Memorize them. You'll be so glad you did!
Easy Phonics rules are a big help when you are teaching phonics. After learning the sounds, the rules are a short cut to both teacher and student success:
These easy phonics rules help the whole study of phonics and spelling come together. The very same rules are often called Spelling Rules. They teach how words are built and the correct phonograms to write the right word.
Learning the basic sounds is so important. The rules are next. Combine the two for easier reading comprehension.
Practice the easy Phonics rules so that it is easier for you to help your students practice reading, writing, and spelling. You'll have the rules handy to give clues when necessary. You'll love the results in just a few months' work.
The most concise source of information for this that I have found is Romalda Spalding's way of teaching reading skills in The Writing Road To Reading. Her book shows 29 simple rules for phonics including the "i before e except after c" rule, because the rules are what's next after learning the sounds of the phonograms in making reading and writing easier.
Mrs. Spalding's work and Dr. Mary North's expansions have covered the info necessary for most students to be able to learn to read and write with a very concise program. This book also has a scope and sequence that many schools require and it goes from Kindergarten through Sixth Grade (and beyond if necessary). I really, really recommend that you get their book or something based on the same Orton principles. (See my descriptions here: WRTR, Beers)
If you're unfamiliar with the sounds that the phonograms make, review our Phonics video below to become familiar with the 72 phonogram sounds and to hear the individual sounds of the letters.
Your students can use the videos for independent student review, too, although I'd be sure to help them in person first.
After your students know the sounds, they can begin to apply the rules of phonics for the correct spelling of words. It is said that if you know the first notebook page of the Spalding phonics notebook you can get an 85% average in spelling. Most of the Orton programs use this very same notebook page.
I have seen even seventh grade children get to this average of 85% within two months after years of "wham-wham-hope-you-know-it" memorization of spelling words.
If you're familiar with the sometimes giant effort necessary to help children learn sight words, you'll love what that same effort can do by teaching the phonics sounds and rules.
At the beginning, the more often you review the sounds in words, the easier the children will learn them over time. See the basic phonics lessons for easy review here.
Buy the whole collection of our A-Z-Worksheets phonics and reading worksheets. This way you have easy access to helping your students excel in necessary reading skills and you will not need to be online. Homeschool worksheets and phonics practice at it's best. Great for ESL printable worksheets!