Introduction to Phonics

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Today I am going to write a topic close to my heart. Phonics.

What is Phonics?  Phonics is a way where it teaches someone the sounds of the alphabets and how each sound in a word(or a group of letters) co-relates to form a new sound. With this knowledge, it enables a child as young as 3 years old to be able to read simple words like c-a-t and s-i-t , even when the child does not understand what the word means yet. Understanding what a word means comes under another topic. Vocabulary.

Each of us have some inbuilt sense of Phonics, whether we are aware or not. But it is not so easy when it comes to teaching our children what is what, without a proper system. Something like, we KNOW it but we just can’t explain it. Makes sense?

I am going to share with you my journey through the amazing land of Phonics and it will be up to you to judge. For the record, I did not learn Phonics when I was a child. I read and speak good English but no, I don’t do Phonics. The word phonics was foreign to me until my kids came along and I wanted what was best for my kids. And luckily with all the modern technology and gadgets, I was able to make a lot of research online, in the comfort of my own home.

Many years ago, the Phonics program comes FREE in bits and pieces and there is no complete Phonics program available online. Not sure about now though… Anyway, the one that seem most feasible to me at that time was Jolly Phonics. (No, Jolly Phonics is not paying me anything to write this). They have an extension course for Jolly Grammar as well. And best of all is they are conducting a face to face, 2 day weekend course for both Jolly Phonics and Jolly Grammar, near where I live. Although the fees are expensive, I opted to join both sessions in order to learn more.

I never regretted attending the course for Jolly Phonics and Jolly Grammar. I now have a better understanding on what Phonics is and also an insight on how I could use my new found knowledge to guide my children.

Both my children learnt how to read before they are 4. They both learn Phonics in school and although the school is using another system, the basics of Phonics is not much different from system to system when you already know all the hows and whats and whys. And I am able to guide them at home with my knowledge.

For example, when my child ask me how to read a word, I will look at it and if it is within his/her capabilities to sound out the word, I will guide them instead by asking “What sounds do you see?” I will not tell them how to read the word immediately. Instead I will break down the word into manageable “bites” for them to sound it out. Let’s take the word “MUM” as an example. This word can be broken down to 3 sounds.. “M” – mmmm, “U” – ahhhh, “M” – mmmmm… and when you say these 3 sounds fast, it will read(or sound) MUM!

Amazing right?

So, if you would like to read more about Phonics or similar type of blogs, do drop me a comment here :) I will explore on methods you could employ to teach and guide or just to reinforce what your child have learn in school in another blog.

Meanwhile, keep on reading and crafting! Keep those creative juices churning!