Primary parents were invited to a virtual workshop introducing phonics and discussing how children link sounds with letters and then blend them to sound words. While there are only 26 letters in the alphabet, there are over 40 different phonetic sounds. Mr Patrick O’Connor, the Lead Phonics teacher, shared some of the phonetic sounds and some tricky words as well as explained key vocabulary that is used with the children. He explained the different phases of phonics and process of how children start reading.
Parents learned different ways to encourage reading and writing, and were reminded that daily reading is excellent for supporting their children’s learning. Word games such as ‘I Spy’ and magnetic letters on the refrigerator are also fun ways to learn. Patrick also recommended that parents engage with their children in playing with different materials such as sand, foam, pencils and even slime to practice their handwriting. Websites and apps that can help children with their phonics include Teach Your Monster to Read and Discovery Education Espresso. Learning to read and spell can be fun!