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Helping your child with phonics

In the next few weeks 5 and 6 year olds across England will be tested to check their phonics reading ability. One of the leading teaching unions is calling for a boycott of the tests saying that it might make 5 year olds feel like they are a failure and devastate their confidence at an early age.

The Government wants all children to be taught to read by using phonics (which is already happening in most schools). This is where children learn sounds and groups of letter sounds. The test is being used to identify children who need more support but teachers think it won’t tell them anything they don’t already know.  Every child at the end of Year One will take the 10 minute test which will check their understanding of 20 ‘normal’ words and 20 ‘made up’ words. If your child is struggling with phonics and reading then how can you help them?

–          If you don’t know what phonics is then arm yourself with some information – ask school for the basics or track down a good phonics based book. It’s a good idea to try and find a book that marries up with the way in which your child’s school teaches phonics.

–          Start at the beginning. Children sometimes struggle with phonics and reading because they haven’t grapsed the basic letter sounds or groups of letters. It’s worth revisiting the basics first.

–          Throw the books away. Sometimes the pressure of constantly reading books can hinder a child’s progress. Instead think about reading comics, books on a kindle, magazines, cereal packets or road signs. Make things fun.

–          Don’t compare. Children progress at different rates and there is often a gender difference. If you are worried about your child’s progress then it’s best to discuss it with their teacher rather than another parent.

–          Look into specialised one to one tutors who can help build your child’s confidence and ability in an environment where they feel safe and supported.

If you need help with phonics and reading help for your primary aged child in Manchester including areas such as Sale, Didsbury, Trafford and Urmston then contact 121 Home Tutors.



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