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Phonic Awareness for young children

Phonemic awareness is an understanding about spoken language. Children who are phonemically aware can tell the teacher that bat is the word the teacher is representing by saying the three separate sounds in the word.

Phonic Awareness and Teaching Guides For Young Children
By Donnette E Davis

In preparation of reading comprehension activity books created for children and then onward transmission/submission to various organisations or for free availability as downloads on various websites an inordinate amount of time is spent researching age-appropriate content for children. This same principle applies to the formal education system.

Phonic Awareness for young children

The public domain resources available on the internet today are an excellent source of materials with which to begin one's research, and to source age appropriate material with which to educate young children by way of reading comprehension. One soon realises that there is little difference between early education and that of today - schools are man-made. Home Education has been around since the beginning of time!

The words and terms utilised when compiling these books should not be outside the general vocabulary of any child in the normal environment. The content of the books that are supplied to children for educational or leusire purposes should be based on the usual experiences of childhood and prove to be full of vivid meaning for children.

Recognising the eye as a highly important agent in the reading process, it is feasible that in view of studies and research, a plan of presentation of sentences and phrases intended to develop focal fields, wider perception plans, and eye sweeps (from left to right) and to reduce to the bare minimum eye-pauses and eye-regressions.

Much slow, hesitant and uncomprehending reading has been shown to be due to a mechanical distraction or over-emphasis on a word or words or letter units.

It has been demonstrated that these distractions therefore interfere with the formation of correct reading habits, and that they can largely be eliminated or reduced through proper presentation of new material and through carefully constructed exercises which lead the child to first recognise and read the sentence as a whole - afterwards breaking it up into its separate words.

It is suggested that each new step, i.e. learning words, making phrases and then learning the whole sentence, be developed and practiced by the educator first. Further practice may be gained from the development pages in the workbooks, prior to reading the entire "story" in which these preliminary or preparatory steps have their application.

Children should at first be exposed to the "look and say" portions of workbooks, prior to actually reading the story and the preliminary phonic work, i.e. the individual words and phrases, should be developed independently in a child's first "look and say" primer. In this event we make extensive use of the "220 Dolch words" being the 220 most common used words learnt by children from primer to Grade 3 level. Of course this varies from country to country and culture to culture, but the basics remain the same.

In all activities it is imperative that the child be allowed to develop at their own pace and that the learning activity be a fun and interactive activity. This serves to encourage a more enthusiastic approach to learning in this manner.

Donnette E Davis, single WAHM and mother to 6, passionate homeschooler and author of children's educational ebooks. Host and webmistress of St Aiden's Homeschool, South Africa. Our website is updated almost daily with free teacher/parent and student resources, with activities for very little people right up to adults, and includes educational resources for family health and family law.