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Do you know the 3 biggest myths about how to teach phonics at home?

If you want to teach you preschooler / pre-k, or toddler to read, then read on as we bust the 3 biggest myths about teaching kids to read at home, before they start school.

Myth #1: You need to be a qualified educator to be able to teach phonics

Why is this not true?

Teaching phonics is a relatively simple process. If you use phonic sounds, the early stages of reading are very easy to understand for both you and your child. It all comes down to something called phonemic awareness. Let’s take a look at a child who will likely go on to read well and a child who will probably struggle to grasp reading:

Let’s take the word “man” for example. As a child who will likely go on to read well to clap at the same time as making the 3 sounds that make up the word, and they will say “m “a” “n”. A poor reading may struggle knowing how many times to clap (how many unique sounds there are), and may not identify that the last sound in “n” as opposed to “d’ – therefore they may not be able to distinguish the word man from the word mad. So now that we know a common cause of struggle at the very foundation stage of reading, as parents, we know the foundation area on which we need to focus in these early years. Once our child can correctly identify the phonemic sounds that make up a word, they are off like a rocket.

Myth #2: You need expensive reading resources

Many parents thing that in order to teach their child to read they need expensive charts, flash cards, worksheets and books. This is far from the truth.

I actual fact, as long as you have some paper and colored markers and a small collection of basic reading books with beautiful bright pictures (hello library…), you have everything you need. If you have a computer with a color printer and access to the internet, you are very lucky, because you have access to the biggest database of beautiful images – the internet.

Myth #3: Your child needs to be a genius to learn to read before they start school

Scientists have proven again and again that the brain’s ability to decipher sound from text does not depend on IQ or parental income.

Studies have shown again and again that phonemic awareness can be strengthened in children. How can you develop phonemic awareness in your child, ensuring that they have the best chance at becoming a successful reader? Just deliver around 100 hours of phonics instruction, in a fun and loving manner. This is usually enough to give most children the fundamental skills that they need to become good readers.

So there we have it. The 3 biggest myths about teaching children to read at home busted.

Have you successfully taught your child to read? How did you do it?