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Handy English Encoder Decoder
Reviews Index

Handy English Encoder Decoder

Printer Friendly Version

Publisher: Trivium Pursuit
Author: Harvey Bluedorn

List Price: $9.00

Ages: All Ages

Reviewed By: Jean Hall

The subtitle of this slim volume is All the Spelling and Phonics Rules You Could Ever Want to Know. I second that! I wouldn't exactly call this a "good read", unless you need to lull yourself to sleep some insomnia-laced night, but it is not meant to be entertaining. It is an excellent reference. The author maintains that "nearly anyone who applies diligence to learning the general spelling rules and who consults his dictionary regularly can be a good speller." He adds that "phonics rules help spelling and spelling rules help phonics." (Did you know there's a spelling rule that says no word can end with the letter "j"? I was only halfway through the introduction and already I had learned something!)

Helpful chapters include "Commonly Confused Spellings and Word Pairs;" prefix and suffix rules; hyphenation (my own personal nightmare); and dictionary rules of syllable division, which, as the book explains, are not always the same as the natural division of syllables in common speech, or how we say the word. No wonder I struggle in this area! My dictionary is my closest confidante when it comes to dividing words, but if I memorize this single page of rules I might be able to fly solo. Having a short list of rules at my fingertips is a start to conquering the difficulty.

A large portion of the book is given over to the phonics rules. I admit I found the symbols, meant to allow easy generalization, annoying. Algebra was never a strong point of mine, as it substituted letters for actual numbers, and this book works the same way, using symbols where you can substitute any number of letters in their place. Thankfully the explanation of the phonics symbols and rules is bolstered by a hefty number of examples for each rule.

In the appendices you'll find two spelling games and a phonics game, both designed to help you begin to make use of this book, and finally a list of homophones. Tell me, how many times have you confused stationary and stationery?

This book will make a fine addition to the reference section of any homeschooler's or writer's library.
More Information
Available From: Trivium Pursuit
Address: PMB 168
429 Lake Park Blvd.
Muscatine, IA 52761
Phone: 309.537.3641
Other Notes:

Add Your Own Review

Jean Hall
Jean Hall, a Christian home educator with three daughters, enjoys writing stories and music. Her family's interests include reading together, art, gardening, volkswalking and pets: two cats and a Giant Schnauzer.
Copyright © 2004 Eclectic Homeschool Association


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