Phonics is used a lot in the academic field and if you have a little one at home that is ready to start learning how to read, more than likely you have heard of phonics. The definition of phonics is, understanding that letters and sounds go hand-in-hand. It may seem simple to those that know how to read but it is quite a compound realization to one just learning how to read. Since children learn to talk first, it is a new world to them when they realize what they speak is also written out to be read. They learn that the alphabet is more complex than just a song they have memorized that everyone claps for when sung properly. Young readers will learn, for example, that the letter F has the sound of ‘f’ as in the word funny. When this realization takes place, they can sound out other words like fine or fire. Phonics is the key to young readers being able to quickly read a series of words without struggling to do so while being able to comprehend what is being read. Phonics is automatically incorporated into the curriculum of reading in school. Teachers help children learn to read by practicing the sounds of letters and incorporating them with words and pictures. Flash cards are commonly used in addition to short easy-to-read books that are specific to what letters and sounds the students are currently learning about. Students learn at the proper pace the how to make letters into sounds and words. Teachers often use encouraging rewards to make the process more exciting for children and to not make them feel discouraged. Reading and writing is one of the most essential tools a person can use in life so this area should not be overlooked. Phonics is vital to learning how to read.

Practice at Home

It is encouraged that parents practice phonics at home with their young readers. Make it fun so the children don’t feel this is a punishment or become bored. Here are some ways to do reading activities at home:

Read to Your Children – Story time is one of the fastest ways to get your children to enjoy reading. Parents can start reading to their children during the day or at bedtime before they even comprehend what is being read. As long as there are fun pictures to look at, it is engaging them and getting them acclimated with reading.

Ask the Teacher – Teachers love helping parents come up with ways to make children excited about phonics and reading. Ask for fun activities to do at home and he or she will be happy to help you!

Increase Comprehension – Engage your child when reading by asking questions like, “What is going to happen next?” or “Isn’t that funny how he said or did this or that?”

Have Your Child Read to You – Reading aloud will help your child become more confident in his or her reading abilities. If your child stumbles on word, let them try to sound it out. You can always tell them the word if they can’t figure it out as to not make them feel discouraged. Use positive reinforcement only!

At Jolly Fun House, we look for fun and creative ways to motivate children to want to learn to read.  A monthly newsletter is sent home giving parents many suggestions to support their child's learning while doing everyday tasks like grocery shopping. Children are imaginative so it helps when parents can think outside the box and engage their children while helping them learn!