Phonemics and Phonics

Phonemics is not phonics.  Whereas phonics teaches  that written letters and letter combinations represent sounds, phonemic awareness refers to spoken sound and the ability to manipulate the individual sounds that occur in everyday speech.

Phonemic awareness leads to reading readiness and can be developed in young children in a variety of ways.

  • Speak to your child, clearly and directly, from the time he is an infant. There is no substitute for live human interaction …tv is not the same.
  • Play rhyming games. Make up rhymes to go with your child’s name, or with the activity you are about to start. For example, Joe, let’s go for a walk in the snow.   Then encourage your child to add on rhyming words.
  • Make up funny words by substituting letters. “Apples and Bananas” is a great song for substituting vowel sounds.
  • Isolate certain sounds in words.  Stress the beginning sound and the ending sound. Exaggerate the vowel sounds.  Make it sound silly and then repeat it correctly.
  • Recite Nursery Rhymes with your child.  You can use a nursery rhyme any time for a diversion.  For example, when you are dressing or changing a young child, a song or nursery rhyme stops the squirming and adds a bit of fun. Repeat the same one each time and soon you will find that your child will sing along with you.

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