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Thursday, January 27, 2011

How To Help Your Toddler with Phonics



Alphabet flash cards


There are several children that sometimes get overlooked in the school system. These children may be children that never learned to read. Toddlers can be taught to read, but they must understand phonics. Your role in parenting is to observe your toddler and see how he/she is enunciating. When toddlers first start talking parents think it is so cute, just to hear them saying words, but their reading will depend a lot on phonics. Addressing this now might save you future problems.

1. Listening and Observing. Start listening and observing your toddler’s conversation. Toddlers sometimes say what they think a word is, not really knowing the correct pronunciation of the word. For example, a toddler might say “elphant”. The toddler might be trying to say elephant . You can then repeat the word elephant the correct way and say it slowly, “ el-ah-fant.” Repeat the el-ah; fa fa fa fa sound several times. Another example is the word excuse me. Your toddler might just leave off the ex and say “cuse me.“ You would then just repeat to your toddler slowly “excuse me“. Toddlers need to hear it and make sure that your toddler sees your mouth as you say it. Some of the consonant blends that some toddlers have problems with is “Th” “Szzzzz” and words starting with “F”. You eventually will be able to determine which words your toddler has problems with.

2. Flash cards. Continue this process with any words that you hear the toddler mispronouncing. Your toddler will eventually learn the correct pronunciation. This can also be accomplished with flash cards. There are a variety of flash cards that can be used. There are alphabet, picture, consonant blends, or picture and words. Show the flash cards one by one. Have your toddler repeat after you.

3. Books. Reading books aloud to your toddler will definitely build your toddler’s vocabulary. You can find books from the library, purchase them at the dollar store or even consignment shops. I started reading at age 3. The only book that was in our house was the Bible. There were no magazines or others books. I truly wanted to read, so I started with the Bible. The dollar store has a variety of hard card books that your toddler cannot tear up easily. Allow your toddler to pick out books that he/she would like to read.




4. Sound, Word, and Picture Association. As you read , point to certain pictures in the book and ask your toddler what it is. Also, point to the word and tell your toddler what the word is. Your toddler will eventually remember the words as well as the picture. As your toddler talks observe whether he/she is pronouncing it correctly. If not just say it again slowly and make sure they see your mouth as you say it, because sometimes toddlers will say what they think they hear. Have you heard the expression “hooked on phonics?” You want to be hook on it to help your toddler with his/her speech. If your toddler learns phonics, he/she can basically sound a word out and it will make learning to read much easier.

Tips: This is a process. Remember changes might not occur over night.
It takes time and persistence

Resources: http://genkienglish.net/phonics.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phonics

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