Preschool Phonics Tips! (part 1)

Preschool Phonics Tips Part 1
Yaay, Reading School is in! I’m so happy to share with you how we’re teaching phonics to our preschoolers.  Everything started out great, except that I couldn’t find my old phonics reading program that I used and loved with my first three kiddos. That was called Frontline Phonics and it came with all kinds of bells and whistles.
frontline phonics
It included some simple black and white flashcards like the ones you see above, a music CD containing one song for each letter sound, a cute little cardboard cartoon character with its own little stand to go along with each song and lesson, the exact transcript of what to say to the child during each lesson, and pretty colorful readers to get your child started reading from the very first week or so. Whew…i’m even tired of typing all of that. Warning: it cost about a million bucks, okay a couple hundred, but it felt like a million at the time! The sad thing is, I misplaced it. I’m pretty sure I put it away in a “safe place” about 9 years ago (the last time I used it with my then three year old baby girl) and now I can’t remember where!


So, it’s time to improvise! I have a digital copy of the Teach Your Child to Read program which walks you in both a video series and through a book on how exactly to teach your child to read using phonemic awareness. I printed the black and white flashcards from the files included in that program.  However, you can totally teach your child to read using any phonics program.   All you need to do is first make sure you yourself can pronounce correctly each of the phonograms.  You might think, well, duh, of course I know what the letter B says, but you have to be careful, you don’t want to confuse your child and tell them “B says Buh”… instead you want to make sure they know “B makes the sound “B” ” I know, slight difference but it makes a difference when you go to blend a word. For example, BAT, you want your child to say “B” “Ahhhh” “T” then blend it into “BAT” not “Buh” “Ahhh” “Tuh” and then blend it into “Buhatuh”. See the difference? Anyway, I’m sure a quick google search will set you straight 🙂

 alpha phonics
You can pass on spending ANY money at ALL if you’d like, because I just found out that if you have a Kindle Unlimited subscription on Amazon, you can get the wonderful book Alpha Phonics, plus the Alpha Phonics Instructor’s guide, and even the accompanying readers, FOR FREE! Just fyi, you don’t have to own a Kindle to read this, all you need is a Kindle Reader App, and those are free as well.

Or you can even download a nifty little app like this one from SWR (Spell to Write and Read) and carry it on your phone or tablet for a quick review for yourself and then later for your children to use. Finally, our little guy loves this website, and I like that it’s free:

Anyway, improvise away mommas, you don’t have to spend alot of money, or time for that matter. In my humble opinion, a GOOD, STRONG beginning reading program should only last a few minutes a day! I like to do a quick 3-15 minute session (depending on how excited and engaged the child is, 3 is more likely when learning the sounds and 10 to 15-ish later when your child is reading little readers to you). Anyhow, one quick session per day and you’ll have a reader on your hands in no time.

(For sight word instruction, I only spend about a total of 1 to 3 miutes PER DAY, yes you heard right, because I do three sessions of quickly flashing sight words  (the wonderful Doman method) and that only lasts about 10 seconds in one sitting, then I’m also accounting for the time to get the child to come over to me and bringing the materials out and putting them away. But we are NOT talking about sight word instruction in this article, today we are focusing on PHONICS instruction, so sorry, maybe we’ll do more on that another time).

Thanks for reading so far, bookmark this page and come back soon to  Read Part 2 with the rest of the details on how we are teaching Phonics to our Preschoolers (actually 1 and 2 year olds) in our house 🙂
-claudia 🙂


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