10 Reasons to Teach Your Child Phonics For Reading
Phonics is the foundation for literacy and language skills. Without phonics, it’s almost impossible to learn how to read or write. Without phonics instruction, you are guessing without any clues about their pronunciation or spelling. Children can be taught phonics in a way that is fun and easy for kids. Phonics rules are simple-sounding but vital to understanding written language–and they work!
Phonics skills for reading are the first step in literacy learning.
These skills learned early in children’s lives provide a strong foundation for reading, speaking, and writing. If you’re not phonics-savvy, it’s tough to learn how to read or write. We use phonics for reading, comprehension, and even spelling.
Kids inherently start to use these skills
As it becomes familiar, kids start using phonics for reading on their own to read new words. That’s when the fun begins, and we can see the power of the strategies that it helps develop.
It builds phonological and phonemic awareness
Phonological awareness is defined as the ability to recognize and work with sounds in spoken language. Phonological awareness includes hearing different words, syllables, and sounds and being able to segment, blend, and manipulate those sounds. Phonological awareness is a critical foundational skill for learning how to read and write. Phonemic awareness is a subset of phonological awareness. It is the ability to isolate, blend, and segment the units of sound called phonemes.
Phonemic awareness is a subset of phonological awareness. It is the ability to isolate, blend, and segment the units of sound called phonemes.
Phonemic awareness includes the ability to:
- The ability to identify and produce phonemes
- Blend phonemes
- Segment phonemes
- Isolate phonemes
- Manipulate phonemes
Phonemic awareness is one of the most important predictors of a child’s reading ability.
The skills kids develop in their early years provide a strong foundation for understanding phonemic awareness and building solid phonological awareness.
When taught as part of comprehensive, phonics for reading program, it ignites growth and interest in learning and reading. This can accelerate literacy development and allow students to improve their literacy faster and easier.
Children who are taught explicit phonics instruction naturally start to use it on their own, which helps vocabulary, comprehension, and more—just a few of the significant advantages of using phonics for reading, comprehension, and it can even help with math and science.
Teach in a way that is fun and easy for kids.
Phonics rules are simple-sounding but vital to understanding written language–and they work! Kids learn phoneme sounds through games and songs, pictures, and more! Every child has a different learning pattern; using a fun interactive method to teach helps children with different patterns participate easily, whether they are visual, auditory, or primarily kinesthetic learners.
It helps students read, write, speak, and spell.
Phonics instruction not only helps students read, but it also helps them write, speak and spell words phonetically.
Kids are phonetic sponges, so phonics for reading can also help them naturally master new words using phonetics first.
Decoding word skills
Decoding words correctly means kids will effortlessly discover new vocabulary words through exposure to reading without relying on the problematic strategy of phonetic guessing.
Effective phonics instruction allows children to recognize, blend, and segment phonemes in words so they can read them with fluidity and comprehension—the critical components of phonetic reading.
It helps with word recognition.
Children exposed to words in both isolation and context learn how to comprehend them without effort, also known as automaticity.
It also helps children recognize patterns in sentences containing words that are spelled the same but pronounced differently.
It is a “cheat sheet” for reading.
Once a child learns these techniques and rules, it allows students to work independently because it provides all the necessary information about pronunciation and spelling in one easy-to-understand format. Phonics eliminates the need for guessing or phonetic isolation (sounding out words with only phoneme clues).
Instead of sounding out words by phoneme, phonics provides the phonetic clues students need to read unfamiliar words and improve fluency, even for previously struggling readers.
It boosts self-esteem.
Studies have shown phonics lessons lead to increased phonological awareness, which then leads to better reading. That feeling of accomplishment, especially if it comes at an early age, can boost children’s self-esteem. This boost in confidence can propel a child to learn faster and sets them up for success in the classroom and beyond.
It allows children to read for meaning.
Improved Reading Comprehension
Reading books with a high proportion of familiar patterns (phonics) helps children comprehend and understand the narrative rather than decoding phonetic symbols. Teaching phonics ensures children have a better chance of successfully cracking new words as they encounter them in the future, and phonics for reading programs support improved comprehension and retention.
It helps with spelling.
According to research, children who are good at breaking down the sounds of the letters that make up words (known as deciphering) tend to spell better.
According to studies, children learn and remember spelling rules better when they are taught in isolation (phonics). Research has shown that teaching kids phonics helps them learn and retain more information. Children of all ages, ability levels, and economic backgrounds benefit from phonics instruction.
Phonics for reading is one of the essential skills that should be taught to your child. By teaching your child phonics, you give your child a much better chance of succeeding in school and life. This can help in multiple areas, from a confidence builder in reading, story problems in Math, comprehension for Science, and the list goes on.
Struggling readers can become reading masters! If your child struggles to read or spell words correctly, phonics is a powerful tool that can help make considerable improvements in your child’s literacy.
By Brian Southwell
About The Reading Ranch
The Reading Ranch is based in Texas and has 11 Centers in the DFW area as well as an online Virtual Literacy Program. We are laser-focused on literacy and provide reading intervention, phonics for reading, reading enrichment, comprehension, writing, and critical analysis classes for Prek-6th grade students.
At The Reading Ranch, our motto is “We Make Reading FUN“! Our methods are interactive and not the “drill/kill’ of many other programs.
The Reading Ranch curriculum created by Dr. Southwell at The Reading Ranch is research-based and heavy on phonics. Research has proven time, and again phonics is the best method of learning language and literacy skills.