Welcome to Words Matter, Dynamic Literacy's newsletter. 
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Welcome to issue #23 of  Words Matter, our bi-weekly newsletter .  Please feel free to share with a friend! 
Here's the good stuff.
Although it's sometimes tough, we usually manage to get through a problem.

You might have noticed even before that sentence that English has some very odd spellings.  It does, and, fortunately, a spell-checker or an auto-correct can be a helpful tool when we're writing an important letter or business document.

But we have all had the experience of a spell-checker not catching a mistaken their for there, for example,  or an auto-correct switching something to a completely unintended word. "You have strong wifi" might embarrassingly turn out as "You have strong wife"!  In many instances, we can take our own personal control of spelling problems in English, and WordBuild helps show you how.  When we realize that words are not merely letters with sounds (phonemes) but they are made up of pieces of meaning (morphemes), we discover that many spelling puzzles of the English language are not a problem.

Let's consider one of the most puzzling problems in spelling--that unclear vowel, sounding something like "uh", called a schwa--the sound that starts a word such as alike.  It's the most common vowel sound in English, and it can appear spelled as an a in some words, an e in others, or an i or an o, and yes, even as a u or a y!   That sound causes many people to puzzle over the spelling of words such as infinite or separate or synthesis, or the words memory or illustrate.

WordBuild teaches us to see families of meaning, so that we come to know a word, say infinite, as belonging to the same word family as finite, where we clearly hear the correct vowel spelling.  If we're wondering what the second vowel should be in the word relative, we can look to a related word--related!--where again we clearly hear the correct vowel sound.

So the next time you wonder how to spell the middle syllable of the word "com-puhn-y", just search your mind for a companion word related in meaning to company, and you'll be likely to get the word right without a spell-checker.  If you find yourself separated from an auto-correct app, remember that there is no disparity in the root family PAR.

Morpheme of the week:   The root PAR

Enjoy this brief video that comes directly from WordBuild Elements Level 2. 
The root PAR
The root PAR

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Jerry Bailey
President & CEO
Parents & Home Educators 
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