In the early days, children have been taught to read by memorizing the letter name. And children were not able to read accurately. But the children in this generation know to read many words. Have you ever thought about how? It is because the children these days are taught something special that was not taught in the olden days. Something called phonics and decoding the phonics has been introduced to the child. Phonics knowledge is the most important skill for an early reader.

In the English language, there are two words called Graphene and Phoneme. Graphene is the letter symbol. A Phoneme is the letter sound. Some children know all the letters of the alphabet and not knowing the sounds. This isn’t phonics. Early readers are readers with good practice and good knowledge of phonic sounds

What is a phonic?

The word phonics has been heard many times during the early years of a child’s life. A sound that a letter symbol makes is called phonics. It is necessary to learn the letter symbol along with its sound. When you match the letter symbol to the sound, that is called Decoding.  In phonics, the child will learn,

                   this letter ‘H’ makes the sound ‘h’
                   this letter ‘A’ makes the sound ‘a’
                   this letter ‘T’ makes the sound ‘t’

When the child combines them, they make a word. ‘hat’. The child has to learn the sounds of the consonants and the vowels in order to read the whole word.

There are 44 phonics sounds and only 26 letters. Phonic sounds are necessary for the child to read and spell independently at an early age. All words are single letter sounds, two-letter sounds, or three-letter sounds to form one sound. Most words the child has to decode are three-letter words and, they are decodable.

The sound of individual letters differs from the number of phonetic sounds. There is also a difficult section in phonics. A single sound can be written in a number of different ways. The examples below are just a few.

  • Let’s take the letter ‘s’, in the word ‘sit’, it spells with ‘s’.
  • Let’s take the letter ‘ss’, in the word ‘mess’, it spells with ‘ss,
  • Let’s take the letter ‘se’, in the word ‘rose’, it spells with ‘s’.

Is phonic sounds the best way to learn the language?

The most effective technique to teach language is through phonics, which helps the child read almost any word that crosses their path. Reading has been introduced in various ways.

  • Alphabetical way
  • Side words

These methods are not accurate in introducing Phonic to a child to read. Phonetic pronunciation is another fascinating aspect of phonics. Phonetic pronunciation in a child improves and settles as a result of learning phonics. Although there are several methods to generate the same sound in English, we utilize different letters. The child can learn how to pronounce and spell correctly depending on the adult introducing the Phonic Sounds. Always a fact to remember is to go according to the child’s phase.

How phonics are introduced in a Montessori environment?

In a Montessori environment, language plays a very vast role.

In a Montessori environment, the activities will take place to help develop the child’s vocabulary. In this method, the child is introduced to the Letter Sounds of the consonants and vowels first. Later, the child gets to know how the sound looks.

In the Montessori environment, there is a unique way to introduce sounds. The sounds are introduced by a multi-sensory activity. The sound is been introduced to the child first. While introducing the Letter Sound the child will trace and feel the letter. When introducing the letter ‘C’ the adult introduces it as ‘c’ and not ‘cuh’. When introducing ‘L’ the adult introduces it as ‘l’ and not ‘ luh’. This is done by a “Three Period Name Lesson”. It is not the same as the traditional teaching of sounds. Eventually, the adult moves on to another important activity in which the child will be able to analyze the sounds in the word. We call it the Movable Alphabet Box.

After practicing with the letter sounds, the adult progresses to blending the sounds. The adult-use sandpaper letters to introduce the phonic sounds in pairs and triples. Because the child is thorough with the alphabetical letter sounds, it is easy to combine two-letter sounds to make it another new sound. Those are called Phonograms.

It is the first time that the child exposed to phonograms in the Montessori. After introducing the phonograms according to the child’s phase, the adult may introduce the phonogram box. This material is just as magical as the movable alphabet box. The phonogram box makes the child fall in love with reading. The phonogram box helps opens the doors to the rest of the world. The child is now able to decode hard words like rain, trail, boat, etc. This magical material also teaches the correct phonetic pronunciation in two or three phonetic letter sounds.

The Montessori method does not stop at just introducing and making words by analyzing the letter sounds and phonetic sounds. There are phonetic reading cards to apply their knowledge and thinking skills. Later the child will be able to read sentences and then small storybooks. Apart from other exciting activities that help the kid develop entirely, the Montessori method is the ideal learning program for language.

Advantage of phonics before alphabet names

Letter names are codes that have been set for the letter sounds. Consider the following scenario: if X hasn’t learned the letter sounds of the words listed below (cat, net, rain, boat, plane, etc).
How will X read it?

Yes, X cannot read. It is because X cannot decode the word and analyze it. To make it simple, the letters do not make any sense without sounds. If X even, try to read ‘boat’ it goes as ‘ bee-o-aye-tee’ when X combines it, he cannot pronounce it as ‘boat’. This is the reason the X needs to know the letter sound first. When the child knows the letter sound first it is easy for reading and writing.

Teaching the letter name at the early stage can be confusing. It is always better and practical to introduce the phonic letter sounds not after the letter name, not with the letter name but before the letter name. After the child has learned to recognize sounds and has demonstrated solid reading skills, the adult will gradually teach the letter name.

How to practice phonics at home

Three phonic sounds can be introduced at a time by parents. Repeat the phonetic sounds several times.

Practicing phonics with flashcards is a great idea. Encourage the child to read the road signs while at the market. Allow the child to practice decoding the word. When a child understands the notion of Phonetic Sounds, the child will acquire confidence.  The parents can see how thrilled their children are to know that they can read well. It will encourage the child to learn additional phonic sounds.
 
The child will need parental encouragement to continue training at home. Through assisting the child with phonics, the child will understand that words can be broken down and read. The child who has learned phonic sounds sometimes might be able to read the words they have not heard because they can decode and blend at the same time.
 
Let us remember as adults that anything a child learns now will benefit him in the future. See you with another beautiful topic @ToddlersTown

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