Hello! Welcome back to Teach Your Child Phonics! I am really enjoying writing these – hopefully you are learning something each week! This week I am not doing a Periscope as I am not going to move onto the next set of sounds just yet. I am however, in the middle of making a video of all of the first 44 sounds I have already shown you. I will have that uploaded asap!
So last week we looked at the final few phonemes from Set 1, there are 44 basics phonemes in total and once your child knows those (or has them in their phonic repertoire) you can start to introduce the written form.
Readiness will vary from child to child, just keep an eye out for an interest in seeing you write – and make sure you actually do write in front of them (and no, using your phone or laptop does not count!!).
So how do you introduce graphemes?
Graphemes (the visual representation of a sound) are always shown in lower case so if you have been teaching capitals STOP right now! I caught my mum teaching Little G using capitals the other week and almost cried!! Capital letters come further down the line, as do the letter names.
A good way to introduce the written word is by using their name. Children are very self centred and their name is one of the most important things to them. I am not saying they need to learn how to write it at this point but you can introduce the written form and say the sounds within their name. Now, obviously names do have a capital and I have found the best approach to be honesty- just say that names are important so they have a capital letter. Children are like sponges and they will accept this information easily.
The best way to get children recognising letters is to banish the pencils for a while. Handwriting is a skill all on its own so we don’t want to confuse the situation. By using magnetic letters they can find the letters they need and start making words.
Start off simple- find a letter and ask them to find the same one. Tell them what it says and move on to the next one. A bit like pairs but with letters!
As their interest grows you could get them to pick 3 letters- you then sound it out – does that sound like a word? Weird words are often called alien words in schools- they tell the children that they are not a real word but also show them that nothing is incorrect, that we just don’t use it in our language.
So for example if a child picked out z-o-g then you would sound it out and say zog. Now this is not a real word but we laugh at how silly it sounds as an alien word. You can then pick out 3 sounds such as c-a-t and sound it out- does that sound like a word you know?
Once again on my list, I cannot stress enough the importance of this activity! Once they are recognising letters you can point to a word and ask them if they know what it begins with. Can they guess what it might say using the pictures? Again, following on from last week and talking about rhyme, if you are reading a rhyming book you can emphasise the initial rhyme and then ask them what they think the second rhyming word might be.
Hickory dickory dock
The mouse ran up the c……
“This word begins with a c, what might it be?”
You get the idea.
Now the next couple of activities are not phonics related at all but I am throwing them out there as a means to get your child ready for writing. You may think me mad but the sooner you prepare those little hands the better!
These are the ones I mean….
Getting your children to put the coloured pegs into the holes will help strengthen their fingers and this in turn will help in future when they come to hold a pencil.
Now this type of peg I am referring to are the ones you hang out your washing with! Getting them to pinch the pegs, maybe use them to pick up little objects, will help with their grip and again, help with their finger muscles!
Next week I will be talking through how to get your child to read simple words.
See you there!