As teachers and parents ourselves we have noticed that students who struggle with English often have missing gaps in their knowledge of the sounds that letters make. This can affect their reading, spelling, writing and confidence. Recent results show that Australia is falling behind many other countries in literacy, ranked no. 28 out of 50 nations, and 1 out of 5 students are falling below the required levels of literacy. Phonics is the proven method to turn a non-reader into a reader.
That is why we are so passionate about phonics!
Knowing the individual sounds then enables children to work towards early reading and writing skills. They will be able to decipher words by sounding out the phonemes, for example, c a t and blending the sounds together to say and read the word. In the same way, when they begin to write, if they say the word slowly and break it into individual sounds they will be able to hear how to correctly construct and write the word.
By teaching children the sound each letter makes, it gives them the building blocks and knowledge needed to develop secure reading and writing skills.
Don't they learn about phonics in school?
Over the past few years, teaching phonics has become a bit of a ‘buzz’ word after many years of neglect. Currently, there is no set way of teaching children to read in primary schools in Australia. It is up to the individual school how they would like to teach it.
Most schools are realising that teaching phonics explicitly is the best way to help children to read, no matter what their background. There can be 2 - 5 sounds taught a week, and for some children, that can be very challenging to retain, especially when their young brains would rather be playing.
How is Funky Phonics different?
We believe that young children need to learn through play. Everything we do is taught in a fun way, through dancing, singing, playing musical instruments, molding playdough, team work, games, craft, discos, parachutes etc etc!! The list goes on!
children will be exposed to different sounds through fun activities and will not even realise they are learning
exposure to the different sounds will enable the children to identify them in their everyday environment and become confident to say the sound when they see it
fine motor skills will develop - this is so important for pencil grip and handwriting when they learn to write
gross motor skills will develop - regular participation in physical activities has been associated with improved academic performance and important school day functions, such as attention and memory, as well as supporting big arm movements needed to develop writing
to develop listening skills and grow in confidence to take part in different activities
Who is Funky Phonics for?
Funky Phonics began as a a set of classes that we ran on Sydney’s Northern Beaches as a program for local pre-school children but we wanted to develop the course and resources to allow it to be used in any pre-school or by parents wanting to encourage their children to develop their skills with sounds.
As well as offering the course to pre-schools to include as part of their own curriculum, we also designed the course to be able to be used and enjoyed by parents and children in a home setting.