Parents are a child’s first teachers. A parent does not necessarily have to have teacher training to aid their child’s learning process. All it takes is some reading at home, simple activities, and the deliberate effort to teach about letter shapes and sounds.
Aside from reading, parents can do some activities with their children to facilitate this learning process. In the following section are some tips on how to teach phonemes to kids. Parents know their children best, so please feel free to create or customize activities that cater to the interests of your child. There is no one way to teach phonics, so you could get creative while following the tips mentioned below.
Some Useful Tips
· One Sound at a Time – start with the easy letters like m, s, t, and n. These letters have a distinctive sound and are easy to sound out. You can use flashcards, but also supplement this by providing other examples. When teaching the letter “m,” the word that will most likely appear on a flashcard would be “milk” as an example. You can add to this by sounding out the letter m in regular sentences: “The cow says mmmmoo!”, “I have one mmmouth,” and “Mmmommy wants to sleep.”
· Listen for Sounds – train the child to listen for letter sounds. Ask your child if certain letter sounds are present in words that you just encountered. Does “mommy” start with the letter m-mmmm? Do you hear the d sound in the word “dog”? Make sure to emphasize the letter sound you want to teach. Doing this activity will encourage your child to develop the habit of listening carefully to letter sounds. This habit will be helpful when they learn how to spell.
· Make it Fun and Memorable – incorporate actions and gestures whenever you emphasize letter sounds and words. For example, when teaching the “s” sound, wave your hand or arm around so that it mimics the way snakes move.
· Teach Through Reading – this is the easiest way to teach phonics to children. These books do not have to be storybooks. They can be picture books or books of nursery rhymes. When reading with the child, make sure to point out a few keywords and sound out the letter sounds that you’ve been teaching them. Another benefit of teaching through reading is that this will help your child memorize and connect the concepts that you have been teaching.
Simple tips such as the ones stated above can help a child get started on their journey toward learning how to read and write. Young learners benefit most by learning through play. Using books and flashcards is absolutely fine if that is all that you have at home. However, do not hesitate to create more learning materials, if you see that it is necessary. Use this opportunity to teach children about phonics, and that learning can be fun. This is a good way to bond with your child.