Phonics: It's Critical to Your Child's Academic Success

Posted by Tiara Swinson on November 11, 2018

How Phonics is the Root of all Reading ComprehensionPhonics is undoubtedly a term you've heard before, but it may not be a term you fully understand. Phonics is the basis of solid reading skills and is critical to language development. Discover why this topic is so important and how you can help your child make improvements in this area.


At its core, phonics is a lesson on sound. Just as a combination of letters makes words, their letters also make up the sounds that represent the word. Lessons on phonics teach your child how to build relationships between the letters they see on paper and the sounds they make in order to sound out and recognize words. Phonics is a critical skill that you should begin teaching your child as soon as they start learning to read.

Reading Fluency

Always remember — reading and reading comprehension are not one in the same. Just because your child appears to read a book at (or even above) their grade level, it does not mean that they understand what they’ve read. Phonics is vital to comprehension because it builds reading fluency. Reading fluency is a measure of your child’s ability to read quickly, expressively, and most important, accurately. If your child does not show signs of fluency based on their grade level, there is a good chance they are also not comprehending the information they’re reading.

Warning Signs

Given the importance of phonics skills, it’s essential you be able to recognize some early warning signs that may indicate your child is struggling with this skill.

Difficulty with Sight Words

Sight words are targeted, and if your child is reading at grade level, he or she should be able to recognize these words rather quickly. If your child struggles and guesses words instead, such as saying "apple" when the word is "angel," this is a red flag. It could be that your child recognizes the letter "a," but they don’t have the phonics skills to recognize the letter sounds that make up the word. 

Spelling Errors

Phonics teach your child how to build a relationship between letters and sounds. If your child’s skills are sufficient in this area, they should be able to sound out a word and come close to correctly, if not perfectly, spelling the word. A child with poor phonics skills will struggle with spelling.

The time your child spends in the classroom is essential to their academic development, but your interaction at home is equally valuable.When you incorporate lessons on phonics outside of school and at home, you will help your child become a better and more confident reader.

Reading Genie helps students as young as 3 years old master phonics, spelling and reading comprehension. If you see these warning signs in your child, there is help. Our teachers at Reading Genie will make sure your child succeeds in phonics, reading, and writing. You can sign up for free class today. 

Topics: Reading Comprehension, Reading Genie, Vocabulary Building, Phonics

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