One of the most common methods around the world for teaching reading and writing is through the use of Phonics. Here on Parent’s Homework Hub, we are producing support for you to understand how this method works and give you ideas to support your child as they learn to read.
What is Phonics?
Good, old Wikipedia describes phonics as
… a method for teaching reading and writing of the English language by developing learners’ phonemic awareness—the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate phonemes—in order to teach the correspondence between these sounds and the spelling patterns (graphemes) that represent them.
Ok, but what does that mean?
Let’s break it down.
As we develop this programme to help you learn phonics and support your own child to use phonics in their reading, and eventually writing, we will be updating our Vocabulary Dictionary with the definitions and examples of the scary-sounding (they aren’t scary, I promise) words used in the programme.
At its most basic, phonics teaches children what sound (phoneme) a letter or group of letters can make. Learning these varying phonemes (sounds) in various orders helps children learn to read words.
Why teach phonics? I didn’t learn this way.
Neither did I!
When I was doing teacher training, it confused me to the point of sleepless worry.
How was I going to teaching this to children when I didn’t know it myself?
Now I’m completely converted!
When I was at school, we learned some sounding out and mostly used sight reading…
BUT since learning phonics, I now have a greater understanding as to why words are spelt in the way they are and it’s helped my spelling too.
How DOES it work when English isn’t a phonetic language?
You’re right. The English language has a deep, dark past, with the merging of many cultures, languages, dialects and other influences over the years. I’ve not yet come across a hard and fast rule for spelling that doesn’t have an exception.
I before e except after c… baloney!
Watch this if you don’t believe me…
Words do not end in I,U,V or J?
Really? You, menu, fungi, flu, tofu, ski… these are a few of MANY exceptions.
This is where word origins make a difference to outdated spelling rules.
How does phonics help this?
Phonics helps children to recognise that a written letter (grapheme) can often make more than one sound (phoneme) and that with repetition they learn to understand patterns and this helps them crack unfamiliar words in reading and writing too.
They will read ‘knight’ as ‘kn-igh-t’ and not ‘k-n-i-g-h-t’, preventing them from wondering what on earth they have just read out!
Let’s Get Going: Learning Phonics (as you will need it over the coming year)
We plan on introducing you to a few sounds a week.
Our programme follows the suggested pattern by Letters and Sounds which many schools use.
We’ll share activities and resources that you can use yourself and with your child to reinforce their at school learning.
Get Started “Learning to Read with Phonics”
Phase 2 Phonics WEEKLY BREAKDOWN
Phase 3 Phonics Weekly Breakdown
Review the complete set of Phase 3 Phonics Letters and High-Frequency Words