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Why is Phonics Reading Important ?


Like any other parent, I wanted my little girl to become an independent reader. She was a very good listener, whenever she was read too. However, she always felt hesitant to pick a book herself and read. What I could understand from her body language and expression, was that she had this fear of not being able to string the letters together, blend the sounds, read a word and follow a sentence.

One of the reasons, I strongly felt was that she had missed learning & practicing her Phonics at a very crucial stage. This, happened as we moved from one country to the other and I personally could not spend much time with her. Since, I got all busy packing up and organizing things to make the ends meet in a completely new country.
This fact motivated me to put this particular Blog-Post together i.e. Why is Phonic Reading Important? Before, I get into the details of why it is important…we should talk a little about what is Phonics ?

So, in the most simple words Phonics means:
  • Learning to read the sounds represented by written letter, and;
  • How to blend these sounds together to make words.

To give you more clarity on sounds please follow this link and listen to each Letter Sound Phonic Audio Guide By Oxford (CLICK HERE). This is the Synthetic Phonics Audio Guide put together by Oxford.

So, coming back to my struggle with helping my daughter read independently. I chose to get onto a READING MARATHON with her. This meant I had to get back with our routine READ ALOUD SESSIONS, followed by helping her READ with little help. And all this required good set of PHONIC BOOKS, as the entire reading process can be catalyzed if the child uses phonics to read.

Thus, the first set of PHONIC BOOKS which I had with me and with which we started off; was this series by her favourite author "Julia Donaldson" Songbird Collection. This was an amazing kick-start to my daughter's independent reading journey and I can't express how good I felt when she read her first book all by herself. Here is a short video of the same :)


From there was no-looking back, fortunately. However, I came across another challenge and that was from where to procure more phonics books. Since, Songbird worked so well with my daughter; I wanted to put my hands on Read with Oxford Series. Since, we had moved to Japan it was very difficult and extremely expensive to procure the "English Books". While I was contemplating to buy the entire series on Amazon India and get it shipped to us here in Tokyo with family's help; I discovered that the community library had procured it. That was like a wow moment, as there were only bunch of some English picture books available in the local library vis-a-vis amazing collection of Children's Japanese Literature.

Local Community Library In Our Edogawa Ward (Tokyo)
Can you spot the complete Oxford Series ?
My stars shined I guess at the right time and we leapt one more step and started reading Stage 1 Oxford Series and kept on progressing. This meant weekends were spent at the library and we got multiple books issued for home use and vowed that Ms. A would attempt to read 1 book independently everyday and slowly we kept increasing the number and also moved up the stages. 

Here is the link to the site and you can go through the details of this series Read With Oxford (CLICK HERE).


From here on, Ms. A fell in love with Biff, Chip, Kipper & The Family. So let me introduce to you the Oxford Reading Tree Characters !


Source: Slideshare

This series follows a simple levelling system called – Read with Oxford Stages – which will help you choose the right book for your child.

What are the Read with Oxford Stages?

There are six Stages within Read with Oxford, each carefully levelled to support your child as they progress. Each of the six stages are colour - coded and underpinned by a simple statement to help you choose at a glance the right stage for your child.


Source:  Oxfordowl.co.uk

In case you are looking for finer details of each stage, kindly visit the Oxford Website. Also, check the Book Review Video; I shared on my VLOG in case you would like to get a peep inside the books across the stages.


There is also a tool on the Oxford Website to help you identify the Right Stage for your child. All, you need to do is plug-in the information and get to select the right stage for your child to start with. It appears something like this and it's quite user friendly.


Source: Oxfordowl.co.uk


Some other interesting stuff which the site offers are the following:
  1. Some free e-Books
  2. Storyteller Videos
  3. Free Activities & Online Games
  4. Downloadable activity sheets etc.
Thus, you can make use of the above to supplement the Reading Journey and make it more interesting and encouraging for your child.

Last but not the least, here are few ideas & suggestions to help your child get the most out of their reading:

  • Before reading a book together, always discuss the title of the book, pictures on the cover page and back page. Encourage your child to share what they think the book might be about.
  • If you are reading together, point to each word and motivate your child to join in by stringing the letter sounds and saying the words phonetically.
  • Bring in some fun with voice modulation for various characters and if possible also incorporate expressions.
  • And, lastly the sole mantra is KEEP READING...
Hope, this post will come to some help and you can further help your child in her/his READING JOURNEY !