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Phonics and Early Reading

Here is a helpful video on how to say the sounds of the letters in phonics:


Early Reading

  • Help your child to join in. Let them turn the pages and guess what happens next.Follow the words with your finger, point out pictures and talk together about the story
  • Choosing books to read together can be fun! Don't object if your child wants the same book again and again - if they keep going back to a book it is because they are getting something from it
  • Point out words around you - help your child to read the words around them: on food packets in the supermarket, on buses, in newspapers, in recipes etc.
  • Give them time - let them make a guess before you tell them the word.  Help them to get the first sound or try breaking  up the word into smaller sections
  • Encourage them to follow the words with their finger

Ask lots of questions - check they understand the story by asking them questions about what happens. Use the pictures to explain what is happening.


Listening To Your Child Read

  • Choose a quiet place with no distractions - ten minutes is usually long enough.
  • Make it enjoyable - sit with your child. Try not to pressurise if he or she is reluctant. Do something else if they lose interest.
  • If they mispronounce a word, do not interrupt immediately. Instead allow opportunity for self correction. It is better to tell a child some unknown words to maintain the flow, rather than insisting on trying to build them all up from the sounds of the letters. If your child does try to 'sound out' words, encourage the use of letter sounds rather than 'alphabet names'
  • Until your child has built up his or her confidence, it is better to keep to easier books. Struggling with a book with many unknown words is pointless. Flow is lost, text cannot be understood and children can easily become reluctant readers.
  • Encourage your child to use the public library regularly
  • Try to read with your child on most school days. 'Little and often' is best
  • There is more to being a good reader than just being able to read the words accurately. Just as important is being able to understand what has been read. Always talk to your child about  the book; about the pictures, the characters, how they think the story will end, their favourite part. You will then be able to see how well they have understood and you will help them to develop good comprehension skills.
  • Children need to experience a variety of reading materials e.g. picture books, hard backs, comics, magazines, poems and information books


Book Activities For Parents

  • Make a scrap book about your child full of pictures and words. Read the words with your child and let them to say what else should be in their story.
  • Retell the story in own words
  • Make puppets of the characters in the story
  • Design a new character
  • Cut up sentences and re-order
  • Organise a treasure hunt around the house. Give your child a list of things that they can find in the house and see how quickly they can collect the items
  • Create a monster dictionary by making up names of frightening monsters that begin with different letters of the alphabet. Ask your child to draw a picture of each one.
  • Play the nonsense game.Cut out pictures from catalogues or magazines of objects that all begin with the same letter, plus a few that don't. Write down the names of objects and get your child to match the picture to the name. Can they make a nonsense sentence with their words?