When we first came across the word “phonics”, we were intrigued. Even we had studied English and can communicate fairly, but we are not aware of the phonics. So how can it be beneficial for your child? Does he really need to know it? Will it make a difference? When we did our little research, we felt it has great benefits for our kids. Thus today in our blog we will talk about our experimentation with PHONICS.
Steps undertaken by us:
1. Learning it ourselves: The first step for us was very challenging. Browsed through various bookstores across the town. Found nothing. Even if there were some they were not the right medium to convey the SOUND. Our research further led us to some audio-visuals on the Internet. It was an eye opener for there were innumerable things we weren’t aware of ourselves. Our initial misconception of phonics believing them to the Hindi translation/ pronunciation was cleared. Phonics just means saying the sound of the letter and not the name of the letter. And then it was all about practicing ourselves.
2. Sharing it with our kids: In the process we learnt that the sounds of the letters need to be taught FIRST, instead of the name of the letter. But since we had already crossed that stage we proceeded with making them aware of the Sounds. It was an awesome experience as more than learning it was fun to make those sounds. “Spoken English” is easy for them to understand because now they know that words we speak are nothing but a combination of sounds of the letters. Phonics is all about practicing the sounds in your daily routine rather than attending a two hour phonic class elsewhere.
3. Refining it: To make it more fun for our kids we designed special textured phonics flash cards (sample pics below). These cards helped in not only understanding the sounds but also getting more versed with the words which begin and end with these sounds. The texture is helping in knowing the flow these letters are written in. Once the basic sound was clear to them, the time came for combining these sounds to make simple 2 and 3 letter words. And believe us it’s an enjoyable experience for us as well as them.
4. Finding new things: There is much more to it. Just imagine there are around 72 sounds in English language, of which 46 sounds are from the single alphabets only (for eg letter A has 3 sounds). The remaining 26 sounds are formed using multiple letters (for eg: sh, ck, ing etc). We are still in the process of learning the advanced stage and are confident that we will get through this.
Results so far:
The above experiment started almost 6 months ago and the results are overwhelming. The kids are not only enjoying it, but are also making efforts in forming simple 2 -3 letter words. It’s a long way to go but we have begun our pleasant journey together.
PS: We personally don’t external recommend phonic classes for such young minds.