What is phonics?

Phonics is the system of relationships between letters and sounds in a language. When your kindergartener learns that the letter D has the sound of /d/ and your second-grader learns that “tion” sounds like /shun/, they are learning phonics.

Why teach phonics?

Learning phonics will help your children learn to read and spell. Written language can be compared to a code, so knowing the sounds of letters and letter combinations will help your child decode words as he reads. Knowing phonics will also help your child know which letters to use as he writes words.

When is phonics usually taught?

Your child will probably learn phonics in kindergarten through second grade. In kindergarten, children usually learn the sounds of the consonant letters and short vowel sounds. First- and second-graders typically learn all the sounds of letters, letter combinations, and word parts (such as “ing” and “ed”). They practice reading and spelling words containing those letters and patterns. Second-graders typically review and practice the phonics skills they have learned to make spelling and reading smooth and automatic.

Children vary in the amount of phonics instruction they need and when they need it. Some children need very little phonics instruction, while others still benefit from phonics instruction in third grade. Many children with dyslexia benefit from phonics instruction even beyond third grade.

How can I help my child with phonemic awareness?

Flash cards are excellent for helping your child see the letter and make the sound. You may have to say the sound first then ask your child to copy you.

Children love nothing more than being the teacher for a while. So, next time you are writing your shopping list, ask your child to help you. For example: tell your child you need to buy apples, but you can’t remember how to write it down. Explain to your child that you need to know what letter the word apple starts with and how it sounds.

Apps that help improve phonics skills

ABC Mouse
Ask your child's teacher if he/she has an account already.
Montessori Crosswords

Short Vowel Sounds

Initial Consonant Sounds

Final Consonant Sounds

Ending Sounds Practice

Long Vowel Sounds

Variant Vowel Sounds

Consonant Blends

Consonant Digraphs

Other Vowel Sounds

Sound-Symbol Correspondance:  Consonants

Word Building

Sound-Symbol Correspondance:  Vowels

Word Families/Rhyming