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How can I help my child with phonics? By Sophie Griffiths

Updated: Mar 5

A chld learning by cutting shapes

As parents, we all want the best for our children and giving them a head start when it comes to reading English is just one of the many ways we do this. Although schools play an important role in a child’s reading development, they are just one part of a bigger picture in your child achieving reading fluency. Parents play a huge role and knowing how to help your child with their phonics learning can make all the difference. Here are our top tips.

 

Try to find out which sounds your child has been learning at school and help reinforce them through fun activities at home:

 

  • Choose a fun book to read together, pointing out those sounds when you come across them (for tips on how to read with your child at home, please read our blog here). Listening to your child read, even for just 15 minutes a day, can make a big difference!

  • Sing phonics songs together - we like A J Jenkins’ song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffeZXPtTGC

  • Make letters using paint, clay, sticks or write them in flour or sand and repeat the letter sounds

  • Go on a letter hunt - write a sound on a piece of paper and ask your child to search around the house/ garden/ park to find objects beginning with or including that sound. Get your child to write the name of the objects afterwards if they can.

  • Look for letters and practise their sounds whenever you are out and about - on street signs, food labels, posters, leaflets, shop signs.  

 

WHAT IF MY FIRST LANGUAGE IS NOT ENGLISH?

Not every parent has the confidence to practise phonics and read English books with their child at home - some may be concerned about the influence of their own English on their children’s pronunciation. Don’t worry. Provided that children have regular access to a variety of speakers (even through videos), their English pronunciation can improve. You also might wonder whether your child is at a disadvantage compared to monolingual English-speaking children. Again, don’t worry. In the early years, no child is able to read on his or her own; all children are learning the skills needed to read independently from scratch. However, it is useful to note that children learning English as a second or additional language tend to have a much smaller oral vocabulary size. When they attempt to sound a word out, they might not be able to make sense of what they have just sounded out. So this means a strong focus on vocabulary acquisition is crucial for these children to become fluent readers.


 

If you are wanting your child to expand their English vocabularly or looking to help them with their phonics learning at home, please book a free online trial class with The Phonics School here.


We will gladly assess your child and advise you which programme would be of most benefit.

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