An understanding of phonics is one of the core literacy skills kids need to become fluent readers. As such there is a burgeoning resource of lessons, activities and games that teach kids phonics online. But what is phonics exactly?
Phonics is the ability to link letters or combinations of letters to units of sounds, called phonemes. This is otherwise known as the Alphabetic Principle. There are two types of phonics instruction generally used in early education:
Analytic Phonics – is a form of inferential learning that teaches children to analyse a particular set of words and recognise the common phoneme. For example, a student may be asked to discuss how the following words – run, roll, risk, rant – are alike.
Synthetic Phonics – focuses on linking an individual letter, or letter combination, with its appropriate sound. This allows kids to break words down to their individual letters and sounds. This synthetic approach has in recent years largely overtaken the analytic approach as the preferred method of phonics instruction.
Regardless of the approach taken, educators agree that phonics instruction is less effective when removed from a larger framework of literacy instruction. The same goes for instruction of phonics online. Any phonics instruction, whether face-to-face in the classroom or if delivered online, needs to be couched within a larger literacy framework that delivers instruction in all the key literacy areas, phonics being one of them.
Reading Eggs delivers effective instruction in phonics online by using a synthetic phonics approach. The lessons offer explicit instructions by mapping individual letters and letter combinations with appropriate sounds. Each letter of the alphabet is introduced in its own lesson, focusing on the letter-sound relationship and highlighting the alphabetic principle. The focus of the lessons is on developing awareness of letter-sound relationships, not for their own sake, but so that the knowledge can be deployed in the active and fluent reading of meaningful texts.
Reading Eggs includes a comprehensive phonics programme that includes lessons on core phonics skills such as working with beginning and end blends, a variety of vowel sounds, dipthongs, consonant letter sounds such as the soft c and g, y, silent letters, double letter sounds, word families, and learning how to attach multi-syllable words.
Reading Eggs offers instruction in phonics online within a complete reading programme. The literacy skills developed in each lesson accumulate into a critical mass of literacy, where after Lesson 9 kids read their first book where they can apply their phonics skills.
My children love Reading Eggs. They enjoy learning to read and spell with the lessons. My son struggled with other phonics programmes. But he loved Reading Eggs. Opening a new egg after each lesson kept him motivated to finish the programme. My daughter loved the skill bank part of the programme. She was glad Reading Eggs had a spelling section.
- L. Taylor
Our students love this site. It is bright, entertaining, engaging and educationally sound. What a fun way to learn to read! They can’t get enough of it and ask regularly ‘is it our turn on Reading Eggs today?’
- Katrina Kruger, Elliot Heads State School