Helping my child with phonics

"Read as much as possible to and with your child."

Help your child by teaching yourself

It might sound a bit silly teaching yourself phonics but the way we teach reading has dramatically changed since we all learnt it as children. Phonics was never a word that was mentioned when I was at school never mind all of the terminology your children have learnt. Here is a quick guide to the technical stuff.

What is a phoneme?

It is the smallest unit of sound. At first it will equate with a letter sound but later on will include the digraphs. For example `rain? has three phonemes, / r / ai / n.

What is a grapheme?

A grapheme is the letters that represent a phoneme for example /u/ can be represented by a number or graphemes including o as in wolf, oo as in look, u as in bush and ou as in would.

What is a digraph?

Two letters that make one sound. C and H make the ch sound.

What is blending?

Blending is the process that is involved in bringing the sounds together to make a word or a syllable and is how /c/ /a/ /t/ becomes cat.

What is segmenting?

Breaking a word down the read. In order to spell the word cat, it is necessary to segment the word into its constituent sounds; c-a-t first before saying cat.

Children may often use the incorrect sound to spell words as sounds have more than one spelling. When spelling rain they may spell it r/ay/n. Remind the children that there are more than one spelling for a sound but don't worry too much as this shows that they successfully segment.

What are red words

Tricky words are words that cannot be ?sounded-out? but need to be learned by heart. They don?t fit into the usual spelling patterns like I, he, go, we, thought etc.

What are basic skill words?

Basic skill words (common) are words that recur frequently in much of the written material young children read and that they need when they write.

What are CVC words?

CVC stands for consonant- vowel- consonant, so and word such as map, cat is CVC. We also talk about CCVC words such as clip, stop.

How Can I Help My Child At Home?

  • Play lots of sound and listening games with your child.
  • Read as much as possible to and with your child.
  • Remind them to find the ?special friends? (2 letters that make one sound like ?sh?)
  • If your child is struggling to decode a word, help them by encouraging them to say each sound in the word from left to right.
  • Blend the sounds by pointing to each letter, e.g. /c/ in cat, or the letter group, e.g. /ng in sing. Next move your finger under the whole word as you say it.
  • Discuss the meaning of words if your child does not know what they have read.
  • Play obb and bob online at