How to Help Your Child Learn Phoneme Awareness

How to Help Your Child Learn Phoneme Awareness

How to Help Your Child Learn Phoneme Awareness

Like all buildings, they get their strength from their foundation.  This allows for the many floors of a building to be added.  Just as in architecture, literacy success relies upon a ‘strong foundation.’   In literacy, this foundation is called ‘phoneme awareness.’  This is the ability to hear and identify sounds in words; how many sounds there are; the order of these sounds in a word; and lastly, being able to identify when a sound changes in a word; where it changes; and what it changes to.

One way to help your child learn phoneme awareness is to have them watch you read.  As you read aloud, point to the words on the page and make the sound of each letter in the word.  You can also have them repeat the sounds after you.

Another way to help your child develop phoneme awareness is to play games that involve sound discrimination.  For example, you can play a game where you say a word and your child must identify the sound that begins that word.  You can move up the challenge level to first grade by asking your child to identify the sound at the end of the word and lastly what sound is in the middle of the word.

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Finally, you can help your child learn phoneme awareness by teaching them simple rhyming games.  Introduction to rhyming can begin at birth with reading books with your child that have rhyming text.  As they advance to kindergarten and first grade, start by saying a word and having your child say a word that rhymes with it.  As they become more proficient, you can challenge them by saying two words and having them identify the rhyming word.

There are many online games and apps that provide great opportunities for phoneme awareness practice.  One recommendation is

By providing opportunities for your child to hear, say, and manipulate sounds, you can help them develop phoneme awareness which is the foundation to literacy development.  Without phoneme awareness mastery, the next step to literacy success of phonics/decoding will be difficult.  Decoding is where the child learns to crack the ‘alphabetic code.’  This is the matching of a letter symbol(s), to sounds and putting those sounds together to make the word they see in print before them.  An early introduction to phoneme awareness is key to literacy success.

How to Help Your Child Learn Phoneme Awareness How to Help Your Child Learn Phoneme Awareness

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