https://learn.readwithfonics.com/ (costs 7.99)
Information for parents
What is a phoneme? It is the smallest unit of sound and a piece of terminology that children like to use and should be taught. At first it will equate with a letter sound but later on will include the digraphs.
What is a digraph? This is when two or more letters come together to make a phoneme. /oa/ makes the sound in boat.
What is blending? Blending is the process that is involved in bringing the sounds together to make a word or a syllable and is how /c/ /a/ /t / becomes cat.
At St Mary's we use the Collins Reading Materials in Key Stage 2, supplemented by other publishers. In Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 we use Oxford Reading Tree. These were purchased by the PTA. You can find out more about the the Collins Big Cat scheme by clicking here and the Oxford Reading Tree materials by clicking here.
Reading with your child
One of the greatest gifts that you can give to your child is a love of reading. Research has shown that one of the biggest indicators of success in a child's life is whether or not they have books in the home. As a parent, try to focus on making reading fun and enjoyable rather than getting bogged down in trying to teach nitty gritty skills. There are many, many different things that you can do. Here are just a few:
Let your child see you reading - This can be a newspaper, magazine, anything you like. This is a powerful message to send to your child so go on, put your feet up for 10 minutes and have a read.
Read something with your child - It doesn't need to be a book. The secret is to find something that your child is desperate to read - comics, magazines, football programmes, newspapers, internet pages, texts, e-mails, catalogues etc. If you are reading books together you could ask your child's school what Book Band your child is reading at (this will be a colour) and choose a book from this band. However, never underestimate that power of a book that a child really, really wants to read, even if it is too hard for them. If they are very keen to read a particular tricky book then go for it and just help them out when they need it.
Talk about what they are reading - Talk before you start. Talk whilst you are reading. Talk after you have finished. You can still talk about what your child is reading even if they don't want to actually read with you any more.
Praise your child - Studies show that children who are given specific support with their reading make much greater progress if they are given lots of praise than if they are given the support alone. It can be tough to think up lots of new ways to praise your child. It can be also be hard to stay positive if you are particularly worried about your child's reading skills. Try to praise your child's accuracy, understanding and attitude. If you are stuck for ideas have a look at these Ways to Praise. (phonics play).