Phonics: Because Learning to Read is More than Just the ABCs


By Peggy Kaye, Director of Learning, Homer

Every parent has celebrated that magical moment when a child first learns to say and sing her ABCs. Preschool music classes teach every variation on the oldest learning song in the language. But mastering the ABCs is really just the beginning of what a child needs to learn in the early years to become a strong reader later. Perhaps more important than any other pre-reading skills a young child will learn are phonological awareness—the ability to isolate and manipulate individual sounds within words—and phonics–the ability to connect letter sounds to a letter symbols in order to read and spell words.

Learn with Homer’s Learn to Read Program and Reading Games for Kids are designed to teach children everything they need to know to become strong, confident readers. Homer’s award-winning Learn to Read method takes children step-by-step through each of the phonemes (or letter sounds) in the English language. First, children are introduced to the sound a letter makes and taught to match that sound with the proper letter symbol. Then they put sounds together to make words.

Very early on in Homer’s Learn to Read program, children use ABC sounds to read words and even short sentences! Homer’s Method is better and faster than many reading programs because it gives children the chance to master a few sounds and letters at a time in order to read words more quickly, a very motivating experience for young children. Within a few days of using Learn with Homer, children will be able to read short vowel-consonant-vowel words such as cat, map, pan and others, sparking a child’s excitement and confidence.

Mastering early literacy skills has lasting impact on a child’s future. In fact, reading at grade level by the 4th grade is the single greatest predictor of future academic success. Unfortunately, 60% of American 4th graders do not read at grade level. Teaching phonics early to your child can help ensure that they don’t fall behind.

Learn with Homer’s literacy experts have designed a program that combines the best reading and phonics curriculum with fun reading games and activities. Our step-by-step pathway guides children through skills of pre-k reading, kindergarten reading and basic reading to give them the practice they need to succeed in Kindergarten and beyond. And it works! A recent study by the Former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education shows that Homer boosts early reading scores by 74% in young children.

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