How do I reinforce phonics at home?

How do I reinforce phonics at home?

Well before you can reinforce phonics you need understand what it is...

Let's start at the beginning...

Each one of the 26 letters in the alphabet has its own ‘sound'. This is very different to how a letter is ‘said' in the alphabet. For example:

‘a' in ‘arrow’

‘b' in ‘bat’.


Of course phonics is not that simple! There are more than 26 sounds in English language, in fact there are 44 sounds in total. Some of these sounds are made up of 2 or 3 letters. 2 letter sounds are called digraphs and three letter sounds are called trigraphs.



It gets a bit more complicated than that too!

For example the 'n' sound, like in 'nail' is also spelt ‘kn' like in ‘knot’ or ‘gn' like in ‘gnome’.

Still with us?! Good! The sound that children struggle to spot the most when breaking down words into its individual sounds is the 'split digraph'. Like a normal digraph, this is when two letters work together to make one sound, however with a split digraph, they are separated and have a letter in the middle.

Fortunately ‘split digraphs' always end with an ‘e' which does make them a little easier to spot! Examples of split digraphs include:

To teach at home, reinforce schoolwork with easy activities:

  • Talk to the teacher. Ask how you can highlight phonics and reading. 

  • Read with your child daily. Reinforce phonics methods: sound out the word, blend it back together, try again. 

  • Enhance comprehension. Ask lots of questions like, "What do you think will happen next?" or "What did he mean by that?"

  • Revisit familiar books. It's okay if your child wants to read books again, this will boost their confidence!

  • Choose exciting books. Choose books that excite your child, an excited and enthused child is more likely to want to read.

  • Have plenty of books and other reading material around the house. Show your child how much you value reading. Visiting the library and bookstores often encourage a love of reading.