What is Phonics?
These days everyone has heard of phonics but lots of people don’t feel confident in knowing what it means! Many schools and nurseries talk about phonics and send home sounds for children to learn, but often parents and carers can feel daunted by how to help their child in the best way.
A Little More About Phonics
So here’s the short version….
Phonics is a method of learning how to read and write. It links the sounds we make to the letters (or groups of letters) we see.
And the long version…..
There have been many methods used to teach children to read and write over the years. Today there is a general appreciation that a variety of approaches allow the most children to access learning. Our experience with our own children has shown this too! During the 1980’s and 1990’s there was a gradual move away from ‘sight vocabulary’ (just learning to read because you could recognise the word) and an integration of phonic skills which gave lots of children more confidence to both read and write effectively. The phonic programs which are now used in schools and nurseries are based on understanding how individual and groups of letter sounds are made. This allows us to put those sounds together (blending) to read words. It also allows us to split words apart using those phonic sounds (segmenting). When we combine these skills with an understanding of what the letter sound looks like (the grapheme) we can write things down!
However, there are loads of skills that need to be secure before children are ready to get down to the specifics of learning to read and write. That’s where Funics fits in. We look at the pre-skills children need to master and also talk to parents and carers about why these are really important for young children.