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How To Help your Child with Phonics at Home

It’s September, which for many people means only one thing – back to school! When it comes to education, it’s important that a child continues to learn at home, not just inside the classroom. So we’ve put together a few easy tips to help you guide your child in learning phonics, at home.

First, what is Phonics and why is it important?

Phonics is an essential element in learning to read. It should start at an early age and continue through primary education. Phonics involves recognising each of the sounds that individual letters (or a group of letters in later stages) make. These sounds are called phonemes, and they go together to create words.

It’s important to note that while phonics is a widely regarded learning methods, it should always run alongside other methods of teaching such as word recognition to be fully effective. 


How do you begin teaching Phonics?

Phonics are learned in Phases, starting with Phase 1: developing listening skills. Taking the time to talk and read, share rhymes and listen to different sounds with your child will all aid with this learning process.

Phases 2 onwards are about recognising each letter by its sound. You can practice this at home with simple games like I Spy, or even just finding objects that begin with certain sounds.

What can you do to develop this?

Start to encourage your child to look around for letters and sounds that they are learning in school. These can be anywhere, but it’s important to not force the issue and make practicing these sounds fun and engaging.

By the end of Phase 2, most children should be able to recognise many of the individual letter sounds, and be able to join them together to make simple cvc (consonant vowel consonant) and vc (vowel consonant words); suchs as dog and in.

If you’re unsure about which sounds your child should be able to recognise, talk to their teacher. They should be more than happy to let you know which order the phonemes are being taught.

What can you do to help during the later phases? 

Phase 3 is all about building on their confidence and learning the rest of the individual letter sounds, and some sounds with two or three letters. Phases 4-6 involve learning more difficult consonant and vowel blends, and reading words with more than one syllable. Although these phases are more advanced than the earlier ones, you can still help your child practice them with the same game methods you’ve used before. All you need to do is make sure you change the sounds to the new ones they’re learning. 


What else should you remember?

Just make sure you have fun while practicing! Give your child lots of different opportunities to read, talk and write. Creating matching pairs of cards to play games like snap is always a good way to help them learn. You could even get them to test you, just be creative. 

And don’t forget, praise and encouragement are essential ingredients when it comes to helping your child with phonics!


If you want to help your child further with phonics, why not join one of our Phonics Stars groups? Happy New School Year from everyone at Phonic Stars!