The Importance of Phonics for Children

When teaching phonics for children, it's important for phonics and young children to become good friends when you're teaching your children to read. Young children naturally understand sounds as they're learning to speak. Phonics shows a child how to break down a word through those sounds, creating a bridge that helps the child understand written language. A child who can break down words has a great advantage when reading, as it allows the child to figure out an unknown word in future readings throughout life.

Teaching Phonics
First grade phonics and second grade phonics are typically the basis for reading education, but children can start learning phonics in kindergarten. Phonics is taught by teaching rules regarding letters. Consonants are generally taught first, because the rules are the simplest to master.

Vowels get trickier, because a single letter or letter combination can have more than one sound. When teaching vowels, teach short vowels first, but don't spend time trying to explain the concept of long vowels. You'll teach this difference when you start teaching long vowels. When you get to long vowels, explain to the children that the vowel says its own name.

Teaching the basic phonetic rules first will also help the child learn spelling rules. Basic rules are also useful when it is time to learn about the silent E and that tricky, sometimes a consonant, sometimes a vowel letter Y.

Reading Through Phonics
Teaching reading through the use of phonics can help children with learning disabilities. When you teach that oi and oy make the same sounds (along with the other rules), you will find that your child, learning disabled or not, will be more apt to try to read unknown words and sound them out. A child will learn to read much faster when she can use phonics to tackle the big words.

Learning to read by using phonics can also help a child in other subjects. Teaching phonics also teaches spatial reading skills, which can be transferred to math and other subjects.

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