So with Tinki fast approaching 3 and half I’m starting to get palpations about getting him school ready. We’re working on successfully managing the toilet alone, dressing ourselves and table manners and on the whole its going well even though the amount of noodles on my kitchen floor would suggest differently. The next big step is tackling reading and writing.
The problem with this is two-fold convincing an active small boy to sit still long enough to pick up a pen or read is hard work. Not to mention that I need to get my head around the concept of phonics.
Phonics teaches reading by focusing on identifying the sounds of letters or combinations of letters that are then put together to make word for example the O sound in Mole and Hole. This isn’t how I learnt to read and isn’t a process that comes naturally to me so I’ve been researching how best to help him while trying to get used to the phonetic alphabet ah, ba, k etc.
I’m also learning the language of phonics which involves sounding out words, blending, putting each sound of each letter together and segmenting, listening to a word to see what sounds make it up.
Experts claim that the start of this process is ‘developing phonics awareness’ or hearing the sounds of words to you and me. Listening to rhyming words is also said to be a key part of this process, and a great excuse to read my favourite book, Kes Gray’s Oi Frog. I wasn’t convinced that this process was working to be honest but yesterday we seemed to have a breakthrough while playing Tinki created an imaginary ghost who came into our den a ghost complete with a piece of toast.
I’m also encouraging Tinki to watch the CBeebies programme Alphablocks which is based on the phonics system, and lets be honest guilt free telly is good for both of us! I’ve discovered a whole realm of phonics songs online which I’m hoping that if I play in the background the sounds might just go in by some sort of academic osmosis. My chances of success may be limited with that one but every little helps as they say.
I’m not expecting Tinki to sit down with a novel anytime soon and despite all the recommendations of reading together everyday we get distracted however if I’m honest giving myself a kick to put the effort in has been well worth it. The excitement Room on the Broom caused when I did my best pretending to be doing the CBeebies bedtime story was truly satisfying and scored me some top mummy points.
If you fancy a go these are some of the websites I’ve found useful.