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Teaching children how to read is sometimes a very stressful event for parents but there are some simple steps you can use that will help you understand how to best introduce phonics to your child and help them through some hurdles. As a kindergarten teacher my job was divided into three main tasks:

 

1. Understand what skills my children had already

2. Understand the skills they needed to master

3. Figure out fun ways to bridge the gap for them

 

It’s pretty straight forward system that I could apply to any subject no matter what time of year it my kiddos arrived. Now when children joined my classroom one of the first things I determined is if they they had the needed phonemic awareness skills  that would make them successful readers. Once I knew that information my next task was to find out if they could decode as that is the start of our phonics journey.

What is decoding?

Decoding is basically being able to read. When it comes to decoding letters, it’s the ability to look at the letter and produce the correct sound. There are about 44 distinct phonemes (sounds) that children need to master and to make things simple there is a specific letter sound order you can use to teach your child. Using SATPIN order helps children quickly learn to decode letters and blend to read because the simple yet powerful order.

SATPIN Letter Order
SATPIN LETTER ORDER - A quick to teach children their letters and get them reading

Why is it important?

When children are able to decode  or unlock the code of letter sounds they can then begin to unlock entire words by blending. Children who have a strong basis in letter-sounds have an easier time transferring that skill to the next tier which is blending those sounds into words. 

 

Don’t make the mistake of moving from decoding quickly to blending if your child is not ready. Spend time on this skill and let your child become really confident in their ability to “read” letters or produce letters sounds when they see a letter. There will be time for them to blend later.  Above all else, make sure to use activities that are easy for you and fun them so you’re both motivated to keep going.

How can I Teach my Child How to Decode Letters?

Decoding practice should be done daily however, directly teaching a new sound should be no more than 10 min or less depending on the age of your child. Books, activities, computer games, and physical games are all great ways of helping children master decoding. The more fun it is, the easier time you’ll have so check out these activities below.

Alphabet BINGO Yassah-Rose Learning

Alphabet BINGO

 Yassah-Rose Learning

Rainbow Hop Letter Sound Game Fun Learning for Kids
Sound Cups Learning Resources

Sound Cups 

Learning Resources

Alphabet Letter Sounds Games

Yassah-Rose Learning

Leap Frog Letter Factory Lionsgate
Flip Top Phonics Game No Time for Flashcards

Flip Top Phonics Game

No Time for Flashcards

Letter Sound Slap from Fun Frugal Boys

Letter Sound Slap 

Fun Frugal Boys

Beginning Sounds Letter Cards

 Yassah-Rose Learning

One Last Thing

Remember just because your child has the cognitive readiness to learn to decode does not mean their attention span is long so aim for 10 min max! The rest of the learning can be through fun interactive games. There are a million different ways you can teach your child to decode letters.

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