As a parent, one of the most important things in life is seeing your child do well in school and life, and one key stepping stone on this path is becoming a good reader. For teachers, it is all the same, as The Department of Education states that deploying a phonics education at an early age can also help children develop culturally, socially, and emotionally. Research shows that phonics when taught correctly is one of the most effective ways of teaching children to learn to read, and can lay a proper foundation for the success of a child. This article will further cover the top benefits of phonics education with children.
Reading exercises the brain.
Reading in itself is a complex mental task that helps increase a young reader’s intelligence by building new neural pathways in the brain. Phonics allows children to see letters written on a page and provides them with the tools to understand it properly. Beyond reading and writing, it helps children develop general thinking skills such as probabilistic reasoning and reasoning by analogy.
Children who practice reading often through phonics, get better.
The old saying “practice makes perfect” ties in well with phonics, as it is an important tool for children to develop reading fluency. Over time, children are able to develop into fluent readers who can quickly recognize familiar words and easily sound out new words they encounter.
Sound to symbol recognition becomes faster
A child who learns reading through phonics will have excellent phonemic awareness – which is the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate letter symbols with their appropriate sound.
Reading builds a child’s patience and concentration.
Most of the time while a child practices reading, they are required to sit still and quietly so that they can focus on the task at hand. They also become better students by following a teacher’s instruction over time.
Reading improves grasp of vocabulary and language.
Extensive reading helps children broaden their vocabulary and general knowledge. Phonics allows young readers to develop their reading comprehension and decode new words as they read. With practice, this action becomes so automatic that they are able to easily understand the overall meaning of words while they are reading.
Phonics education helps children be imaginative and empathetic
As children develop their reading skills and learn about people, places, and events outside of their own experience, they begin to imagine how they would feel in that situation. They see the world with new eyes and can better visualize the descriptions of what they read.
Sounding out unfamiliar words is easier
Donald R. Bear, Marcia Invernizzi, Shane Templeton and Francine Johnson, authors of “Words Their Way,” mention that teaching phonics allows students to find the regular patterns of words, and connect them for easier reading. Unfamiliar words are easier for unravel as children develop their phonemic awareness.
Children learn syllable structure
A student who learns phonics becomes more familiar with syllable structure. For example, acknowledging that a closed syllable will end in a consonant and have a short vowel, while an open syllable will end in a vowel that makes a long sound. English structures become clearer and easier to understand through phonics education.
Higher reading skills result in better success in school.
Through Phonics education, children become more active with their reading, which also promotes achievement in other subjects, not just English. Children can better grasp other types of knowledge across their curriculum.
The learning experience is fun!
Teaching phonics is often designed to be fun and engaging for children. For example, games are often tied to lessons, and the visuals which accompany the lessons are usually very vibrant. This approach is meant to enhance the learning experience, and ultimately results in better overall development of reading and writing skills.
Of course, all children are individuals, each with their own learning styles. Phonics education is one method that can be incorporated into a complete, well-rounded reading program that encourages visual learners to recognize whole words by sight, and creates opportunities for extensive reading and creative writing. The Literacy Project (TLP) aims to bridge the literacy gap of emerging 2nd-graders, by introducing programs to remove the impediment of illiteracy and foster a life-long love of reading.