Each month we will introduce to you one of the useful features in our member’s area to ensure that you get the most out of your time with us. This month we are looking at how you can use our assessment checklists, in our Letter Names and Sounds program, to figure out what to teach your child. 

It can be tricky to know where to start when you decide to teach your child the phonetic sounds of the alphabet. You don’t want to start with something that is too difficult because that is the quickest way to switch your child off from learning, but at the same time, you don’t want to be rehashing things that your child can already do competently. 

The best way to learn where to start is to do a simple assessment before teaching anything. By doing a pre-assessment you will find out what your child knows, what they are aware of but need practice with and what they need to learn from scratch. You can use the assessments in each unit of our Letter Names and Sounds program to do this. 

The simple assessments are in the form of a checklist, which makes them really easy to do and provides you with valuable information about what your child knows. Simply ask your child each question on the checklist and record their response. You will soon see what your child needs to learn and will be able to organise where you will start. 

After teaching a unit of work, go back and complete the checklist again. This time you will be able to see what your child has successfully learned and what they still need help with. Using the assessment checklist in this way will ensure that your child has retained all the information taught before moving on to another unit. It also ensures that children are not left with gaps in their education that will cause literacy difficulties later on.