Please click below for a presentation from Senior Curriculum Advisor and 2006 National Teacher of the Year, Kim Oliver Burnim!
Kim Oliver Burnim teaches word families
  • Why do parents need a webinar on phonics?
  • What is phonics?
  • When is phonics taught?
  • How does phonics fit into a reading program?
  • Why is it important for children to learn phonics?
  • How does phonics help with overall reading success?
  • How can parents help with phonics?
And much, much more!
Webinar Questions and Answers:
What is your recommendation for kids learning two languages, Spanish as the first and English as the second, at the same time? Thanks.
I have a 4-year-old grandson who is reading text at approximately a third grade level. Shortly after he turned 4, he just picked up an easy reader and took off. Other than his parents continually providing him books to read and also reading to/with him, what else do you suggest? Should they have a conversation with his upcoming regular ed teachers?
Do you consider learning to “sound out” a word or memorizing sight words to be the best way to learn to read?
My 8-year-old son has moderate to severe dyslexia and is reading at a 1st grade level. How can this program help with his problem?
I have an almost-4-year-old who has been diagnosed with ADHD. What should I do in order to help teach reading and phonics while considering a shorter attention span? Any tips?
Where is the phonics module located in ABCmouse?
I teach literacy to preschool children, ages 3½ to 5. Many think that this is too early for literacy education, that the children who graduate from my literacy program—reading at a first to second grade level—will be bored when they enter kindergarten, and therefore view this ability as a liability rather than an asset to their academic success. What are your feelings on the matter?
How do I help my child to read fluently?
My husband and I attended our son’s first kindergarten parent-teacher conference yesterday, and his teacher advised that he needs help with phonics, specifically in identifying certain sounds (e.g. if you remove the t in cart, the new sound is car). He will be tested on this again in February. What would you recommend that I do to help him develop this skill at home?
My son knows all of the letters and the sounds they make. He can look at a word and sound it out, but is not yet able to recognize the sounds as a word. What is the next step to getting him to actually read a word? Am I expecting too much too soon?
My daughter is 3½ and she has been out of school for the last 8 months. I need to know where I should start to get her caught up with the other kids her age and to help her stay on track. What things should a 3–4 year old know by that age?
I was a very good reader before entering kindergarten. When my school introduced phonics in 2nd grade, I found it to be remedial and “busy-work” to have to sound out words and do repetitive worksheets. It was the beginning of my boredom with school that lasted through grade school and middle school. How do I avoid the “boredom” factor with my own 4-year-old, who is already a pretty good reader, when he is in reading/phonics classes in his upcoming school years?
My 8-year-old has problems with the issue you described in your ‘t-ow-er’ example. She has been diagnosed with dyslexia and has repeated first grade. She is choppy and not very fluent, but she has made great strides. Her understanding is surprisingly good, and her confidence is getting better. I recognize her struggles in your example, though. She may read the word as ‘t-oh-er’ and then exclaim, “THAT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE!” How do I get her to go back and sound the word out correctly?
How young is too young to start teaching our child about phonics and sight words?
What is the best way to teach phonics to students with special needs, who may have difficulty distinguishing the letters b and d?
I have a 3-year-old who is extremely intelligent but gets distracted easily and a bit frustrated if he doesn’t get things right away. How do I keep him focused?
My child knows all the phonics sounds very well, but blending the sounds is taking time. How can I make blending sounds interesting?
My child, who is 3½ years old, is receiving speech therapy at day care. What can we do at home to improve his speech? He loves movies, but is not really interested in books or the computer at the moment.
My daughter is 4 years old. She can read, but gets very bored if we’re working on a set of words or if the book is repeated. What would be the best way to help her maintain her attention?
Hi. My daughter is 3 and has been reading for a year now. She started reading the preschool prep books. She can read about 208 words. Most are sight words. What should I focus on having her learn next, blends or diagraphs? Also, what do you think of the hooked on phonics program? I bought it, and she’s at the kindergarten level. Do you think it would be good to continue with the phonics series?
I have a four–year–old who will be five next month. It’s hard sometimes for me to get him to do his lessons, only because he’s in pre–k now, and every time he comes home he always says he plays all day at school. But I have a three–year–old and she loves doing these lessons. How can I make him want to do these lessons?
I have a 3½ year old that loves books and wants to read. I am not a good reader and don’t pronounce some words correctly. How do I make sure my daughter becomes a better reader than me?
