Children can start learning to read at a young age
Most children will be able to start learning phonetic sounds and how to combine them to read and spell by the age of three years. Different schools of thought recommend different starting ages for reading, and to some extent, it does depend on the individual child. However, neuroscience research shows that the area of the brain associated with reading does not begin to mature until approximately the age of three years. Pushing reading before this age can create negative reading experiences that may give children a less than positive view of reading. The good thing about phonics is that you can start teaching letter sounds informally, and healthily, when you think your child is ready. Simply learning the sounds that letters make will have a huge impact on a child’s later reading ability.
Phonics empowers children and boosts confidence
Using phonics to learn to read is a very empowering experience for children. After learning the first sounds taught in the phonetic alphabet, children begin to be able to read and spell simple words. This is because, by using phonics, children can clearly hear and decode the sounds that make words. For example, the word ‘sat’ has three simple phonetic sounds, s, a and t. By saying these sounds together children will soon realize that the word is ‘sat’. Because phonics allows children to begin reading so quickly it gives kids a real confidence boost. This positive experience is important in developing an openness to learning, especially and skills become more difficult as children get older. It also encourages a love of reading.
Teaching reading with phonics is easy for parents
Once you know what phonics is, using phonics to teach your child to read and spell is easy and effective. Simply learning the alphabet is not going to help in learning to read and spell and can often confuse children when they begin trying to sound out words. By using phonics to teach reading skills you will be supporting what your child will learn in school and be providing them with useful skills that can be built upon to develop successful readers.
You don’t need to understand all of the technical language that goes along with phonetic reading strategies to be able to teach your child phonetic reading skills. At the simplest form phonics is basically using letter sounds instead of letter names.