Getting your children ready for phonics

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Getting your children ready for phonics

When most children first start to read, they learn using the phonics system. You can help your kids before they start school and support their learning at home by following a few simple techniques.

What is phonics?

In schools, children learn by looking at the individual letter sounds in a word and then blending them to sound it out. As they advance through the system, they begin to put different letters together in order to create other sounds.

How to help your child

Understanding how the phonics system works will enable you to support your children more effectively, whether they’ve just started school or you want them to get a head start before they begin. There are a number of online resources that you can access as well as a selection of educational games that reinforce core skills.

First, children need to know the main letters of the alphabet and their sounds. Once they feel confident with this group, they can go on to blending letters to make up short words. At this point, you can bring in the rest of the alphabet and use these letters in new words.

The next stage of the phonics system uses letters that group together to make other sounds, such as “ch” and “th”. When your child is ready, he or she can move onto letter blends. These are letters that work together, but the sounds blend instead of creating a new sound.

By the time you reach this point, your child should be more confident with a range of letter sounds. Having a grasp of the basics will allow your child to read simple books with your support.

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