My daughter is 3½ and knows her letters and sounds but struggles with making the sounds into words, so I show her the picture, and she “cheats” and just names the picture. Is she lazy or just not ready to read?
How do you motivate a five–year–old child to read, when that child is a fluent reader but loves being read to?
Hello, Kim. Thank you so much for this webinar! My daughter will be 3 in December. My husband and I read books to her and our 1–year–old almost every day. Since I plan on home schooling our children, should I continue teaching her the letters of the alphabet, then start with phonics? Will provide enough activities for phonics and learning how to read, or will we need to purchase additional learning tools? Thank You! :-)
Is it ok that my 3–year–old daughter invents stories and pretends she is reading? Or should I teach her what the books really say?
What if I didn’t send my kids to preschool?
Can be incorporated into a homeschooling setting?
Would you teach a child phonics in the same way you normally would while you are trying to teach them two languages (such as English and Spanish)? Or would it be a good idea to teach them both simultaneously, such as a - apple - manzana?
Do you recommend learning phonics first, sight words first, or both at the same time?
I understand about children being behind, but what do you do about those who are considerably ahead of the others in their age bracket? My 3–year–old child is currently reading at a 1st grade level, and I do not want her to go backward once she enters school.
What is the best way to keep a 1st grader focused on his work?
My child just turned 3 and is reading entire books on his own, counts to 100, and adds & subtracts. He’s very social already through library visits, reading programs, and playground visits. In a year, he’ll enter kindergarten. Does it make sense for him to skip kindergarten?
How young (age) can phonics be taught?
How do you encourage a first grade student to join the sounds of letters to make words?
My son is 4 and he has a very short attention span. I am having trouble keeping him interested in learning letters and writing letters because he does not like to sit for very long periods of time. Do you have any suggestions to help me?
What is your experience of how public schools can keep Kindergartners interested and challenged if they read well but are in a class of mixed reading abilities?
I know there are different levels of phonics. How will I know when my child is ready to move on to another level, such as the blended sounds?
I use ABCmouse in my multiple disabilities classroom. The students look forward to this activity. My question is: Is it possible to create activities that are high interest but still at the beginning reading skills? Thanks!
Should my kindergartner know how to read before 1st grade? Do you have any books or programs you would recommend to teach phonics and reading at home?
My little boys love flashcards, but my writing is almost illegible, and the professional flash cards with pictures are their favorites. However, I have a difficult time finding them for sale. Are there any flashcard sets (words with an associated picture) that you would recommend?
How early is too early to teach phonics to my child who may have disabilities?
My 2–year–old loves books and wants us to read to her all of the time. She is so independent that she will read a different book at the same time she wants you to read. How do I get her to let us read to her and have her listen?
Should a child be able to read before entering kindergarten? What are the key items children need entering K?
What is reasonable to expect (regarding the learning of phonics, letters, and sight words) from a 2½-year-old?
How can I reach a child that shuts down and does not want to learn?
If my child is better at math than reading should I focus on reading before math and do our math work second?
How do I help my child learn letter sounds?
How do I apply this method of teaching while my kindergartner is offline?
How can I help my 5–year–old blend sounds such as “ae,” “ee,” etc. in words?
Would include activities in Spanish too? My daughter is a Spanish speaker, but she is now in school and has learned a lot with ABCmouse, and so have I!
My son is 2½ years old and knows his letters and sounds. What should my next step be with him?
Why is this website good for children’s education? There are so many websites, so why should we choose this for our kids?
My students have difficulty identifying the final sounds in words. What do you suggest?
Are there any particular websites to use or look for when teaching phonics during home schooling for a kindergarten level?
I am a youth services librarian. What are the key ways to help parents understand and guide their child in learning phonics? Our largest patron group is birth to age three or four.
How can I get my child to remember her letters? Thank you!
Should children be reading prior to entering kindergarten? Should I be concerned if my child is not?
How do you teach the rules of phonics and word construction, such as silent E, diphthongs, diagraphs, etc, to a first grader? I find it hard to explain these things when they come up.
How can you best integrate phonics with sight words?
I have students who can sound out a word well, but then when they say it fast, they leave off the beginning sound. Can you give me some suggestions on how to help them?
I have a student who knows all letters and letter sounds. She can decode words slowly, and can spell some words when she hears the “stressed” individual sounds. Her struggle is writing the letters in the correct order. What do you recommend to aid her in writing letters as she hears them?