Your three-year old daughter has memorized all the words to her favourite bedtime story.

Your three-year old son plays with the refrigerator magnets and asks you to name the letters for him.

It’s time to teach your child to read.

The first step is to take a trip to the library to pick out books together; it’s an important part of the reading process—it helps kids feel a sense of ownership and an excitement to read. But more important than selecting what books to read is the method used to teach a child how to read.

That’s because of the two main reading instruction methods—whole language and phonics—only phonics teaches children how to become active thinkers as they begin the process of understanding written language.

Infants first hear language by listening to their parents. They hear sounds, learn to distinguish the differences between these sounds, and then learn to blend these sounds together. Once that skill is mastered, children begin to understand what the individually blended sounds (words) stand for.

Once children can speak, the next step is to learn the alphabet. The building blocks of words are letters, and there are only 26 of them.

Phonics, as an instruction method, uses the same structure that children have already been using to comprehend language: it breaks words down into their component sounds. To kids, this makes sense, because they have learned language using the same structure.

On the other side of early language instruction, the “whole language” method teaches that words themselves—not letters—are the building blocks of the language.

This approach can be confusing for young children because it isn’t intuitive—it’s just memorization. Can you imagine having to memorize by sight every single word in the English language?

The whole language method encourages a number of practices that can be detrimental to future learning. It encourages and rewards memorization, as well as estimation—if you don’t know the word, guess. Phonics, on the other hand, teaches that there is precision and a logical flow to understanding how things work. It teaches that persistence leads to understanding.

Not only does the phonetic method of language acquisition lead to stronger reading skills, it leads to better thinking and learning abilities. It teaches kids to have confidence in their abilities. This pays dividends in the classroom.

When it comes to reading, the best way to ensure that young readers don’t get frustrated is to sound it out.

For over 25 years, Oxford Learning’s Little Readers® program has been using the phonetic method of language acquisition to help young readers develop the skills that they need to be strong readers for life.

Call your nearest Oxford Learning Centre today to enroll your little one for the fall! Our program provides enriched learning skills in reading, writing, spelling, math, French, music and art.

Oxford Learning London North 519.654.0651

Oxford Learning Byron 519.472.3321

Oxford Learning Southwest 519.473.0375

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Jennifer McCallum

Thank you so much for stopping by this page to get to know a bit more about me and why I started Parent Guide Inc. My business story started a way back in 2001... …after the birth of my first daughter, I realized that an "all-in-one" resource guide for parents was needed, and fast! I designed the New Parent Resource Guide to fill a gap in the community for busy parents like myself. The New Parent Resource Guide offers an A-Z of key contacts for parents, caregivers, service providers, and health care professionals.  Working with key businesses and organizations in the community, we have also compiled much-needed articles, tips, and charts to answer all your parenting questions. The latest addition to our family is the School Age Resource Guide to serve parents of children, 3 to 18 years!  This guide answers questions about: nutrition, bullying, curriculum, building self-esteem, and much more, as well as offering a full directory of local and national resources. The Parentguide.ca website offers an “all-in-one” spot for parents to connect, add their own blog, and find needed resources in their community.  It is a site that educates and entertains and if you can't find somthing just ASK me. I am here to serve YOU!  My hope is that you connect with our members, find comfort in their words, and share your own story. My goal is to see what I can do to help make life a bit easier for you.   You are why I do what I do! I can’t wait to get to know you!  Comment below to tell me about yourself – then start blogging so we can find out what makes you get up in the morning!  Check out my blog too and I am sure you will be surprised what gets me out of bed each day!!! Jennifer -  Mom and Publisher

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