What are Phonics and why are they important?
Before I even had kids, I’d heard of ‘phonics’ but wasn’t really sure what they were.
If you are reading this and too don’t have a Scooby, a brief description of phonics is:
Phonics is proven to be the most effective method at teaching children to learn to read as it simplifies the English language down into just 44 sounds. Children therefore ‘decode’ words by breaking it down into it’s sounds rather than having to memorise 1,000’s of words individually.
Phonics breaks words up into the smallest units of sound (phonemes) such as such as “ough” in “dough”. Letters, or graphemes are then taught e.g. to represent these phonemes and also learn to blend them into words.
Now, I come from a family of teachers so I’d heard about phonics before my Mum retired. I didn’t really pay much attention at the time though – I was about 25 years old and had no kids. I was too busy getting drunk.
Now that I have a preschooler though, school ratings, results and curriculum are of a lot more interest.
So when I was approached by Fonics Schools to try out and review their new app, Read with Fonics I interested to find out a bit more.
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READ WITH FONICS APP!
Read with Fonics
The Read with Fonics website and app is a new offering created by a primary school teacher as a complete classroom resource to help to teach children to read.
The app teaches all the phonics sounds in a fun and interactive way through a series of 7 or 8 games that get progressively harder each time.
Split up into four ‘worlds’ (water, forest, lava and jelly), the child guides Albee the alien exploring each, playing games along the way.
Every time a sound is learnt, another gets unlocked, encouraging children to progress to the next one. The app uses a scoring system where points are picked up along the way, rather than market out of 100.
Tried and tested review:
Lady P has played with this app on and off for a while now. She isn’t one to use the iPad a lot – it tends to be something we give her when we are trying to get dressed, waiting for appointments or to stop her from falling asleep in the car. So she’s dipped in and out of the games depending on what mood she is in.
She has enjoyed doing the activities and progressed through the letters within the worlds. I was actually quite surprised at how quickly she understood what she needed to do, although she did need a bit of guidance at first. Once shown though, she was able to carry on and did so.
Bear in mind however that she’s not yet 3 years old, I think she is a bit young to fully ‘get’ this app yet.
I feel that it would be better suited to an older child; children of school age who have already had exposure to the phonics concept would get more out of the activities. Saying that, the activities are colourful and certainly interactive, so I think it would be a good app as an additional aid or game for parents to help younger children with.
At a glance:
- Price: from free with paid for options
- Materials: n/a
- Quality: n/a
- Gender: unisex
- Available on the app store – more information on the website
- Recommendation: For older children entering school soon or in early years education
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Terms & Conditions
No purchase necessary. Entrants must be aged 18 years or over. Competition is open to UK residents only from 13-21 June 2017. 2 winners will be picked to receive codes to unlock the Read with Fonics app. No cash alternative.
Entry into this competition confirms your acceptance of these Terms and Conditions and your agreement to be bound by the decisions of the blog.
Please note, Fonics Schools provided the product free of charge but not in exchange for a positive endorsement. The opinions in this blog are based on my own experiences. They are no way linked to those of Fonics Schools.