A child’s relationship with reading starts young–learn how reading phonics programs offer ongoing reading support.
Most children begin learning to read by the age of seven years old. However, for many young readers, this particular skill does not always follow a linear path. Many children benefit from receiving additional reading support when they are learning how to read. Having tailored reading support at the right time can help students to gain a strong understanding of the intricacies of reading, which can support their education in every other subject as they get older.
One of the more effective ways for young learners to get this level of support is through reading phonics programs. These programs offer tailored approaches to helping young learners with various skill levels to learn the ins and outs of reading in a more dedicated and comfortable environment. In this article, we will discuss what these programs offer young learners.
What is a Reading Phonics Program?
A reading phonics program is a specialized program that offers reading support for young learners both inside and outside of the classroom. Available to support students who attend a traditional school, as well as students that are homeschooled, reading phonics programs are an excellent way to ensure that the young reader in your home has a strong foundation in this area.
Phonics is an approach to teaching learners how to read that focuses on connecting the letters associated with words to their corresponding sounds. Programs based on phonics focus on helping to bridge the gap between what children see on paper and what they hear or say out loud. A dedicated reading phonics program offers support in various ways as students learn. Since nearly a third of students are behind on reading proficiency by the fourth grade, an early reading program can have a huge impact on later years.
General and Specific Reading Education
The primary focus of reading phonics programs is education. Although programs can vary, many top programs offer both general and specific support. This means that these programs will provide a general level of education when students are learning reading. However, these programs can go well beyond that.
Specific approaches to reading education are more beneficial when students have additional needs. Many parents and teachers explore these reading programs for struggling readers who need additional guidance. For example, a child that is learning to read with dyslexia may benefit from additional education and support that better aligns with their needs in particular.
Similarly, children who struggle with one aspect of reading can gain the support they need in these programs to give them a well-rounded understanding of reading and language. While they can work as reading programs for struggling readers, reading phonics programs can realistically benefit any child that is learning to read.
The Science of Reading
Reading phonics programs focus on phonics and the science of reading to help students gain a solid mastery of this skill. Since this is the case, they will generally focus on key elements of reading education. Most commonly, this will include early introductions to language elements, phonological and phonemic awareness, and reading comprehension. These programs can be comparable to reading programs in schools, but they generally offer more of an in-depth understanding of each lesson. These include:
1. Explicit Instruction
This means that skills and concepts are taught clearly and directly by a teacher or parent. Explicit instruction includes modeling, guided practice, and independent practice of the skill being taught.
2. Phonological Awareness
Phonological awareness is usually taught in Pre-K and Kindergarten through language play, clapping out syllables, singing songs, reading stories, and playing with rhymes. According to NELP 2010, phonological awareness is a very important predictor of later language and literacy development.
3. Systematic Phonics Instruction
Systematic Phonics Instruction is a method of teaching students how to connect the graphemes (letters) with the phonemes (sounds) using a clear and well-thought-out scope and sequence to teach children how to read and spell.
Although students may enter reading phonics programs at different levels, these programs commonly focus on following along with the science of reading. This means starting with an understanding of the letters, words, and the sounds associated with them. As students continue to progress, the focus may shift to learning to sound out words, or even more complex word dynamics, like rhyming, sentence structure, and orthographic mapping. With time, students will progress to utilizing words and language to communicate effectively, as well as understanding and retaining information from written excerpts.
Tailored Programs That Grow Alongside Young Learners
The modern classroom is a wonderful place to learn, whether students are at home or at school. However, sometimes a one-size-fits-all approach is simply not ideal for certain learners. While classroom activities often require students to follow a specific learning schedule, comprehensive reading programs can be tailored to a young learner to offer better support.
With early reading programs, students can learn on their own schedule and with access to the support they need, allowing them to progress naturally rather than being left behind. Whether a student needs phonics programs for struggling readers or simply wants an early reading program to offer additional support, these tailored approaches can work wonders.
Every single person on this planet is unique, and our minds all work in different ways. For some young learners, traditional approaches to learning simply do not click. Less than 50% of students get the recommended level of daily reading practice, adding to the confusion. Having specialized support can determine whether or not a student is able to get caught up or will continue to struggle with reading going forward.
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How Reading Phonics Programs Support Young Readers
Reading is a skill that we learn at a young age, but it is often one that we use in everything that we do. A person’s ability to read can influence how they perform in any class, how they operate at work, or even how they communicate with those around them. Students who participate in an early reading program can receive these great benefits and more.
A Strong Foundation
A reading phonics program will address all of the core elements of reading. Ultimately, this means that students can build a strong foundation for reading that they can carry into every aspect of their lives moving forward. Students who have a strong reading foundation are often more academically successful.
Most adults can remember struggling with a specific subject in school–and how it felt. Children who struggle to read can find themselves with lower confidence, particularly in an environment where others do not have those same struggles. Giving students the ability to learn this valuable skill and improve can also improve their confidence.
Exposure to More Methods and Materials
Sometimes, a specific approach to education simply does not stick. While that can mean a student falls behind in class, reading phonics programs are often more forgiving. In these programs, students can explore other methods and materials while learning core concepts. This gives them more resources that are tailored to them, allowing them to gain these essential skills while supporting their individual needs.
Reading is an invaluable skill, but it is also a gift. Students who gain a strong foundation in reading are often more prepared for academic success, but they are also more likely to enjoy reading. When students enjoy reading, they become lifelong learners and learn how to dream big and be more creative too.
Thank you for reading this post today. You might also enjoy reading:
The Science of Reading: What All Teachers Should Know
How Children Learn to Read: A Guide for Parents and Teachers
Harnessing the Power of Phonemic Awareness, Phonological Awareness, and Phonics
To learn more about effective reading education, visit us at Pride Reading Program today! This Orton-Gillingham, structured literacy curriculum is aligned with the Science of Reading and used by teachers and parents worldwide with great success!
PRIDE Reading Program
Karina Richland, M.A., is the author of the PRIDE Reading Program, a multisensory Orton-Gillingham reading, writing, and comprehension curriculum that is available worldwide for parents, tutors, teachers, and homeschoolers of struggling readers. Karina has an extensive background in working with students of all ages and various learning modalities. She has spent many years researching learning differences and differentiated teaching practices. You can reach her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website at www.pridereadingprogram.com