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help with early phonics

6 Fantastic Phonics Hacks for Parents

Some great ways to make phonics as easy as a-b-c or should we say ah-bu-kuh

What the ‘ph?’ is phonics some new parents may be thinking. Phonics is used throughout the school system today to help children learn to read. Phonics is basically the sounds that make up a word. For example: ‘Shop’ has three sounds Sh-o-p.  The idea is that you teach children to hear and make sounds first.

1 Sing with them

Nursery Rhymes like ‘Old Macdonald’ and ‘The Wheels on the Bus’ are great for this.

Start by encouraging children to hear sounds in words.  Eg. Can you hear the mmmmmmm in Mum?  Can you hear the oooooo in moooooo?  Generally children will hear the initial sounds in words first, then the final sound and finally the middle sounds.

It is also a great idea to teach your children the phonic sounds of letters to get them ready rather than the ABC songs we are all more used to.

2 Break it down with Phonics -Segmenting and Blending

You will probably hear the terms ‘segmenting’ and ‘blending’.  Segmenting is taking the words apart and blending is putting sounds together to make a word. So when you read a word ask them to make the sounds with you. It also helps if they can watch and read your lips as you make each sound.

Keep letters on display in their room and sound them out together until they learn each sound.

3 Play little games like

“Can you point to the b – e – d?”

“Can you get mummy the c-u-p?”

You could try breaking up words together or simply play I spy. “I spy something beginning with the sound rrrrr.”

Try to make it as fun as possible.

You might start looking at letters but try to introduce them by the sounds they make and not their names first.  Be careful to not add an ‘a’ to a sound, for example ‘d’ not ‘da’.

4 Get a Head Start

Many schools in East London follow Ruth Miskin’s Read Write Inc   but there are a number of different phonics schemes that your kid’s school so it’s worth checking first.  Some teach all of the ways to make a sound, for example, ‘ai’, ‘ay’ and ‘a_e’ all make the long ‘a’ sound (maid, may, made). Other schools encourage children to learn one way first and then teach them the alternatives later.

5 Try some Apps

Some great apps for learning early phonics are Teach Your Monster to Read and Reading Eggs. Your kids will love playing the games so much they will completely forget they are learning anything at all.

6 Read to them

Making reading part of your activities together is the surest way to help them develop the desire to read. A bedtime story not only gives your child a fond memory of reading and the comfort of being close with you, it can also be a great chance for children to identify sounds in words. Place your finger under the text as you read.

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