Reading Begins with Phonemic Awareness

Building a strong foundation in phonemic awareness is the very first skill your children need to master when launching them on the path to reading. This training gives them the knowledge that words are made up of  individual sounds (or what are also known as “phonemes”). 

The importance of mastering this skill when beginning to learn how to read cannot be understated. In their groundbreaking book, “What Reading Research Tells Us About Children With Diverse Learning Needs,” Deborah Simmons and Edward Kameenui tell us there’s an important relationship between phonemic awareness and reading acquisition.

Use our checklist to determine exactly where your children are at on the path to reading. Give your children simple tests to reveal any specific gaps in their skills that need filling in. All the materials you’ll need to build those missing skills are included.

The Experts on Phonics

There have been several published reports showing how important it is for children to develop phonemic awareness in order to become excellent readers. Chief among these, The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development studied nearly 10,000 children over a 15 year period. They found this ability vital to the development of solid phonics aptitude as well as fluent and spontaneous word reading. These early childhood experts conclude that a young child’s ability to say letter sounds, or deficiency thereof, is the most reliable and consistent predictor of future reading success.

Initial (or beginning) sound phonemic awareness is acquired in small children by helping them focus on the individual sound of the first letter at the beginning of words. We’re not referring to the name of the character but the actual sound it makes. An example would be explaining to your youngster that the word ‘dog’ starts out by using the /d/ sound, and the word ‘cat’ starts having a /c/ sound.

Rhyming is another important phonemic awareness skill. Rhyming can be learned through various rhyming games that train children to focus their attention on the ending sounds of words. Finding rhyming pairs and deciding if two words rhyme or do not rhyme are fundamentals in helping children acquire rhyming aptitude.

Beginning Sounds

A wonderful way for youngsters to master recognizing the beginning sounds of words, as well as rhyming words, is through hearing modeling done by their parents or teachers. The more schoolteachers know about and use these phonemic awareness principles, the better their students become at reading.

Initial sound awareness and rhyming aptitude can be developed in children as young as 2-5 years old using a variety of properly constructed stimulating language activities. See our phonemic awareness game apps below.

Phonemic awareness is developed through auditory stimulation. Our products train your child’s brain to focus on the individual component sounds that are used in spoken words. Children do not need to have any printed letter knowledge to become competent in phonemic awareness.

Children must have the capacity to memorize and detect the beginning sounds of words and focus on the letter sounds not remembered. An indication of adeptness of this foundational ability is your child being able to tell you that the word ‘balloon’ has the /b/ sound at the start of it, not because they simply memorized the word, but because they were able to analyze the word and then determine the starting sound of it.

Get these to Master Phonemic Awareness

Letter Free Phonics

Letter Free Phonics helps children learn to recognize and identify sounds at the beginning of words. This is a very key principle and is direct preparation for learning the alphabetic principle. Children match images to sound tiles based on the beginning sounds of words.

Partners in Rhyme

Phoneme Isolation with Rhyming – a Great Way to Start Your Child on the Path to Reading

This is a fun app game to begin helping your children develop phonemic awareness. Once they become familiar with the rhymes in this app, they can start to make up their own rhymes, which reinforces knowledge of the sounds in the English language.

Phonemic Awareness Bubbles

Matching Games to Develop Phonemic Awareness

The learning games in this app help children develop phonemic awareness and prepare them to learn the alphabetic principle. This app helps your child develop their ability to listen for and discern sounds at the beginning of words.