Vowels, Vowel Combinations, and Digraphs Made Easy!

Enrichment Therapies

December 19, 2016

By Megan Hughes, M.A., CCC-SLP Speech-Language Pathologist

Does your child have difficulty sounding out words while reading? Use our simple flashcards to help teach them their vowels, vowel combinations, and digraphs!

Here is how you can get started:

  • Print our Vowel Combo Index Cards and Vowel Cheat Sheet for Parents! Yes parents, you might need a brief refresher on what each vowel says– it will make them easier to teach to your child.
  • Start with short vowels: a, i, o, u, e.
    • Use the helper word in the bottom right corner as a hint if they need it!
    • Once they are able to recognize the short vowel without a hint at least 80% of the time add more vowel flash cards.
  • Second, add in vowel combinations: oa, ee, ea, ai, ay, ie, ue.
    • These vowel combinations follow the rule “two vowels go walking, the first one does the talking”, meaning you say the name of the first letter if there are two vowels together.
    • Again, use the helper word as needed and add vowel flash when they are at least 80% accurate with flashcard set!
  • Add in vowel combinations: oo, ou, ow, oy, oi, au, aw.
    • Unfortunately, these vowels do NOT play by the “two vowels go walking, the first one does the talking” rule. These tricky sounds simply have to be memorized.
    • Use the helper word as needed and add vowel flash cards when ready!
  • Add in digraphs: sh, ch, ck, th, wh, tch, dge.
    • Help your child understand that although there are two letters they only make one sound!
    • Again, use the helper word as needed and add vowel flash cards when ready!
  • Add in R controlled vowels: ar, or, er, ir, ur.
    • er, ir, and ur all make the same sound!
    • Congratulations! You have added all of the vowel flashcards. Have fun practicing! Keep challenging your child to learn more flashcards. Try to work on increasing the speed at which they can make it through their flashcards once they feel confident with the vowels.

Look for my blog the first week in January (Yes, January!! Where did the year go?) for “5 Fun Ways to Work on Vowels, Vowel Combinations, and Digraphs!” Keep your flashcards handy–you’ll need them!

Enrichment Therapy & Learning Center has locations in the Iowa City, IA area and Des Moines, IA area. We provide individual speech-language therapy and tutoring as well as offering small group academic programs.  At Enrichment Therapy & Learning Center our passion is to help kids achieve effective communication skills and gain academic success.  Contact us for more information on how we can help your child succeed.


740 Community Drive, Unit A

North Liberty, IA 52317



5530 West Pkwy, Suite 300

Johnston, IA 50131



Related Posts

My Child Has Dyslexia. Now What?

My Child Has Dyslexia. Now What?

By: Haley Hall, Learning Specialist Receiving a dyslexia diagnosis can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be! This diagnosis, while...