first. The short 'e' and short 'i' sounds proved especially tricky! I am excited to report that I think we've found something that might work.
First of all, we are using Phonics Pathways as a curriculum. In addition, I have created a Short Vowel Sounds Chart. The chart lists the short vowel sounds beginning with short 'i' and ending with short 'u'. Each time we sit down to write, do our Phonics Pathways, or practice spelling, he can look up to the chart we've hung on the wall and try each of the sounds within the word he is trying to spell.
In addition to the visual, I encourage him to write the sounds down just as they appear on the chart whenever he is writing.
We have also discovered that if you put your hand on your chin and say each sound from top to bottom, you can differentiate between each sound based upon the location of your chin. For example, with the short 'i' sound, your mouth is much more closed than with the short 'u' sound. Also, looking in a mirror reinforces the differences between the sounds.
We are seeing some improvements! Here's the Short Vowel Chart for those of you who might want to try it out at home to see if it works for you!