2 1/2 years old

Introducing Phonics Learning with Jolly Phonics


Ethan is like a little sponge, the way that he can learn new things and retain information is absolutely incredible.  He has an amazing memory, and loves to learn about everything around him.  He has been singing the alphabet song for almost a year now, but just like any other song that he has memorised.  We have plenty of letter puzzles and games around the house, and of course we read books everyday, but I never wanted to force Ethan into anything too early.  Lately he has been showing an interest in letters that he sees, and he's learned to say the letters in his name and to recognise a few letters as well.  So I decided that now would be a good time to start introducing him to the letter sounds, so that when he's ready he can start learning to read.  As a teacher I used a few different systems for teaching phonics, all of which I thought were very good, but the one that I used most extensively, and which I believe is the most commonly used, is Jolly Phonics.

As Ethan is so very musical, I thought that the first step for him would be to learn the Jolly Phonics songs for each letter sound.  The Jolly Songs CD has a different little tune for each of the 42 letter sounds.  The words are their own, but they are sung to the tune of popular nursery rhymes, which makes them easy to learn to sing along to.  Jolly Phonics are done in a specific order, starting with the letter 's'.  The song for 's' (to the tune of The Farmer in the Dell) goes: 

The snake is in the grass,
The snake is in the grass,
The snake is in the grass.

The next resource that we tried is the Jolly Phonics Games CD for the computer.  There are a variety of different games on the CD for varying abilities that teach identifying sounds as well as forming letters.  Ethan is actually quite good on the computer for his age, so he was able to use the mouse to choose the different options.  However I wouldn't say that these games are for beginners, as many include words to read, and we are not at that stage yet. If Ethan were to let me choose the simple games for him we would be fine, but of course he wants to try them all!  I think we'll save this one until he's a bit more confident with his sounds and starting to put words together.

We were also given a wall frieze and some sound strips to put up for Ethan to refer to, and a set of workbooks.  We've put up the sounds around the house to remind Ethan of them, as well as labelling some other household items so that he becomes more familiar with seeing printed words.  We have started looking at the first workbook as well, it has lots of fun activities in it for learning phonics.  As Ethan is still quite young I am not worried about him doing lots of worksheets right away, it's more important for him to be having fun whilst doing activities that he enjoys doing.

* This is a review post, Jolly Learning sent us these resources to use and to write an honest review.

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