How phonetics help
Phonics helps children by giving them a system to use for reading. Instead of having to memorize every word in the language, they just have to learn the sounds that letters make. This is much more doable for most children, especially those with reading problems.
When you consider the fact that there are almost 1 million words in the English language, you will understand why it is so difficult for many children to learn to read by memorizing each word individually. By comparison, phonics requires children to learn 44 sounds, or phonemes. This is something that most children, if not all, can achieve. While we eventually get to a point where we recognize individual words, phonics is the starting point kids need to begin tackling words they don’t know.
Phonics works for all children, no matter what their individual struggles. Children who are never read to at home may have a harder time learning to read, but can do so with phonics instruction. Additionally, teaching children with learning disabilities becomes much easier when phonics is used, as it gives children the “code” for learning to write and read.
Phonics, writing and spelling
Another benefit of teaching phonics is that it is directly related to teaching reading and writing. Children who receive phonics education are almost always better writers and spellers than those who are asked to learn to read one word at a time. Most phonics programs have children learn to read, write and spell side by side, a combination that child development experts believe works well.
Phonics and your child’s school
Despite these benefits, your child may not be learning phonics at school. This is sad, but the fact is that many schools are following a different reading philosophy that uses high-frequency words instead of phonemes. If you find this to be true and your child is having difficulty learning to read and write, there are a few things she can do to help.
One option, of course, is to consider creating a home school environment. If you have the time and patience to successfully homeschool, you can do it and avoid the problem entirely. However, many parents feel more comfortable with their children in a traditional school. If you feel this way, you need to do things at home to provide phonics instruction for your child.
One way to do this is to hire a tutor who uses phonics. However, this can be expensive. A better option is to use a phonics-based computer program that is systematic in its approach to teaching reading. When shopping for a program, avoid one that looks too much like a game. Instead, choose something that is fun but will definitely provide your child with a phonics-based education. Child Font is a good example of this type of program. This interactive synthetic phonics program gives you the ability to deliver phonics education from a K-12 reading specialist in the comfort of your own home at a very affordable price. You can easily supplement phonics instruction into your child’s day by using your program.