Phonics@Home Mothers’ Day Giveaway

 

Happy Mothers’ Day to all you fabulous mamas!

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It’s hard to believe that 11 years have passed since I first became a mother. Over the years, I’ve rejoiced and sweated, laughed and cried over this amazing vocation that has transformed my life in so many ways. Children have taught me the meaning of joy, sacrifice, and perseverance in unique ways – and there is still so much for me to learn. Thank you, kids!

So many amazing women have been a part of my mothering journey. Old friends, neighbours, blog readers, and acquaintances in the flesh who have become closer friends through the commonality we share – we are mothers.

Today I’d like to express appreciation to a specific group of mothers who have motivated me to keep on doing what I do – teaching our children at home. It all started with a friend who asked me what I was doing to help my children read and write – and Phonics@Home was born.

Phonics@Home is a four-hour workshop that equips parents with basic knowledge and practical skills of how to teach their children using the highly effective early literacy programme, Jolly Phonics. It is a small-group workshop, limited to six participants, so that everyone gets to ask questions, engage in role-playing sessions with personal feedback from me, and participate in hands-on games and activities related to phonics learning. Participants leave with a take-home Parent Kit containing the Jolly Songs CD and useful activity tools to reinforce learning at home.

In our private Facebook group exclusively for post-workshop participants, everyone is invited to share stories about how Jolly Phonics is working for them, or ask a question that might benefit the others. I also share updates of how we continue using Jolly Phonics in our own home and fresh learning ideas that emerge as we do so.

After 14 workshops in the past one year (wow!), I’m truly glad for the privilege of sharing my knowledge and experience about this fantastic resource, Jolly Phonics. I’ve met amazing mothers, also teachers, who are passionate about their children’s development and want to journey with their children as they learn.

Now, in conjunction with Mothers’ Day, I’m giving away one set of Jolly Phonics Picture Flashcards.

Jolly Phonics Picture Flashcards

This Giveaway is exclusively for those who have attended a Phonics@Home workshop.

To participate in this Giveaway, please do the following:

  1. “Like” the Mama Hear Me Roar Facebook Page, if you haven’t already!
  2. Write a sentence – or two, if you like (in the Comments section of this post, just below the title), about what you’ve enjoyed in the Phonics@Home workshop.

Note: This Giveaway will end on Sunday, 21 May 2017 @ 11.59pm.

The winner will be selected using a random selection tool and announced through an update on this post on Saturday, 27 May 2017. The winner will be required to provide a mailing address via WhatsApp or email.

Over to you now! And have a very blessed Mothers’ Day!

UPDATE: Thank you everyone for your kind comments. It’s my privilege to be a part of your family’s learning experience through this workshop and our ongoing private Facebook Page. Now, I’m pleased to announce the winner of this Giveaway – Soon Fun! Please contact me with details of your mailing address by Tuesday, 30 May 2017, and you’ll get the Picture Flashcards soon. 🙂 More Giveaways in future!

 

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8 tips for teaching phonics to your child

How to teach phonics

Teaching phonics is easier than most people think.

After almost six years of teaching Jolly Phonics to our children (find out more about Jolly Phonics here), I’ve found that having a fun programme helps. However, equally if not more important is how I approach my child and the entire learning procress.

Here are 8 lessons I’ve learned:

1) Follow a routine.  

Have a regular learning sequence as young children find comfort in a predictable routine. For instance, teach the letter sounds first, then follow up with hands on activities like singing and related crafts.

2) Vary learning activities.

Vary the activities to maintain interest. Use flashcards, tell stories using Finger Phonics books, sing some Jolly Songs, spend some time tracing letters and writing, play blending and segmenting games, do cut-and-paste activities. You can do so much in 30 minutes, the time will simply fly.

You can also combine phonics learning with reading aloud, such as pointing out tricky words in story books or asking your child to blend an easy CVC word along the way. Don’t do it too often though as that will spoil the story!

3) Multi-sensory learning.

Have a mental checklist of all the senses used in learning so that the process is effective and enjoyable. Jolly Phonics flashcards and Jolly Songs engage the visual and auditory senses. Doing the actions involves gross motor skills so there’s a kinesthetic element too. Piglet always likes to get up from the table and run around flapping his hands like a bee when he says “zzzzz”. I say “Go, go! Buzz!” He’s a boy!

4) Kinesthetic learning.  

With respect to boys especially, the kinesthetic element is very important. Boys between 2-4 years old are very active and it is unrealistic to expect them to sit still for long. Many early childhood environments do boys a great disservice in this area.

Encourage your child to move around after 5-8 minutes of sitting down. Get him to use his arms and legs, make big sweeping actions and dramatic noises together with him when you review letter sounds. He will love it and you will be more relaxed too!

5) Focus on the child.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is focusing on the activity and ignoring the child. That can be easy to do if you’re an A type personality! What happens when you’ve spent lots of time preparing a lesson the night before and your child doesn’t seem interested? Think of yourself as a partner and less of a teacher in your child’s learning. Be flexible and willing to follow his interests. He may not want to write today, but he could love writing letters on your back using his finger and having fun seeing you guess the letter.

Sometimes, offering a choice helps your child to take ownership of his own learning. For instance, “Which would you like to do first, colour the picture or write the letters?”

6) Talk through letter formation.

Right from the beginning, it helps to guide your child verbally as he forms the letters. For example with “W”, I say “Start at the top, down, up, down, up”. We repeat that aloud as Piglet traces or writes and this helps him remember how to do it properly.

7) Facilitate self-discovery.

Sometimes we just have to hold our tongues and trust the process. Being impatient can sabotage a child’s opportunity to learn.

I’ve learned it’s important for me to wait and allow Piglet time to look at the letters, recall and say the sounds he’s learned, join them together and actually hear himself reading the word. That is, give him a chance to blend a word on his own without jumping in too early to help. Then see his face light up when he discovers a word that he’s known verbally, but is now reading on his own for the first time! This facilitates his self-esteem and motivates him to learn so much more.

8) Play games.

When Piglet first started Blending Cards, I suggested he stack them up and count them one by one to see how many he’s done. He’s always happy to see how many words he’s read. This builds his confidence and is math practice too.

 

Upcoming post: Games that make learning phonics fun!

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If you found this post helpful, please consider sharing it with friends so they can benefit too. Thank you!

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