how to teach phonics

How to Teach Phonics to a Child

When you are trying to teach your child to read, your first and most important step is to know how to teach phonics. Whether you are wondering how to teach a 2 year old to read, or trying to help out your seven year old who is struggling, phonics is key. To be able to read words, children must understand that sounds are related to letters. You must make sure that your child is able to recognize letters and know how they sound. Phonics is all about sounds and how they are represented in written language.  In this post, we will show you how to teach phonics.

Why is phonics important?  

Phonics is all about decoding letters into sounds. To be able to read unfamiliar words without the help of elders, children must have this skill. To early readers, however, most words are unfamiliar. Even if your child can speak, he will find most printed words unfamiliar. And when you figure out how to teach phonics and teach your child this essential skill, he will be able to find the link between spoken words and their printed forms.

Fortunately, children entering schools do not find it very difficult to understand phonic, because they have already developed listening skills. When they learn alphabet, they also learn sounds that correspond to the letters. As a result, they can easily read and sound out short and simple words. Then children learn that there are variations and some letters make different sounds.

After that, children learn many alternative combinations and move on to complex words. Your kid may be able to read almost all familiar words by the time he finishes his first year in school. And he can further develop his skills in his second year. The understanding of phonics helps kids spell less familiar words.

An important part of your child’s learning mechanism is the process of letter-sound decoding. If you know how to teach phonics and apply the knowledge to your child, soon he will be able to learn how to read by sight. At first, he will sound a word slowly, but within a short time, he will be able to recognize it rapidly. Children can read on their own when once they learn the concept of phonics.

How to teach phonics using a set of alphabet cards

Make or purchase a set of alphabet cards and use the cards to teach your child. Show your child all the cards—both the uppercase and lowercase letters, and ask him to recognize the letters. Teach your child the sounds that correspond with the letters. Make sure you use visually appealing cards so that your child likes them.

Pick up a card randomly, show it to your child and tell him to name the card. Some letters have multiple sounds. For example, in the words “cat” and “circle”, C makes two different sounds. In such cases, provide extra guidance.

After your child has practiced enough with the cards, use another set of flashcards that show letter combinations such as ch, sh, wh etc. Focus on teaching how to identify letter patterns. You will know how to teach phonics while teaching some other skills once you purchase or make a set of alphabet cards.

Alphabet cards can be used in several ways. You can ask your child to count the syllables in a word. This practice can also improve your child’s fine motor skills.

Another way to use flash cards is by sorting the pictures by the beginning sounds of the given words. Playing memory match is also effective and fun. There is another game known as alphabet scavenger hunt and it is really interesting.  

How to teach phonics with picture cards

Another way to teach phonics is to use cards showing pictures of different objects and animals. Ask your child to sort the picture cards corresponding to the beginning sounds. Make sure the cards include pictures that your child finds easy to recognize. As you sit together, you can talk about the pictures.

The cards can include the pictures of anything: flower, tree, triangle, bear, spinner etc. Parents who have experience with picture cards know how to teach phonics while teachings their kids the names of many objects and animals.

When you show your child a card, focus on the beginning letter and pronounce the letter. Ask your child if he can name some more words beginning with the letters. Show him the pictures and read the letters as many times as you can. You can do another thing. Once your child can tell the letters, cut off the part of the cards containing the letters and ask your child to name the first letters for the pictures.  

Once your child can master this, you can increase the difficulty. Ask him to sort picture cards by ending sounds, rather than by starting sounds.

How to teach phonics to your child by reading books aloud

Books highlighting the phonics patterns can greatly help you reinforce the skills. You will find books on the market that can help your child develop phonics. Make sure that the book you select is engaging. Read to your child on a regular basis. It will help your child in many ways. Let him choose a book. Be enthusiastic while you read. To make the experience fun for your child, try to imitate other’s voices. Make sure you read slowly and clearly. Also, don’t forget to point to a word when you read it.

Kids often love reading the same book again and again. So, consider re-reading the book your child likes. Even if you get bored, try to hide that boredom and show enthusiasm. And if you find that your kid no longer likes the book, move on to another book.

When you read, ask your child questions. That way you can make sure that he is engaged in the process. This engagement will help him develop enthusiasm and concentration.

Get your child read on his own

If you are wondering how to teach phonics by getting your child read on his won, look no further than the child next door who has developed an interest in printed words and now speak sentences that amazes elders. Children who can read aloud have a well-developed vocabulary. They have a way with words.

But how can you do it when your child is not familiar with letters yet? Here is how to teach phonics by giving your child an attractive book. A great way to make your child confident is to put books in his hands. When a child feels that he is in control of a book, he will eventually try to read the book by himself. There are some interactive books that require the reader to do things while reading the book. Books with features such as “Read by Myself” and “Read to Me” are available on the market. Your child can become an independent reader by gradually building confidence.

How to teach phonics by introducing rhyming exercises

Rhyming exercises can enable your child to notice different sounds. Phonic rhymes are a great way to teach kids alphabet and syllables. They can also help kids understand short texts and sight words. Kids are familiar with rhymes and so rhymes can facilitate their learning. If you are wondering how to teach phonics by using rhymes, you can find a lot of resources out there to do that.

