The Benefits of a Phonics Program for Beginning Readers

In our schools, students begin the challenging task of learning to read in kindergarten. Most four- or five-year-olds are fluent in spoken language and have some concept that ideas are represented by words, which can be interchangeable. One of the first steps to follow is to introduce a written form of speech. Doing this requires knowledge of the alphabet, and awareness that certain groups of letters will correspond to specific sounds. At this stage, a research based phonics program can be introduced to blend whole class lessons with individual practice.

When choosing a phonics program for kindergarten there is a vast array of choices. The following are some things teachers and administrators should consider before making a final commitment.

  1. Preview the programs, ensuring that all fundamental areas are covered
  2. Any phonics program for kids should incorporate interactive alphabet activities and simple, appealing graphics
  3. Choose phonics program for kindergarten that will reflect and enhance the lessons you have planned for your class
  4. Look for programs like those provided by Essential Skills that will build phonics skills gradually and sequentially in a step-by-step manner.

How Will this Program Help?

The knowledge of phonics is requisite to the acquisition of later components of reading (sounding out, decoding, sight words, fluency). Due to the importance of this skill, much class time is spent on it, and many hours of teachers’ one-on-one time with children is spent to ensure everyone’s success. Essential Skills research based phonics programs free up teacher time by eliminating the repetitive cycle of teaching basic phonics skills. This task can be done very efficiently using technology to individualize phonics instruction for an entire class at the same time.

Sounding Out

A key to phonics is the ability to sound out letters and groups of letters. A good phonics program for kids will provide lots of extra opportunity to learn and practice these skills and will reward and reinforce correct responses.

Lesson Variety

A variety of different activities will pique kids’ interest, keep them focused and appeal to a range of learning styles.

Range of Stimuli

Bright, colorful graphics help visual learners to remember shapes of letters and recognize them in other contexts. Auditory reinforcement and a wide variety of reward sounds connect the visual and aural for auditory learners. Manipulating a mouse, using a keyboard, or interacting with a touchscreen adds an element of tactile to the mix, making our phonics program for kindergarten an excellent option to keep students engaged and learning while teachers work with small groups or individuals.

Progressive Programming

As children become adept with the alphabet, they will progress to learning simple letter groups. Each time they have crossed a learning threshold, our research based phonics program will introduce a new challenge to keep students moving forward to becoming readers. Our programs teach skills gradually and sequentially to guarantee success for early learners.