10 Reasons Why Phonics Works
Reading is an essential skill that most children learn in early childhood. English has just 26 letters but many more sounds, and in order to read, children must learn to decode those letters and sounds into the correct words. Mastering decoding and reading will help children develop a lifelong love of books and learning.
What Is Phonics?
Phonics is a popular method for teaching reading that focuses on identifying and pronouncing sounds rather than letters. Children are taught to recognize the sounds of the letters as well as the letter combinations. Putting the sounds together will help them learn to decode words that they read.
The Benefits of Phonics
Phonics was first popularized in the mid-19th century, but until the mid-20th century, most children learned to read from a variety of methods. Today, there’s a heavy emphasis on phonics and for good reason: Phonics works. Here are 10 simple reasons parents and teachers keep returning to phonics to give their students a strong foundation in reading.
1. Phonics is versatile. It works for all children regardless of age, socioeconomic background and ability level.
2. Phonics is adaptable. Every child is different when it comes to learning to read. Some kids catch on quickly while others need a lot more practice. Phonics adapts to your child’s needs.
3. Phonics improves phonemic awareness. Understanding that language is made up of many sounds is one of the top predictors of children’s early ability to read.
4. Phonics aids children in recognizing words. Kids need to recognize words both in context and isolation, and phonics helps them do that easily and confidently.
5. Phonics maximizes exposure to reading. Exposure to the written word, whether through reading or being read to, gives kids more opportunities to learn to read through word recognition, decoding and faster reading, all essential reading skills.
6. Phonics offers independent reading opportunities. Beginning readers will typically need a lot of help as they’re sounding out words, but they also need opportunities to read independently. With phonics, they can while still focusing on specific reading skills.
7. Phonics improves spelling skills. Decoding words by breaking them down into their individual parts, sounds and letters, helps kids learn to spell faster and more easily.
8. Phonics helps kids learn to read for meaning. Kids start recognizing patterns through phonics, which allows them to focus instead on the meaning of the story, ultimately improving their reading comprehension skills.
9. Phonics boosts reading confidence. Reading can feel like a big hurdle to young children. Breaking it down into smaller bites can make it easier. When children read their first book, that’s a big success that feels fantastic and builds their confidence for their next book. They’ll be thinking of themselves as readers in no time!
10. Phonics builds children’s self-esteem. Learning to read can be tough for any child. With phonics, children can take smaller steps that feel right for them. They’re learning and growing through their own efforts, which can be a powerful self-esteem booster.
Autumn is a great time to get your child started with reading. Books, games and online phonics programs can all make the process not just educational but fun as well. Isn’t it time to introduce your child to a whole new world: the world of reading?