Friday, January 8, 2010

What Can I Do to Help My Child Learn to Read? Part 2

As I mentioned in my Dec. 23 posting, the National Reading Panel (NRP) identified five areas of reading instruction that must be addressed when teaching children to read. My first post was on Phonemic Awareness, the ability to notice, understand, and work with the sounds in words. This post will address Phonics.

What exactly is Phonics?


Phonics is a method of teaching reading, based on sounding out letters to read words. Let’s say that you learn the letter i makes the /i/ sound, and that the letter t makes the /t/ sound. And when you read these sounds together, /i/ /t/, you have it. You’ve just used phonics to read the word it.


How can I use phonics to help my child learn to read?

Here’s an easy activity you can do with your child using our phonics teaching method. In just 20 minutes, your child can read a book all by himself by playing an easy flashcard game and printing out our free Learn to Read Minibook.
Just follow these instructions:

  1. Make one flashcard for each of the letters d, n, a, r, b, t, and p, for a total of 7 cards. You can use index cards or just cut up a piece of plain paper. Lay them on the table.
  2. Help your child to put the cards together that form the words dan, ran, bat, pat, and at. Call out the name of each letter and the sound it makes as you push the cards together. Do this a few times until your child can do it all by himself.
  3. Print out all of the pages of our free minibook by clicking on this link: Learn to Read Minibook
  4. Once you have printed the pages, cut each page in half by cutting on the dotted line.
  5. Stack all of the pages together with the cover on the front, followed by page 1, page 2, etc., until all of the pages are in order. Do not include the instructions.
  6. Staple along the left side of the pages.
  7. Finish the book by tracing all of the words with dotted lines.
  8. Have your child color all of the pages.
Your child is now ready to read the book he just made all by himself! He has already learned to read each word by playing the flashcard game. Hooked on Phonics Learn to Read is full of activities just like this one, plus story books, workbooks, online games, flashcards, and much, much more.


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