Phonics And Kids – Why It Is Important To Teach At Home
Hello my name is Jody and I am a father of two. My eldest daughter is now in the second grade and thus far does not have phonics practice. Her classmates do not either as English is a second language for them.
For all new parents, parents with children already in grade school phonics and kids should be something that go hand in hand when learning the language of English.
It is one of the basic building blocks our children require in order to grow to be able to read, understand what is written and ultimately thrive in school and life.
This may not always happen though since a large part of our children’s education is in the hands of the teachers we leave them with. What are we as parents doing if anything to help support the lessons taught in class? Are we practicing phonics at home with our children? On the road in the car? While out at the park?
I believe it is time we each take a look at where our children are in regard to their abilities with phonics.
Have you considered whether your child’s phonic abilities are where they should be?
Teachers Only Have So Much Time With Your Child
During an average day I can imagine that my child’s teacher must divide his or her time between getting the kids settled down in their seats, going over attendance, standing and singing the national anthem, teaching the lesson of that class and breaking kids into groups or assigning them to work alone.
Think about how many children are in your child’s class. Between 20 and 30 right? Most likely if your child is in a public school.
That is a lot to do right?
Of course, so while all of that is going on, think for a minute about how much time your child’s teacher gets to actually spend with your child to practice, verify retention and reinforce when required?
That is really not much time each day they get to spend with your child isn’t that right?
So if you have not already done so, why not start the next time you pick up your child from class speak with the teacher to verify what was taught that day and what you can do to help with your child comprehension of the phonetic lessons?
If there is nothing your child’s teacher requires at the moment then find out what will be practiced in the future and introduce your child at home to those sounds. Create short mini lessons, select words that have the new sound in them, practice writing the new sound by writing words and play games.
For example, I was working yesterday with my daughter on the sound “sh” like in shoe, ship and shed. I choose this sound when I noticed she was struggling to pronounce it during a homework assignment.
It took me minutes to find what I was looking for by typing in SH sound in the web page search bar.
I plan on working on this sound with my daughter for the remainder of this week and then to see where she is at with it before moving on.
One thing that will help is to learn if you do not know already how your child learns best. That way you can select lessons and games that will best help him or her learn what you are teaching. In the classroom the teacher does not have this privilege.
Less Than Great School For its Phonics Program
Some schools may not have a good program for phonics in place. If this is the case and you can not move to another school that does have a respectable program then you may have to pick up the parts where your school is lacking.
This could be for different reasons such as lack of funding or as I mentioned previously your teacher simply does not have enough time to work with each student, leaving your child missing important parts of his or her phonic development.
I will get to this a little later in this post but maybe your school is pushing students through to the next grade when they are not ready.
Nurture Your Child’s Phonetical Development
I am now planning to start to work a little every day with my daughter on her phonics development. I encourage you to do the same.
A little practice won’t hurt right?
It does not need to take you very long. 15 minutes to a half an hour at most. Start small and if you find you can do more with your child then do more.
Babies learn to crawl by putting one hand in front of the other. So will your child with phonics just by you stick to encouraging him or her to study with you. Make it fun and a moment you both can begin to look forward to each day
My Own Personal Story With Phonics
Now to touch on the point I mentioned earlier about how maybe your school is pushing your child through to the next grade when they are not ready.
Well my own personal story with phonics is that when I was in grade five my reading, writing, grammar and math skills were actually at the level of grade 1 and 2.
Public schools in my time as a child in Canada passed me even though my skills were not up to the level they should have been. It got so bad for me that I was always behind and finding it difficult to keep up with my classmates.
I ended up spending summers with my Grandmother who was a former school teacher to try to help me get caught back up. I also spent around three years going to a private business in Canada called Sylvan Learning Center which you may have heard of.
There I was able to catch up to where I needed to be in order to keep moving forward with my studies. I remember my time there fondly.
I am not affiliated with Sylvan Learning Center in anyway and will not receive any payments from them by mentioning them here.
I only share this story to highlight the need for us fathers to take a more active role if we are not already doing so in order to help ensure our children are learning their phonics properly so they do not experience problems like I did growing up.
I have no way of knowing what the situation is with your child’s school but I believe it is worthwhile for you to take another look at what you can be doing.
It’s not all on the school and teachers to educate our children!
Thanks for reading,
Proud papa of two,