Once you have managed to make your kid immersed in rhyming activities, he will be able to demonstrate rhyme. Starting with body parts is a good idea. Tell the name of a part of the body and ask your child to find words that rhyme with the given word. For example, hand: band, sand, land. And leg: Meg, beg, peg.

Play with rhyming words. Every now and then, ask your kid to find words that rhyme with another word. Another way to use the strategy is to sing songs with simple rhyme. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and Incy Wincy Spider are such songs. Rhyming can help you teach really effectively. Your child will have fun with rhyme if you just sing rhyming songs together. This idea can be taken one step further by if you help your kid break apart the sounds in words. For the sake of rhyme, you can even include nonsense words such as “quiggle” or “splort”. Silly words make it more fun while reinforcing the main idea.

If you use rhyming pictures worksheet, your kid will find it easier to identify and recognize rhyme with pictures. These worksheets can make the job really fun.

How to teach phonics by singing with your child

Singing can greatly help your child develop his dialect capacity. Singing helps children apply their phonics skills until the process is automatic. It also helps them maintain enthusiasm throughout the practice. In this case, each phonics skill is set to music. Children enjoy singing. This activity is naturally fun. While learning in this way, your kid will hardly realize that he is learning a very important skill—decoding. There are phonics songs you can use. Or you can make up your own song. Listening to and singing the songs over and over again, your child will become familiar with the melodies, concepts and words. Children can also divide up songs into excerpts, and they like the process. Learning becomes more enjoyable when you add rhythm instruments and body motions.

How to teach phonics by blending sounds

This process is known as sound blends or consonant blends. It happens when multiple letters appear together and you can catch each sound that a consonant would usually make. For example, when you pronounce the word “flat”, you can distinctly hear f and l. So, in this word there is one phonic blend and that is fl. In the word “blend”, there are two consonant blends and they are bl and nd. When two letters make two sounds, they are called blends. And when two or more letters make one sound, they are called consonant digraphs.

But how to teach phonics by using phonic blends? You can use a number of strategies to do that. When you are teaching phonic blends, it is important to choose words starting with a sound. To be able to emphasize it to your kid, you may need to hold the first sound such as the s in sun. It is also a good idea to have a list of word ready. You have to say the sound and have your kid what the word is. To help your child develop the art of blending, try several methods and figure out what works for you.

How to teach phonics while developing your child’s memory

You can figure out how to teach phonics to your child when you have a clear understanding of the concept. Ask your child questions to make sure that he has grasped the concept. It becomes easier with practice. Keep in mind that your kid is acquiring a very important skill.

Also, make sure that memory techniques are involved in the teaching process. Use diagrams and pictures to help him recognize the relationship between sounds and letters. This technique will help your kid remember sounds, pictures, words and colors. Use innovative ideas of how to teach phonics to your child. Memory techniques really make the process easier.

How to teach phonics by playing and interacting with your child

The lessons in phonics involve learning how to make basic words. It is not difficult to build simple words in English. An easy start can be connecting one vowel and one consonant. Make sure that the sounds are short. Learning how sounds fit together to make words is a prerequisite for becoming a good reader and speller. Kids with dyslexia find it really difficult. It is important to help your child practice this often.

When you go to a store with your child, you can make a game looking for items that start with the same sound. When your kid is struggling with the basics of early reading, it is important to reduce his frustration.

Playing greatly helps a child’s language development. Together you can play square towers, building Lego, preparing tracks and other interesting games. And while you play with your kid, talk to him all the time.

How to teach phonics with precision and effectiveness

You need a clear concept of the basic facts to know how to teach phonics effectively. Make sure that you teach your child phonics when he is still a kid. And you must have an appropriate way to help your child remember what he has learned. You will find it easy to plan the lessons if you have uncluttered teaching notes. Find books that focus on how to teach phonics. And make sure that the books are not filled with methodology. Be precise in your approach. It is not a good idea to load your child’s brain with too much unnecessary information. Keep in mind that the whole point of teaching phonics is to teach your kid the relationships between sounds and letters.

Stick to the facts. It is true that there are various approaches on how to teach phonics, but changing your method continually will take you nowhere; your child will get confused and end up learning nothing. You need clear objectives and careful preparation to teach phonics effectively.

Keep the process easy and fun

What is the main aim of teaching your child phonics? Obviously, you do it to make sure that your child can start reading as quickly and easily as possible. You may not get expected results if you try too hard thinking about how to teach phonics. So do not turn the teaching and learning process into chore. Try to make it easy and fun.

Keep the sessions short and precise. When you notice that your child is getting bored, stop teaching. Many children get bored within just ten minutes. Play phonic games with your child to make the sessions enjoyable. Choose a time convenient for you and your child. Keep reading to your child even if you notice that he is becoming an independent reader. Interesting non-fiction and story books are great.

To make it fun, be silly together and enjoy word play and language. And if your child is still struggling with sound deletion games and rhyming, you should talk to your child’s teacher and try to find a solution.


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