Hi there. First time user on these forums so I hope I have posted in the correct forum Emotion: smile
My 6 year old son is learning to read and is progressing steadily. However, he struggles to remember the spelling for words which use the diphthongs OW and OU. So for example, he'll think owl is spelt oul and bounce is spelt bownce.

I need to find a rule or a way of being able to help him remember how to differentiate between the two spellings. I came across one rule that stated:
"Ou or Ow: Use ou in the middle of a word and use ow at the end of words other than those that end in n or d."

But this does not allow for exceptions such as owl, growl, towel, loud, fowl, foul etc.
Any help would be really appreciated!
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Comments  (Page 3) 
I am inspired to comment in this forum because we are in the same predicament at our house. Our son is in the second grade and learning ou and ow words. Which, really is all about memorization for the most part. I, as well as most of you parents out there who are about to pull out your hair, have decided to "ask Google" because we were at wit's end. So this is what is helping us. Our son is a visual learner. We had him split up his list of spelling words ou words together and ow words, to help simplify the memorizing. We also create word "tricks". We create phrases that incorporate the like words(inspired by How now brown cow) 😉 For example: "The howling clown wore a brown crown!" And then had him illustrate said phrase to help him commit to memory. Hope this may help some of you frustrated parents out there. Good luck!

"The ABC's and All Their Tricks" By Margaret M. Bishop. The Complete Reference Book of Phonics and Spelling.

Has been my bible! I would highly recommend.

Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?

There is a spelling rule that may help. OW appears in the middle of a root word if followed immediately by an n, l, el or er ending sound. The el and er might be advanced for a six year old.

Example: crown, grown

Exception: crowd

You may ask what about words like “sound” where there is an n after ou. The word must end in n or l and they need to come immediately after the ow.

If your spelling isn't perfect, it stinks. Like omelets, there is no pretty good spelling. Some of us are lucky enough to be wired for it, but the rest have to memorize each word. Rules will trip you up when they are needed most, and phonetics only gets you so far—it's necessary for beginning readers, but English spelling is not phonetic. That is one of our language's strengths. No diacritics, few homographs, nothing to lock a word down. Our words stand clear like the noble individuals they are, and they often wear their etymology proudly.