Most children begin learning phonics by sounding out letters and learning what items represent that sound and that letter, i.e. A is for apple; A sounds like “aaaaaaaaaaaaaa”. Children begin learning phonics from parents, siblings, videos, and music at a very early age (2-4 years old) even before entering school.
Phonics and phonemic awareness are comingled when teaching children in this manner. Phonics involves the relationship between sounds and written symbols, whereas phonemic awareness involves sounds in spoken words. Therefore, phonics instruction focuses on teaching sound-spelling relationships and is associated with print. Most phonemic awareness tasks are oral.
Even though parents are the initial teachers, it will take a professional to instill all of the rules of phonics and to teach students decoding skills as they begin to read. Hiring a tutor with experience teaching early learners will ensure a student’s success as they begin elementary school. A professional tutor can also reinforce phonics for those students that were taught the Whole Language approach to reading and are still struggling in 2nd and 3rd grades. Hiring an Advanced Learners tutor is a guarantee that you will receive a professional tutor that can make a difference in a child’s ability to read.
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