What is phonics and how does it help kids

As a parent, the most important thing in life must be seeing your children doing well in school as well as in life. You will be surprised to know that one of the most important steppingstone on this path is becoming a good reader. If your toddler has started going to Montessori Altadena CA, you must have heard the term ‘phonics'. It is said that phonics plays an important role in helping children to become successful readers.

What is phonics?

Many scientific studies have found that explicit systematic phonics instruction is the most effective way to teach children how to read. Without the proper knowledge of phonics, many toddlers would end up having serious reading difficulties. But what is explicit systematic phonics? Let's understand.

Phonics – Phonics is teaching children the sounds made by individual letter or letter groups and teaching children how to blend separate sounds to make a word. This type of phonics teaching is often referred to as “synthetic phonics”.

Explicit - explicit is teaching children the association between letters and sounds rather than expecting them to gain knowledge implicitly.

Systematic – According to the teachers of Montessori Altadena CA, English has a complicated spelling system, so it is important to teach letter-sound mappings systematically, beginning with simple letter sounds and then moving onto complex letter sounds.

Why is phonics important?

Phonics instruction helps children understand how to decode letters into their respective sounds. It is a skill that is essential for kids to read unfamiliar words by themselves. Despite having a good spoken knowledge of words, kids are unable to read them properly. Letter sound knowledge will help children to make a connection between the unfamiliar print words to their spoken knowledge.

Phonics allows children to develop their reading comprehension skill. With practice, students' decoding skills become so strong that they can concentrate and easily understand the overall meaning of what they are reading.

In Montessori Altadena CA, children develop phonemic awareness and understand how words are formed. This ability helps them to break down words into their sounds. For example, they can break the word CAT to its sounds like k, a. t. This ability help kids not only in reading but also in writing and spelling.

Phonics education helps kids to be imaginative and empathetic. With their developed reading skills, they learn about people, places, and events and start imagining how would they feel in those situations.

Phonics knowledge important for kids to understand the syllable structure in words. They understand that a closed syllable will end in a consonant and have a short vowel sound, but an open syllable will end with a long sounding vowel.

Though phonics support children learn to sound out both familiar and unfamiliar words, it has certain limitations also. In English, some high-frequency words don’t follow the phonics rule. For example, the word 'one' starts with /w/ sound and the word 'of' ends with /v/ sound. So, even after having good phonics knowledge, children may have to memories the pronunciation of some words.