Introducing Your Child to Phonetics
Now that your child already knows her alphabet, it is time she learns how to read the letters phonetically. Reading the alphabet phonetically means saying or pronouncing how the letter should sound. Make her understand that how she “identifies” the letter is not the way she “pronounces” it; that the letter A has a phonetic sound of “ah” and the letter B has a phonetic sound of ‘’ba’’, and so on. This may not be too easy for your child for she is accustomed to identifying letters as A, B, C and introducing the way it must be pronounced as ah, ba, kuh is something new to her.
Teach her single letter at a time starting with the vowels A-E-I-O-U. Kids learn faster with visual effects so a set of flash cards definitely helps. As you teach her “ah” for A, show her a picture of an apple so she can recognize the connection. Focus on one letter at a time to avoid confusion and to promote mastery of phonetic sound.
Once she has learned the phonetics of the vowels, you may now go to the consonants. Beforehand, let her be aware that some of the consonants sound alike, like the letters C and K. Employ again the flash cards so she can always establish the connection between the letter’s identification and the letter’s phonetic sound.
If you want to go advance and teach your child on blended letters, you may do so by starting with vowel+consonant combination such as at, am, it, and so on. Gradually go to consonant+vowel+consonant blended words such as cat, dam, sit, and so on. Since she is already familiar with the vowel+consonant combination, the new combination of three-blended word must be already easy for her. To make it livelier and fun, incorporate the game “Bring Me”. She must bring the picture of what she had read and she will receive a simple reward such as a hug, a kiss, or a hearty snack after. Be prepared with the flash cards that have the pictures of can, sun, bat, cat, and other three-blended words.
One of the fun ways to teach kids phonetics is to sing the alphabet the phonetic way. With the tune of the all-time favourite The Alphabet Song, sing each letter the way they should in phonetics. Sing with your child and have fun while doing it. Make her see that you are enjoying the activity and she will see learning phonetics not as a chore but a fun and exciting activity that both of you enjoy. Make reading book a habit during bed time. Look for books that make use of simple words that she can read. Let her read the words that she knows, and you will read the rest. Along the way, teach her new blended words as well.