After understanding the hype of the Phonics (in this previous post) and the terminologies used in Phonics (in the post before the former one). Now its time to learn, what to start teaching first in Phonics and How to go about it. After reading my last posts, many a parents questioned about the ideal age to start learning phonics. Well, the ideal age to start Learning Phonics is 3 plus. At the age of 2 and half, you can start introducing All the letters in the Alphabet and when the child turns 3, you can start with the Letter Sounds.
The first step to start teaching in Phonics is the Letters and Sounds Relationship. But for that, the child must be completely aware of the Alphabet. (Read this post for different activities to teach alphabet)
Once the child is able to recognize the whole alphabet in both Uppercase and Lowercase letters, then we can move onto Letters and their sounds. Now many parents think or have this notion that, children may get confused with Uppercase-Lowercase or Letter Names – Letter Sounds taught together,but be relaxed that the children don’t get confused in either of these two. There are different Phonemic Activities that you can do to practice these concepts.(Phonemic Awareness activities coming up in the next post, stay hooked!) These activities helps them to differentiate between the two concepts and also parents must know how and when to introduce these. If the child keeps practicing everyday, in a few weeks the child will be ready to learn letter-sounds effectively.
The way we teach our children the “Big-Small” concept is the same way we must teach them “Uppercase and Lowercase” concept. We show them ,’This is a Big Balloon and This is a Small Balloon’ just like that, we must show them, using flash cards like these, ‘This is Big A/Capital A/Uppercase A and This is Small a/lowercase a.’ So, they know that letter a can be written in two different ways,same as the balloon can be seen in two different sizes. This way we must continue to teach the whole Alphabet. This way of teaching will help them to identify both the Uppercase and the Lowercase Alphabet and to recognize the difference between the two when put together in an activity. After the child learns both the Uppercase and the Lowercase we move onto the Letter Sounds.
To teach Letter Sounds, I like to give a small and very easy to understand example for our children. By the age of three, the children know many different animals and birds, and the way these animals and birds make sounds. So, if you see here, the child knows the animal name “Cat” and knows its sounds “Meow”. And still it doesn’t confuse them. Did you ever find this confuses them? No, right ?? Just in the same manner, we teach our children that these are letters and they make a particular sound. So, in the beginning each letter makes one sound for them, just like each animal makes one particular sound. Now , sounds easy right? This way the confusion part is totally gone and only good learning happens. Ofcourse, Phonics is not just made of 26 sounds, but instead it is made up of 44 sounds. Some letters make more than one sound and some group of letters together make one particular sound, and in total the whole English Language is based of these 44 sounds in general. So till now, we have understood how to teach Uppercase-Lowercase and Letter names – Letter Sounds.
Now, let’s move onto the writing part of the Alphabet. When the child is approximately 3 and half to four or into preschool or kindergarten, is when the child is introduced to the writing of Alphabet. For writing, we usually start with Uppercase letters,and that is what I recommend too. For Ridhima also, I started with Uppercase letters, because these letters are made of simple, straight lines and patterns which are easier to write to start with. Once the child masters the Uppercase letters , we start with Lowercase letters. Most of the lowercase letters are based on the curve lines, which takes a little more time to master for writing. I am going to make a Video soon on my “Youtube Channel Here – Our Journey At Home” about the steps to teach Writing to Children. Make sure , you Subscribe to my channel and turn on the notification bell to know when I upload the video soon.
What all can you use to teach the Alphabet to children, is listed below. Some of these are Affiliate links(which helps me to earn a little amount, while I share and write for this blog,at no extra cost to you!). So, don’t hesitate to purchase from below links, if you plan to shop these materials.
Alphabet Flash Cards :
Letters and Sounds pages (Check the video below to see how to use these):
Alphabet Song : https://ourjourneyathome.com/shop/the-alphabet-song/
Phonics Level 1 :
Phonics Curriculum Bundle :
Apple tree Flash cards :
CforCat Alphabets Flash Cards :
Creative Educational Aids Flash Cards :
Magnetic Letters :
Watch the Video below on my Youtube channel , to understand how to use the Letters and Sounds Pages linked above.
If you want to learn Phonics, and need a complete Curriculum to teach your children, check out our flagship “The Reading Classroom – Online Phonics Program for Parents and Teachers” here.
I am sure this program will be an immediate boost in your confidence and positivity to teach your child at the comfort of your home. If you follow my suggestions , you may also see changes in your child’s reading. You may discover the reasons of some reading and writing errors that your child is making. And you will be better equipped to deal with them in more educated manner.