Phonics is an approach to teaching reading, and some aspects of writing, which develops learners’ phonemic awareness. It is supported by a whole range of educational bodies, including the Education Endowment Foundation.
Phonics: The Basics
Phonics teaches children to listen carefully to words, and helps them identify the phonemes (sounds) that make up each word. It breaks down words into their components sounds, then asks students to blend the sounds together and sound them out aloud to create a word that is recognizable. These decoding and blending exercises help children to learn to read more quickly so that they can engage and enjoy books at the earliest opportunity. In addition to this, phonics helps children understand how graphemes (letters) and phonemes correspond, facilitating early writing and correct spelling too!
What phonics also provides, however, is a whole plethora of new terminology relating to language, that you as a parent, will never have come across before.
As with most things, you’ll find that practice is the key, so any activities you can do at home will undoubtedly help your child become more adept and skilled. From pinpointing words which include the target sounds, to supporting them as they read, it all helps to reinforce what they’ve learnt in class and commit it to their long-term memory.