Teacher of the Year Kimberly Oliver Burnim:
After that you can just keep pointing out letters and talking about their sounds—in books that you read, on signs, and so on.
As you do this, you might want to keep in mind that in school we usually start with the most common sounds for each letter, rather than try to teach all of the sounds that each letter represents.
So these are all things to think about once a child starts to learn letters and their sounds. But there are important steps of learning to read that come prior to phonics.
Reading experts generally agree that phonics is one of many important elements of learning to read, along with familiarity with books, oral vocabulary (which is the collection of words that a child understands and can use in conversation), understanding of the parts of stories, and other factors. An approach that addresses all of these skills is often referred to as balanced literacy.
And another aspect of balanced literacy is something called phonemic awareness.
For many children, practicing the ability to recognize sounds in words can make a big difference in how fast they learn to read. A child can practice phonemic awareness by listening to and reciting pieces that rhyme, such as songs, nursery rhymes, other poems, and rhyming stories. This is why we include all of these things as part of the curriculum on ABCmouse.com.