Tips for Phonics with your children
Talking, listening, singing
Talking, listening, singing, rhythm and rhyme are all important for children’s language development.
Start by listening. This will encourage your child to talk and use more and more relevant language.
- Waiting a little bit for children to reply allows them to think about what has been said, gather their thoughts and frame their replies.
- Explain to your child that good listening is about keeping quiet, having your ears and your eyes ready.
- Sing with your child or let them listen to their favourite CDs and encourage them to join in.
- And, of course, most children enjoy listening to nursery rhymes, either sung or spoken.
Getting your child to distinguish between different types of sounds is also helpful.
- Environmental sounds are the sounds all around us. Take your child for a walk and talk about the different sounds they can hear.
- Use simple instruments, such as bells or drums, to introduce your child to instrumental sounds.
- Try body percussion sounds such as stamping feet and clapping hands. Make silly noises with your voice to help them recognise voice sounds, such as buzzing like a bumblebee or hissing like a snake.
Building attention span
Doing these activities with your child will also help to increase their attention span – another important step in preparing to learn phonics.
The Sounds of Letters
Tips for teaching your child the sounds:
- It is important for a child to learn lower case or small letters rather than capital letters at first. Most early books and games use lower case letters and your child is learning these first at school. Obviously you should use a capital letter when required, such as at the beginning of the child’s name, eg. Paul.
- When you talk about letters to your child, remember to use the letter sounds: a buh cuh duh e … rather than the alphabet names of the letters: ay bee see dee ee. The reason for this is that sounding out words is practically impossible if you use the alphabet names. eg. cat, would sound like: see ay tee. Each week you will receive the sounds and actions we are learning for each sound. Letter names will be learned later in the year once they are secure in the single sounds.
- When saying the sounds of b, d, g, j and w you will notice the ‘uh’ sound that follows each, for example buh, duh… You cannot say the sound without it; however, try to emphasise the main letter sound. Here is a video about pronunciation:
Blending and Segmenting
Blending refers to the skill needed to read, i.e merging the sounds together to read/pronounce a word (c-a-t, cat). Segmenting refers to the skill needed to spell, i.e taking apart the sounds in the word in order and assigning a written sound to each. (cat, c-a-t). Children find this easier if they can learn to orally blend and segment first.
To support them in this, you can use “Robot talk”.
- Gather some toys/pictures (c-a-t, d-o-g, p-i-g). Ask which is the p-i-g, d-o-g, etc
- Play I-spy: “I spy a d-o-g”
- Given instructions: “Please put this in the b-i-n”
- Play Simon says; Simon says “Touch your h-ea-d,” etc
For segmenting reverse these games so children are asking you.
Have fun with it, don’t make it a chore. Let us know if you would like more ideas or if you have an idea yourself!
Useful Reference Websites:
Tips for Maths with your children
Helping children with maths can sometimes be daunting for parents, particularly as some of the ways in which they are taught can look different from the way parents learnt at school. Our intention is to develop this area of the website with videos and demonstrations of some of the methods we use.
Teachers are always happy to go through methods with parents and we run annual workshops to demonstrate how we teach calculations.
Maths policy at Kilmorie
There are links at the bottom of this page to the school calculation policy and mental maths policy. You can also find the key areas taught in each area for each year group here. You can also read details of the national maths curriculum from the UK government website.
For children to become proficient mathematicians, they need have a quick recall of number facts. You can help them do this by
- Playing board games with them
- Using Internet sites such as Maths Games to practice number facts
- Using number fact songs on YouTube or other sites such as this one.
A pack of playing cards or a pair of dice is good tools for practising number facts. Examples of games to play can be found on the Internet. For example;
You can also use everyday activities such as shopping, walking down stairs (count the steps), walking down the street (count the gates, look for shapes) and cooking to practice maths skills.