How to Help Your Children Learn Phonics


How can you help your child to read and learn phonics?

Fun English Jr. helps children to learn single letter phonics, simple consonant letter blends and digraphs used in English.  The app helps your child to recognize English letters and their affiliated phonics sounds outside the classroom.

Keep in mind the phonics sounds your child knows

To help your child learn their letters and phonics, keep in mind which letters and sounds your child has learned.  Then you can point out known letters on signs, etc. around town or even in children’s storybooks, on television, etc. Ask your child to name the letter and tell you the single letter sound it makes.  You can also do something familiar with consonant blends and digraphs.

A rich blend of different sounds

Fun English Jr. doesn’t simply teach children the letters and single letter phonics sounds of the alphabet in alphabetic order. 

First they learn the five vowels: Aa, Ee, Ii, Oo, and Uu.  Then children learn all the letters whose letter names end in a long e sound: Bb, Pp, Dd, Tt, Vv, and Zz. 

Next, they learn the letters whose letter names begin with a short e sound: Ff, Ll, Mm, Nn, Ss, and Jj.  Then the children learn the letters whose letter names end in the long a sound: Jj, and Kk

Finally children learn the remaining letters: Rr, Yy, Cc, Gg, Hh, Ww, and Qq.

A sensible way to learn phonics

The reason children are not taught the letters in order is because by organizing them in the above sets, it later makes single letter phonics learning easier.  In this way Fun English Jr. is able to leverage a modern phonics learning technique called ‘sound subtraction’. You can learn more about the optimal time to teach phonics to children here.

Memorizing the phonics sounds

Children can be told that the long vowel sounds are simply identical to the name of the vowel.  Then with those letters whose names end in a long e sound, children can just be told to remove the long e sound. What they are left with is the common single letter sound made by a given letter.  With those letters whose name begins with a short e sound, children can be taught to simply drop the vowel sound and be left with the consonant sound it makes. 

With the two letters whose name ends in a long a sound, again just drop that vowel sound and the child is left with the letter’s phonics sound.  Unfortunately, this technique does not work for Rr, Yy, Cc, Gg, Hh, Ww, and Qq, so children will have to memorize their phonics sounds.

Explore the app to boost phonetic skills

Remember to look for fun and engaging phonics-based games and activities on your Fun English Jr. app.  Those games and activities make it possible for your child to practice phonics in a fun way at home or elsewhere outside the classroom. Children learn more having fun and you can read about game based learning here.