Beginning Readers

When our children are learning to read, phonemic awareness is a term that you might not be familiar with yet. I know that when my daughter was beginning to read, I had never heard of the term.

Phonemic awareness is the ability to HEAR sounds and separate, manipulate, and change them. Phonemic awareness is only ever ORAL, never written (that’s phonics). It is also the FIRST reading foundation to develop and it starts as soon as babies are born. Through singing and talking to our little ones, we are establishing rhythm, rhyming, and much more. Nursery rhymes are ESSENTIAL to the development of phonemic awareness as rhyming is absolutely necessary for a strong foundation in phonemic awareness.  Children need to be able to rhyme and manipulate words orally before they can even begin to learn letters and sounds.

Here’s a quick, fun phonemic awareness activity for you to try with your children: 

Say a word to your child like “mat”. Have them repeat it, then say “Change the /m/ sound to /s/ (saying the sound, not the letter name), and what’s the new word? Sat!”

You can do this with endless words for a fun, pass-the-time activity, all the while building your child’s phonemic awareness! One of our essential sets for learning phonemic awareness was Usborne’s phonics readers. They offer these colorful, interactive books individually or as a  discount set.  All are great for introducing your children to the world of phonics and to begin their adventures in reading!

learn to read, phonics, phonemic, sounds, letters

9 thoughts on “Beginning Readers

  1. I love when my 2 year old copy my 7 year old and say I am reading. Ha ha . such an adorable sight . I am surely gonna try these tips you share here.

  2. As a former first grade teacher, I cannot love this post enough! I wish more parents knew the importance of learning to play with words and sounds in advance of reading. We have been stepping up the word play big time in anticipation of my daughter starting formal school this fall!

  3. I absolutely love this. I read to my children every day for at least 30 minutes. They are only 8 months old. It’s the highlight of my day. What age should I start the Phonemic exercises.

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