Phase 2 Phonics – S
Have you had information home from school about phonics? If you’re not familiar with phonics it’s just one of the skills children learn at school in the UK and around the world to enable them to learn to read. You can find out more about phonics in this blog post here.
As a family we have had information home from school this week. I’m relieved that school seem to be quite open to us supporting her learning in a way that fits for us at home.
Lots of schools use Jolly Phonics to teach phonics. You can download a free app that lets you play the songs and see the letter formation. You can find the app on the Jolly Phonics website here.
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Since out daughter, Floss, started school in September she’s been exhausted. Currently, lots of activities we used to do before she started school are just not right for how she’s feeling when she gets home.
Phonics Tablet Games
We do use a Fire tablet with our daughter. This is mainly while I’m cooking. Sometimes Floss enjoys cooking with me, but since starting school she’s been too exhausted. There is an option in the settings to add a certain amount of ‘educational’ time in 15 minute increments before any other games can be played. This means the games she is playing at that time are usually phonics or maths related, but she gets to choose.
What she often needs right now is for me to be close, but not directly interacting. As a previous reception teacher, I know exactly how much they do in school. A little quiet time together is perfect. Often, asking questions about how their day went can be quite fruitless.
Floss enjoys being creative, so when she came home and we knew she’d been doing about the letter ‘s’ I got thinking. I sat by Floss and began to draw a ‘s’ shaped snake. I then drew another.
Floss glanced up from what she was doing and asked what I was making. I explained I’d drawn a snake and was going to decorate it. Floss asked if she could decorate one too. We both began decorating our snakes in silence. Then Floss said, “These snakes look like a ‘ssss’, we learnt about that in school today.”
Play it Coy
Play it coy. Generally, the moment they give us an opening we want to dive in and ask them load of questions about their day. Resist! A few minutes later Floss told me they’d been talking about ‘smelly socks’ because they both start with a ‘ssss’.
I decided to write smelly socks on a piece of paper with one of her pens. I started sounding out the letters I needed and Floss joined in telling me the sound that came next in the word.
Mark Making and Letter Formation
Spelling a word is a more complex skill than reading. You may find your child wants to write the words themselves and that’s great. Floss after school is too tired right now so me writing while she tells me the sounds is perfect.
A selection of enticing pens and pencils goes a long way to getting children to choose to mark make and write. I always think they’re a great gift idea too.
If your child already knows the sounds that they are learning in school you can choose to do different things at home. Supporting them with letter formation of the sounds they are learning could be one way or you could help them build words with their growing knowledge of sounds.
Quick Phonics Activities
Don’t worry if you’re short on time – there are lots of ways you can incorporate a little phonics into your day. We play this little high frequency word game at breakfast – it’s all about getting to use the punch! We also play I-spy on the walk to school for the sounds we’re learning. Floss usually initiates this. Spotting sounds and words that are familiar in the story books we share together also practises the sounds being learnt.
One thing I would say is that learning phonics should be fun. If you or your child aren’t enjoying something – change it up!
You may like to check out this blog post with more about phase 2 phonics and ideas for learning ‘s’.