Is your child struggling with phonics and reading?

September 25, 2018

Many children struggle to use phonic skills as part of learning to read. Here are some ideas for skills that can be worked on at home.

Use multi-sensory approaches

Learn about letters and the sounds they make by using the different senses. For example, manipulate wooden or magnetic letters whilst saying the sounds, or tracing over letters in shaving foam.

Play memory games

Children with poor short term memory struggle to ‘hold’ a sequence of sounds in their mind in order to blend them. Play memory games that involve your child remembering and carrying out 2, 3 or 4 instructions in order.

Help develop phonological awareness skills

Students at risk for reading difficulty often have lower levels of phonological awareness. Phonological awareness is the ability to recognise and work with sounds in spoken language. Practise skills such as:

  • Rhyming- read books with rhymes, match pictures or symbols of words that rhyme, continue a rhyming string
  • Recognising syllables- clapping out or tapping the beats in spoken words e.g. win-dow
  • Recognising initial sounds of words- play games such as ‘eye spy’ or ‘Simon says’
  • Recognising final sound in words- name some objects and have your child tell you the final sound. Over-pronounce the sound if your child is having difficulties


Once a child's phonological skills are secure, they are then ready to move on to blending and segmenting (spelling).

Remember to make time for reading with your child. This can involve reading to your child, looking at pictures in a book, reading recipes, signs in a supermarket, bus stops, letters... Your child needs to see that reading is enjoyable and a part of everyday life.

I hope this helps. 




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