Step 3 Sounding Out Words
Your phonics system gives you the key to sound out words, but you need to get the child to mash the sounds together. For example, hold the Apple Card and ask for the sound. The child will say “ah.” Now make the ah absurdly long like this “aaaaaaaaaah” then bring in the /t/. It will sound like “aaaaaaaaaaht.” The child might recognize the word at or you might have to tell him. You can then add a sound to it like /b/ and get “bat.” There are a number of ending sounds that keep their spelling like “at” that you can use. Keep in mind blending gives your child a clue to the word.
Unfortunately, the sounds of a word tend to wrap around each other rather then come sequentially. While the average 5 year old has an expressive vocabulary of 5,000 words, he may need helping from blended sounds to the actual word. Most children get blending if you have them blend two letters into a word and then progress to three. For those who don’t they need to practice sounding out words first and then blending them. In Rocket Phonics we make a game out of it.
Sounding Out Word Games
One game we use is, “Guess What I’m Thinking Game.” We think of a word and then say the sounds of the words as a hint. As the child listens to the hint he has to blend the sounds in his mind. When he guesses the word he blends them. Then it is his turn and he goes through the same process. Don’t make him wrong. As he goes through this process he will get blending. Once he or she gets blending they are ready to read words.
In some games we hide Bingo chips with the word as a clue. Keep in mind little kids need to move so whether you are using Rocket Phonics or another reading program set it up so they can run or jump will reading. Make it fun and when they grow up they will love reading. This love of reading allows us to do the next step.