Step 1: Reading Basics: Phonics and Phonemic Awareness

This is STEP 1 in my free step by step digital guide to making a Jumpstart Reading program with your kids. Here we will discuss Phonics and Phonemic Awareness and how you can teach them easily at home.

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Phonics and Phonemic Awareness

Phonics and Phonemic Awareness are a great place to start.

What is Phonics?

Most people have heard of phonics but don’t know what it actually means. It is not Phonemic Awareness.

Phonics is understanding the relationship between written words and the corresponding sounds.

Why is Phonics Important?

  1. Phonics helps children learn to read and write
  2. Allows children to break down the written word in order to know what word it is

When Should I Use Phonics To Teach My Child To Read?

  1. Start reading to your child from infancy and continue even after they can read themselves.
  2. Children start comprehending letter sounds to the written letter at about the age of 3. Remember: that all children are different and some may require a little patience to get there

Why Start So Young?

  1. Giving children the easiest start to their education starts early
  2. Most Kindergarten standards expect children to have gone through preschool even though it’s not a requirement and most children don’t get the practice at home
  3. Experts believe that students who are behind in reading in 2nd grade usually stay behind throughout their education

What is Phonemic Awareness?

Phonemic Awareness in the Awareness of phonemes which allows the sounds to be identified and manipulated

What is a Phoneme?

A phoneme is the smallest parts of sound we hear in words.

I.e. dog is broken down into sounds represented by letters. /d/ /o/ /g/. The wod cat however would be represented as /k/ /a/ /t/.

Why is Phonemic Awareness important?

  1. English has 26 letters but far more sounds, 44 to be specific.
    • Sounds like /sh/ and /ch/
  2. I order to read children must get to recognize and manipulate them all
  3. Phonemic Awareness can help kids learn to spell

Teaching Phonemic Awareness

Children learn through play far better than formal lessons.

Fun Phonemic Awareness Activities

  1. Identify and categorize sounds
    1. “The Listening Game”
      1. Lay Down and close your eyes. See what sounds you hear around you.  Is the refrigerator making noise or maybe the cars are going by. You then discuss the sounds you hear
      2. Teaches them HOW to listen
  2. Blending Sounds to Create New Words
    1. “Hopscotch”
      1. Get some chalk and draw a bunch of boxes on the ground with simple words in them like cat and bat.
      2. As you jump through the series say out loud the sounds then say the word in the last box
  3. Change Out a Sound in a Word to Make a New Word
    1. “Fridge Fun”
      1. Get a set of magnetic letters like these and make 5 words that are in the same family  but don’t put the first letter. I.e. _og can make hog, bog, log, dog, jog.
      2. Sit with your child and go over the different sounds and words as they get to “play” with the magnets

Phonemic Awareness Skills

  1. Tell you the first sound they hear in a word
  2. Be able to recognize which words start with the same beginning sound
  3. Tell you the last sound they hear
  4. Be able to recognize which words end with the same ending sound
  5. Blend different sounds together in order to say the full word
  6. Take a given word and break it into the sounds they hear

Technological World

Children today are evolving with new technologies in front of our eyes.

Working with Technology Instead of Against it.

The first step for me was to accept that technology is the new age!
Amelia and iPad

Many websites now are starting to adapt to the startling number of children entering the internet. Parental controls and specialty apps are a good place for children to safely discover the wonders of technology.

    1. There is also an app

This resource is an absolutely amazing way to discover an ever changing flow of content your child will love( even if it seems strange to you)

Here are the Letter Worksheets I used when I was teaching my little ones their letters.

The Letters Worksheet


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Once your child gets the letter sounds down then the fun part starts and you can move on to

CVC words

High Frequency Sight Words






2 thoughts on “Step 1: Reading Basics: Phonics and Phonemic Awareness”

  1. Pingback: Step 2: Learning to Read – Raising Good People

  2. Pingback: Month 3 Blogging Update – Raising Good People

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