Easy Steps to Phonics FoundationsTweet
There is a wide variety of phonics teaching schemes, such as Jolly Phonics, Musical Phonics, and Letters and Sounds, and parents can struggle to know which is best. The good thing to know is that all these different programs come down to a similar set of steps. The guide below shows the key principles and tips to learning phonics foundations. As long as your child is following these steps, they’ll progress along the path to reading.
Step One: Letter Sounds
Vowels and consonants are introduced first. The aim is for children to be able to see a letter and say the sound it represents. This is known as decoding. While children learn to say the letter sounds, they should learn to write these letters too.
Tip: Watching videos and listening to songs help support learning letter sounds. Youtube is a popular go-to.
Step Two: Blending
After learning each individual letter sound, children can now learn to blend the sounds. Starting with CVC (consonant, vowel, consonant) words such as mat, cat, hat, children should be encouraged to connect the letter sounds together to make a word.
Tip: Make use of i-Learner’s phonics flashcards to introduce games (e.g. which sound is missing?), or magnetic letters to arrange different combinations of letters to form new words.
Step Three: More Blending
Time to learn consonant clusters (two consonants placed together in one word), such as tr, cr, st, pl. Children can be introduced to a range of CCVC words (consonant, consonant, vowel, consonant) such as stop, plan, trap, as well as CVCC words (consonant, vowel, consonant, consonant) like milk, fast, cart.
Tip: Reading is the key. Let children listen to interesting stories while they learn phonics at the same time. After reading aloud to the child, have them repeat or read at least one sentence per page. This allows children to use their phonics skills to decipher new words. Bugbug’s Library from i-Learner Publishing is a great investment for quality reading time.
These steps give children a solid foundation in phonics. Next, they can learn more complex elements of spelling, such as silent letters, prefixes, suffixes, and more graphemes. Soon, they will be able to read paragraphs and whole books independently. Give plenty of praise and support! Your child will be a confident reader in no time.