For children, numbers and letters are just some alien symbols unless they provide any meaning to them. Therefore, the early stages of learning for kids start with the phrases like “A is for apple” and “B is for ball”. But how does a child know that if “A” is for an apple, then “A” can also be used to spell an ant? This is where we need the teachings of phonics for kids.
Once children learn the phonics words, they understand that an alphabet can denote various things around them. Hence, phonics is a way of teaching reading to kids by linking the following terms:
# Phonemes: The different sound of the different symbol (phonics sound a-z)
# Graphemes: The letter groups or the symbols representing different phonemes (alphabet symbols a-z)
The early development of children should necessarily be composed of the phonics classes. Teachers and parents should keep involving their children in different phonics activities to keep their learning at pace. But why are phonics this important, and what if we neglect phonics in the early development years of kids? Let’s find out.
# Understanding phonics words helps in the development of reading and writing skills.
# Children develop speed and accuracy when they have an understanding of phonics.
# Children knowing phonics are better at expression through their verbal speeches as well as writing.How to Teach Phonics for Kids?
The English language contains 44 phonemes (sounds) and 26 graphemes (alphabets), which means that more than one sound is for a symbol. This makes reading confusing for children. Hence, they require a systematic study for the understanding of phonics. But how to teach phonics for kids? The answer lies in the following five steps:
# Learning phonics starts with the process of decoding. Decoding aims at recognising different sounds with their respective symbols. Through decoding, children learn what a specific character sounds like.
# Most of the phonics programmes start with teaching the sounds of the letters s, a, t, n, i, p as these symbols can easily be arranged in many words like sit, nip, pin, tin, which are then easy to read and write for kids. Hence, it becomes easy for children to come from reading (decoding) to writing (encoding).
# From identifying and understanding individual sounds, children are now made to learn the blending of sounds in a whole word.
# For example, children get to learn the sound of the letters ‘a’ and ‘b’ in the word “banana” and what this word sounds as a whole.
# CVC stands for Consonant, Vowel and Consonant. In this step, children are made to focus on the three-letter words having the arrangement of consonant-vowel-consonant. For example, the words cat, bad, sat, ran, mat, pat, etc.
# Children are often given cards which they are made to speak aloud. Worksheets are given for writing practice.
The fourth stage involves the understanding of the sounds of words with cluster consonants. The two types of cluster consonant words are:
# CCVC words contain the arrangement of continuous consonants in the beginning and a vowel in between, for example, words like a trap, stop and plan.
#CVCC, on the other hand, contains the consonants cluster at the ending of the word. For example, milk, fast and cart.
# A Digraph is a two vowel arrangement that makes a new sound, for example /oe/, /oo/, /ee/, /ai/. These digraphs are used in words like deer, hair, root, toe.
# These words are further taught with cluster consonants such as train, groan and stool.
# Two consonants making a new sound together are called consonant digraph—for example, sh and ch.
# These digraphs are used to make words like shout, chat, chant.
The above five steps cannot be taught through a book or a mere reading practice. Children must involve themselves physically and mentally in the steps, but how to prepare for such an environment of learning? There are many educational and recreational phonics activities. These activities hold the potential of making children excited about learning the different sounds of the different symbols around them. Let’s read a few of them here.
# Take old magazines, books or newspapers and ask your child to search for words with the same phonic sound.
# Ask your child to underline or mark those words and help him/her to cut them out of that paragraph or page.
# This will help your child develop comprehension and understanding of phonics.
# Make sure not to give more than a page or a paragraph. This will keep your child away from tiredness and boredom.
# This activity is never-ending fun and can be called a phonic adventure. Hand your child a child-friendly camera and ask him to spot a specific phonic sound at a specific time.
# The pictures taken can be used for the child’s own phonic album. Alternatively, he or she can also draw the objects spotted.
# Try to make this a common activity for your field trips.
# There can be days when you are not able to be a part of the learning process. Phonics videos or DVD’s are meant for such days. In your absence, phonics videos can help your child stay engaged in learning.
# There are a number of videos present online on phonics sounds for kids that can make your child learn about phonics faster.
# Find phonics songs for kids online and play them on repeat for a number of days. This will let the songs settle in the child’s mind, and he or she will subconsciously be able to decode different symbols and their sounds.
Understanding phonics forms the basis for an outstanding reader and a creative writer. The teaching of phonics should not be neglected in the early development years of your kids. Extensive and regular phonics activities should be added to their curriculum. To know more about the early development activities for your kids, follow The Real School Of Montessori. At The Real School Of Montessori, we offer one-on-one project-based learning for kids from our dedicated team.
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