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Phonics


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Hi. I have been reading many posts lately about phonics and am pretty sure I have seen that some people do phonics with children in nurseries. :o Not totally sure if that is right! Are we supposed to teach phonics in nurseries/pre-schools, or is it just something that is done in schools?

 

Clare

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We teach phonics in nursery through games, to 4 year olds. They enjoy it and most children learn many letter sounds and learn the skill of hearing initial sounds. Some children learn to hear final and medial sounds too, and most children use some letter sounds correctly in emergent writing. These children are having fun, and the adults are responding to their interest in early reading or writing (rather than insisting that they sit down and write in a formal way). Phonics never replaces activities that boost speaking and listening, or reading. I don't think any harm can come of it.

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We are a Foundation Stage Unit with both Nursery and Reception aged children. All the children are free to join in the phonic activities and many of the nursery children enjoy doing so(by choice) but they are not formally 'taught' phonics.

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I think that if children show an interest, as in anything else, we should be responding to it. As long as it is fun and no pressure then learning about letters and sounds is just fine, after all it is part of the way the world works. I think the problems arise when parents, or people who do not understand how we work, think that we should be being 'formal' making the children learn, doing worksheets etc. and then if children are not learning them labeling those children as failing, rather than just not ready yet and accepting that they will get there eventually.

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Dont forget that rhyming should come first, children should be able to put together a collection of words that sound the same.

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Our pre school have started teaching phonics and i am not sure about it to be hones. A lot of our children could have done with a lot more work on general speaking and listening and sound discrimmination before th phonic input began. Like you say Mimi rhyming is also something which children should do first.

 

Lola

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Thanks for your comments! I was hoping that we weren't missing something that we were supposed to be doing! I think for the time being, I'll leave phonics, as our children tend to need more support with general speaking, listening and sound discrimination. Thanks again, though!

 

Clare

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Have you seen Sue Palmers book Foundations of Literacy. It has lots of wonderful ideas for developing speaking and listening and pre-reading/phonics. Sue feels all these things should be in place first and the more formal aspects left until Y1/2.

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