Phonics is the most effective way of teaching children to learn. Children can be given a solid reading foundation by proper teaching of phonics. At the preschool level, children read by linking sounds and the symbols that represent them. Children learn by breaking each word up to its sounds before blending those sounds back together to make the word. Teaching preschool phonics can be successful by using the following steps:
Children are taught letter sounds by saying them out loud, and then they recognize how that sound is represented by a letter. Decoding helps the child to see a letter and then say the sound it represents out loud. Children are taught letters like S, A, T, P, I, N first. These letters help them read simple words like sit, pin, tap, and sin.
After learning to say and recognize the sounds, they then know to blend the sounds and tell the full name. They start with Consonants, Vowel, Consonants (CVC) words before being introduced to the CCVC word (e.g., play) and CVCC words (e.g., past).
Children start learning digraphs after learning individual letters. They learn consonants digraphs (e.g., ch, ng, sh) and vowel digraphs (e.g., es, oo, ai). They then move to sound out the whole words such as fair, book, and chin.
After children gain confidence with digraphs, they start learning more graphemes. These are letters that represent a sound in a word, or it’s a letter that spells a sound in a name. Children learn that different graphemes can represent one sound.
Fluency and Accuracy
Children are now familiar with words and sounds. Now they are taught to read fluently and accurately spell the words. They are introduced to prefixes, suffixes, and silent letters. The aim now is to support the children to become more fluent readers. They should practice reading daily to develop speed, fluency, and accuracy.
When teaching phonics to children, always remember to keep it easy and fun. Let the phonic sessions be short and focused. When they are not too tired, teach children that there are no distractors and Include audiovisuals in the sessions. Reading out stories loudly for children quickens their learning process. Understand the learning pace of each child and be patient with them.