Its been just over a year since I started gathering ideas and thinking that I could turn my Fun Phonics ideas into my new job. A lot of my time is now spent sharing my Fun Phonics ideas with children at local nurseries. This is my first blog and I thought readers might be interested to know a bit more about how Fun Phonics began and the activities children enjoy at nursery during Fun Phonics sessions.
Making Phonics fun
Fun Phonics came about by accident when my son started reception at St Mary's School in Pulborough. As a parent and qualified primary school teacher, I found myself listening to and helping parents with their concerns about their children's education. It became apparent to me that many parents were confused about phonics. Consequently, I hired out a village hall and set up a free workshop for parents to actively learn about phonics through games and discussion. I created a Facebook page to promote the event and thus Fun Phonics was born.
Fun Phonics for pre-schoolers
Before long, I had interest from many local pre-schools. I devised a short but active phonics session for pre-schoolers, and the children loved it! I use a range of techniques to teach the children including: sign, rhyme, alliteration, song, dance and of course PLAY.
So how do I help the children?
I always begin by engaging them with sounds. I play a variety of sounds and I ask the children to identify them. During these sound sessions, the children have been to the ocean and the forest, they have listened to the sounds of birds and insects and they have drummed on saucepans and rattled their shakers. I have developed their ears to hear subtle differences in sounds and this has laid the foundations for their early letter sound recognition.
What's in the bag?
I have become famous for my song, 'what's in the bag?' The children all sing along and put their hands up eagerly to discover what is inside the bag each week. The small objects inside the bag are always linked to the letter sound of the week and the children are becoming expert at hearing the first sound in many words. You can watch with your child at https://youtu.be/A9jl4JUGHrk.
Sound of the week
The weekly activities, nursery rhymes and stories are always linked to the sound of the week. The children have looked for snakes in the grass, they've had tea with tigers and zoomed cars down race tracks, among many other carefully planned activities. I have enjoyed watching all of the children grow and develop each week and I hope that my work at Fun Phonics will help the children to transition smoothly from pre-school to reception.
How to contact me
No one should try to push children to read, but there are loads of fun ways to approach it through play and storytelling.
For fun and friendly help and advice please have a look at my Facebook page https://m.facebook.com/funphonics15/. Please don't hesitate to get in touch and like the page to receive regular updates.
You can also watch my, 'what's in the bag?' and other my YouTube videos with your children at https://youtu.be/A9jl4JUGHrk. These are useful guides for parents.
I hold regular phonics workshops for parents in many different venues. I'd welcome the opportunity to meet you face to face at one of my events.
Thank you for reading and I look forward to meeting some of you in the future.