“How to teach Phonics to kids?” or “What is Phonics?” are questions often asked by parents of kindergarten goers. Your kids enter preschool and the teachers begin by teaching alphabets. The next obvious step would be to learn how to spell and read. This is the tricky part. It is mandatory in almost all schools to learn phonics before learning how to spell. Phonics is the study of co-relation between alphabets and their sounds. Once a child masters alphabet sounds, he or she can easily form spellings and learn how to read. Of course, English sometimes does make your head spin, like for instance the “o” sound is different in the words “do” and “go” 😉 However, phonics makes spelling formation and sentence formation very simple for kids. In fact, once they get their basics in place, they will not get confused between exceptions similar to “do” and “go”.
Kids who skip the phonics part find it very difficult to spell correctly in higher classes. They tend to learn spellings by rote, which is not what we want. Check out this basic list of phonics that you should teach your kids.
Begin by teaching them consonant and vowel sounds. Alphabets a,e,i,o, u are vowels and all the remaining alphabets are consonants. Note that the consonant sounds remain the same. Vowels a,e,i,o,u may sound different in different spellings. You can see the table below for alphabet sounds and related examples.
Sounds – Example
|A a||/a/ – Apple|
|E e||/eh/ – Egg|
|I i||/i/ – Igloo|
|O o||/o/ – Orange|
|U u||/uh/ – Umbrella|
Following this you need to teach them the sounds of alphabet combinations, alphabet blends, long vowel sounds and short vowel sounds.
Alphabet combinations, blends and sounds
“Ch” sounds /chuh/ as in church
“Kn” sounds /nuh/ as in Knight
“Ph” sounds /fuh/ as in Phone
Check out useful worksheets for alphabet blends and sounds at www.havefunlearning.com
Phonics Worksheets for Kids
Teach basic sounds, alphabet blends, long vowel sounds, short vowel sounds and words using these phonics worksheets. You can download them and take a print.
An easy word game like this one can turn out to be an enjoyable phonics game for kids. You start off with a simple three letter word like ‘Bat’. Your kid has to come up with a new three letter word that starts with the ending sound of ‘t’ i.e. /tuh/. So he may come up with ‘top’ and then its your turn to think of a word that begins with ‘p’ or /puh/.
Check out these interactive phonic games online
Phonics games at www.supersimplelearning.com
This site offers simple, interactive phonics games for kindergarten going kids. Fun to play and learn.
Beginning Sounds Game by www.softschools.com
This is a basic beginning sounds game for kids where they have to guess the first letter of a three letter word by looking at an object.
Deep Sea Phonics by BBC
This is an interactive phonics game that is sure to make learning a lot more fun than usual. However, this game has medium and hard levels only. Ideal for kids who have already gone through basic three letter words beforehand.
Phonics Books for Kids
Madhubun offers phonics books for kids – Easy ABC for kindergarten series 1 & 2 that makes alphabets, phonics and simple sentence formation a lot easier for kids.
Phonics for Kids Videos
Video on basic alphabet sounds
Phonics video for learning three letter words with sounds
This is all you need to get started. The rest depends on two Ps – Patience and Practice. So get going!