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Tips to Help my Child Build Phonemic Awareness

My son is an unenthusiastic reader.  With his entrance into the first grade, I wanted to make sure his foundational skills were strong and that his reluctance to read was not due to a lack of proficiency.  I found some great tips for increasing phonemic awareness, and I wanted to share them.

The National Institute for Literacy has identified phonemic awareness as a building block of successful reading.  Here are some fun games that can be played with your child to increase his or her phonemic awareness skill level.

  •  Using a white board or chalk board, write a simple word like mat.  Ask your child to sound the word out, breaking it into its three phonemes:  /m/, /a/, /t/.  Have your child replace the /m/ sound with an /s/ sound to make the word sat.  You can work on replacing beginning, ending, or middle sounds.
  • Play rhyming games or read books like those of Dr. Seuss.
  • Play sound games that involve blending.  Sound out mop using its three phonemes, /m/, /o/, /p/, and let your child blend the sounds together to figure out the word.
  • Elaine Engerdahl recommends giving your child a mirror so he or she can watch while sounds are formed during these games.

The most important part of helping your child succeed in reading is to be aware of his or her skill level.  In Let’s Go Learn’s DORA Phonemic Awareness, children are presented with a number of audio and picture-only items, ideal for non-readers or struggling readers.

Tags: Tips to Help my Child Build Phonemic Awareness

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