Teaching Phonics on Your Own

As I mentioned on the main phonics page here at TJ Homeschooling, this is a simple, quick overview of how you can teach phonics at home, in shaa Allah.
How to Teach Phonics at Home

1. If you are teaching phonics on your own, the first thing you'll want to do is brush up a little on phonics if you are rusty or never learned it.

Here are a few places you can do that:
 2. The next step is to get a good phonogram list. A phonogram is  a letter or letters that represent a sound. For example, "ee," "ay," and "a" are phonograms.

There are many phonogram lists out there, but one of the most extensive that I have found is a free one from Ultimate Phonics.

3. After you've got your list, you basically take one phonogram at a time and teach it. 
  • Introduce the rule (sound) of the phonogram.  
  • Then, give your students words with the specific phonogram to practice reading. (Besides reading a list, play games and activities as I mention below)
  • Next, give your student sentences to read with words that contain the phonogram. (You can have them copy the sentences too, for writing practice)
  • Finally, give your students stories to read that contain the phonogram (e.g. Sheep in a Jeep to each the "ee" phonogram.
  • Each day, before you learn a new phonogram, be sure to review previous ones (you can do this quickly with flashcards. Show the phonogram, have your student make the sound, then have your student read one word that contains the phonogram). If your student needs more than one day for a given phonogram, then take more days, as needed.

Add Some Fun to Your Lessons

When you are teaching the words:
  • You can play games like Bang, Bingo, Tic Tac Toe. 
  • You can do reading drills.  
  • You can play hopscotch with the phonograms in the spaces.  
  • You can give your child worksheets
  • and you can do so much more!

The main thing is just to provide CONSISTENT  with regular practice AND regular REVIEW.

Be prepared before you sit down. Know which phonogram you are going to go over and what activities you will undertake.  

And that's really it.  The key is the CONSISTENCY.   We have had a few mainstay activities that we use over and over again because they were fun. It's ok to do that.  My 21 year old today still remembers the first phonics flashcards that I  made up because we used to play so many fun games with them. It was just a deck of homemade index cards with a phonogram on one side and words with that phonogram on the other side.  We didn't do much other than that except worksheets and a few internet sites (this was the late 90s/early 2000s). That was it. Today, there are so many sites with games on the internet where you can reinforce the phonograms you are working on. 

As I mentioned before, sometimes my kids got phonics right away and sometimes they didn't. The key is to be consistent (have I mentioned that before? lol) and when things just aren't working after a good CONSISTENT effort. STOP, STOP, STOP.  Don't beat a dead horse as the saying goes. Sometimes I have found that if we stop and pick it up at a later time, eventually they do pick it up, in s haa Allah (God willing). One of my kids was four when she learned how to blend words together in phonics. One of mine was 11 almost 12 before he got it. 

So, in a nutshell, that's how you CAN teach phonics yourself without a prepackaged curriculum, if that is what you want or need to do.   My kids are in a public homeschooling program and I really miss the days of our independent phonics learning. It was much more explicit and simple and to me, more effective.