Q: Why aren’t there any words on the picture cards?

A: We have learned from experience that putting words on the picture cards is a distraction, not for the children so much as the adults. When the word is printed on the card, it is far too easy to skip ahead and try to teach reading and spelling. Adults must remember that phonemic awareness is the foundation that must be solidly established before the child starts learning to read letters and words. Besides, many rhyming words have very different spellings—showing those spellings can confuse a child who is just being introduced to the concept of rhyme.

Phonemic awareness is the foundation that must be solidly established before the child starts learning to read letters and words.
Q: My child is doing a great job with these activities! How much praise should I give her after each correct answer?

A: Actually, very little. Gushing praise (“You are so smart,” a high five, “That’s wonderful!”) can be a major distraction to a young child with a short attention span. By the time you’ve finished praising her, she’s totally forgotten what she learned!

Stick to a simple affirmation of a right answer (“Correct,” or “That’s right”), and then continue with the activity. Similarly, if the child gives a wrong answer, point out the mistake and the correct answer in a simple, direct manner. You’re not being mean, you’re just staying focused!

Q: All the games and picture cards are in color, but I only have a black-and-white printer. Do I have to pay for color printing to do these activities?

A: No, a color printer is not necessary. Our experience has shown that children respond just as well to the images when they are in black-and-white as when they are in color.

NOTE: A few of our picture cards are for color words (e.g., pink, blue, red). These cards will need to be colored in with a crayon or marker if they are not printed in color.

One Response to “Phonemic Awareness FAQs”

  1. Cris

    What is the order I should follow to teach a child reading and writing? Is Phonemic Awareness necessary before Sight Words? Could you please explain the order (step by step) for someone that starts from scratch? Thanks so much! This website is awesome!

    ADMIN – Hi Cris,

    Start with Phonemic Awareness. The pre-reading skills taught in our curriculum are the foundation for learning to read.

    Around the time a child finishes the Phonemic Awareness curriculum, she should start receiving Phonics instruction. We do not currently have a phonics curriculum, but there are several good ones available.

    Sight Words instruction is a supplement to Phonics instruction and should be taught at the same time. While a child is learning to “decode” words using phonics, she should also be playing sight words lessons and games to learn the most common words in the English language.

    Reply

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