By Span Glers
The teaching of phonics begins at home. Early childhood is the best time to bond with your child while introducing to him the building blocks of learning – the alphabet. Studies have shown that children at a young age absorb knowledge like a sponge. What better way to start learning the alphabet than by making him listen as letters and sounds are pronounced. Nothing can be simpler or more complex as teaching phonics to kids.
It goes without saying that the parent is the child's first teacher. After all, parents all want their child to be ready for primary school and for the kid to learn how to communicate with kids of his own age level. Recent studies reveal that a child who receives early phonics instruction at home generally performs better than those who don't. Besides, the home provides the best environment for teaching because the child is relaxed; learning then can be a fun activity for the child and the parent. This way, parents can always check the progress of their kids regardless of the learning stage and as long as the parent focuses on the areas in which the child needs help.
The school is an extension of the home. Parents are encouraged to work together with the child's teacher in an environment where there are other kids as well so that they can learn together and play together. Teachers can always give a lot of practice to their pupils before moving along to the next level. In this manner the teacher now becomes the partner in learning along with the parent to know at what level the child needs help or what level he can do the activity on his own. Social interaction is fostered as well because the child learns to work with other kids.
There is a wealth of materials available to parents of preschool kids as well as for teachers in the primary level. They range from colorful and interesting visual aids such as flash cards, songs, games, and puzzles to video materials such as CDs that introduce kids the basics of learning the ABCs and music CDs that teach the basics through music and song. There are also storybooks that tell a story based on a favorite character and puzzles and games that you and the child can figure out together.
One of the great benefits for parents is getting the opportunity to have a hands-on approach in teaching one’s child. The parent gets the chance to monitor the progress of the child and to determine the sort of activities best suited for him/her. Regardless of the kind of teaching materials, the parent can easily keep track of the child's needs and progress. This also greatly benefits teachers as well, for it can help them assess the areas of interest and weakness of the child. It can also tell them if the child has interaction problems as he/she relates with the members of the class. Teaching phonics to kids also help prepare them for reading comprehension and memory retention.
Parents and teachers must always be involved in the child's learning activities because kids need guidance and supervision. They can try to find out how the child learns concepts in phonics and what the child’s interests are – singing, reading, acting, etc. Teaching phonics to kids in this way can spark their interest, prepare them for schoolwork, and foster passion for reading.
There are many possibilities after the kid hurdles the first levels of difficulty imposed by learning early communication. Successful overcoming of these challenges start by teaching phonics to kids.