Wondering How to teach Phonics at home?

Confused where to start and what the next step is..

There are important Frequently Asked Questions that I want to address before going ahead for the Step-by-Step instructions for teaching Phonics.

When to start teaching Phonics? What is the right age to start with?
Many parents are confused about this very basic question. Ideally the age to start teaching Phonics is 3 plus. Before that just do simple book read alouds and identify and recognize the Letter names of the Alphabet. Check out different activities to start teaching Alphabet in the correct way in this video here. Some children are ready to learn Phonics even at the age of 2 and half, as they have more grasping power than others. So decide the ideal age to start with your child as per his/her needs, and don’t push on him, just because some other kid of his/her age is ahead of them. 

Do you expect a 2/3 year old to start reading words or sentences??
Keep real expectations from your child, and DO NOT compare your child with others of his Age. Every child is different and unique in their capabilities. So accept whatever it is for your child and move on with the correct process FOR your child. Start from the very basics of Phonics,even if the child is a little older. With continuous access to social media, we tend to copy from others blindly, without even thinking if it is the right thing to do for your child and your family setting, if that’s what your child needs. Copying someone’s process blindly without knowing why they did it ,the way they did it, does no good to you. So , Don’t force the child to read at the age of 2/3 because you saw one video on YouTube of the 2 year old child reading words and sentences. Not good for you..

What to do when school is / isn’t teaching Phonics?
If the school is following/teaching Phonics, then ALSO you need to teach Phonics at home. It is very important, as the schools just teach the basics i.e. Letter Sounds, and Phonics is more than just Letter Sounds. If you don’t chime in at the right time to teach Phonics at home with your child, then there will be some serious issues later on when they move to Elementary school. So, do your due diligence and get yourself trained from a Good and Credible Phonics Teacher, and then start teaching your child at home.
Now that we have addressed a few commonly asked questions, let’s move onto the Step-by-Step instructions for teaching Phonics.

  1. Phonemic Awareness –  Phonemic awareness is the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate individual sounds-phonemes–in spoken words. 
  2. Terminologies Used in Phonics – We need to understand first the difference between Phonics, Phonetics, Phonemic Awareness, Phoneme, Grapheme, Sight Words, etc. 
  3. Letter Name and 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. 
  4. Blends and Word Families –  Blends means two or more letters come together to make a particular sound/word. These blends are vital and important building blocks in understanding the “Blending” and “Segmentation” of words.
  5. Complex Blends – Blends which are at the beginning and at the end of the word, are all the complex blends. For example, st , fr , dr , pt , nd .. etc.
  6. Long Vowels – Long vowels are the vowels which pronounce as their names. As /a/ in Aeroplane , /e/ in Engine etc.
  7. R-controlled Vowels – They are also referred to as Bossy ‘R’ as the R added to the vowels changes their sounds.
  8. Digraphs – Digraphs are two letters that give a particular sound. Example – sh , gn etc.
  9. Syllables – Syllables are used for teaching the child to break longer words based on vowels, which ultimately helps in reading and writing bigger unknown words.
  10. Sight Words – They are also referred to as High Frequency words, as they appear very frequently in the English text. These words are to be memorized by the child as no Phonics rules apply to most of these words.

For more in-depth look at all these steps, watch the video below.