Teaching kids to read for a non-teacher mom is a bit tricky. Well, at least it is for me.
As much as possible, I want to stay away from drilling my kids because, to be honest, forcing little kids to learn this mama tired, not to mention frustrates both my kids and me at the same time.
What is phonics?
Simply put, it is one of the ways kids learn to read. There are other ways, such as using flashcards and all.
I don’t limit myself to just one method of teaching. But for this post, we are going to talk about phonics.
Phonics is about learning each letter’s sound, from letter A to letter Z, to then help little readers learn to read.
For example, the letter A makes the sound ‘ah’ or letter C makes the sound ‘kkk’ – try to make the sound ‘keh,’ but actually, we are making the sound ‘kkk’ without ‘eh’ at the end.
If you are not familiar with phonics, don’t worry. Because I was once at your spot.
I’ve got your back. You can do this!
Why do I choose to teach my child phonics to learn to read?
Because it is fun.
And also, it is super helpful when they meet new words.
When my kids meet words that they had never heard before or had never read before, they would first sound out each letter in the word and then blend them all together.
How to teach phonics to 6-years old
Before I dive deeper into this topic, I would love to note that every kid is different.
I have 5 kids, and every one of them is different. Their learning style, their learning pace, everything is different.
So to teach our kids with phonics, first, observe their learning pace. As much as possible, refrain from pushing them too hard.
From what I experienced, when our young learners are ready, they will catch up easily without so much fuss.
It is me as an adult that needs to hold myself from drilling or forcing them to learn.
Having said that, let’s begin!
There are many ways to teach little readers with phonics. I would say make everything fun.
Kids learn best when they enjoy the session, plus fun times mean less tired mama on our part.
#1: Sing the alphabet chant.
Seriously, this is exciting!
I started singing this alphabet chant with me, just wanting to sing letter A to letter E for the first week.
Ends up, my kids ask for a song that lasts until the letter Z!
You can find any of the alphabet chants on YouTube.
If you wish to have extra resources while singing the alphabet chant, grab our alphabet poster.
We love to sing the alphabet chant while holding related picture cards.
For example, if we are singing ‘A is for apple,’ I would be holding the picture apple.
Another way to use the picture cards is by putting the cards on the wall.
This way, your kids can sing the song by themselves while pointing to the corresponding picture cards.
#2: Letter craft
Oh boy, my kids love this activity!
It’s like they got to transform a piece of paper into something adorable that looks like a letter.
While doing the craft, you can sing the alphabet chant together.
For example, if you are doing the letter A craft, which is about an apple, make it more fun by singing the alphabet chant while your kids cut and paste.
Be sure to grab some of the letter craft ideas from my Pinterest boards.
#3: Alphabet Mini Book
Our goal is to ensure that our young learners got the sound of each letter A to Z.
So we are doing more fun activities so that they remember the letter’s sound by heart.
Let me share with you about our fun Alphabet Mini Book activities.
First activity, read and color the book
First, look at the cover of the mini book. Together you chant the letter song for letter A.
Then, open up the mini book and identify each of the pictures. While at this, we are singing the alphabet chant.
Once you are done, have your kids color the mini book and trace the letters.
Second activity, cut and paste in the book
I have also included other fun activity, which is ‘Let’s make a book!’
Kids love projects and the feeling of contributing to something.
This activity is about re-creating the Alphabet Mini Book.
First, you need to print the book and pre-fold it.
Then have your little reader to cut the pictures and paste them on their own Alphabet Mini Book.
They can copy the sequence from the Alphabet Mini Book, or they can make their own sequence.
Watch how they say the name of the pictures and sing the alphabet chant together.
It will be so much fun!
#4: Hunt the letters
Another fun way to help my kids to learn their phonics is by hunting the letters.
Usually, I would grab a storybook and ask them to circle or put a sticker on our letter-of-the-day.
For example, if we are doing letter A for the day, I would ask my kids to hunt for the letter A.
But then, well, our storybooks became a mess. I’m aware that messy work shows that your kids are making progress.
But I thought, why don’t I just make our own story pages and let them hunt the letter from there.
And here it is!
This is a an Answer Key from our Letter A packet.
Your little reader doesn’t have to know how to read it yet. Just let them hunt for the letter A and lowercase letters and circle on the said letters.
Yep, it looks very simple.
Yet, it helps little kids to recognize how letter a looks like in a sea of letters in their storybook.
Once they are familiar with said letters, they’d be more comfortable to sound it.
Putting it all together
Phew, that’s a lot to process, right?
Don’t worry, I have bundled up all of the resources I mentioned in this post together with a planner.
You can download the Letter A freebie packet by clicking on the download button below.
I hope this post helps you to navigate your way about how to teach phonics to your kids.
You got this!