Many parents of beginning readers have heard about phonics. It is one of the most advertised aspects of learning to read. However, the topic of phonics itself is hotly debated and at times quite confusing.
So…What is Phonics?
Phonics is simply the relation between letters and sounds in a language. Learning phonics is important because it is like teaching your children to break a code. Knowing the letter and letter combinations will help your child decode words as they read and/or write.
When Should Phonics Instruction Begin?
According to the National Research Panel (NRP) phonics instruction is most beneficial in kindergarten through second grade. Personally, I started younger with my kids through exploring environmental print and talking about the sounds of the letter rather than the name of the letter. How and when you approach phonics really is based on your child’s individual needs and curiosity.
How to Approach Teaching Phonics:
1. Cognitive Clarity: This means the child fully comprehends what they are trying to do and can set for themselves a goal to accomplish. Simple games such as Froggy Phonics are great for cognitive clarity! The rules and the end goal are very clear while also being a lot of fun! If your child is just learning their letters then the clarity factor may be a bit harder for them. However, the game starts simple and builds up in complexity. The first level is great for letter recognition. The game is also set up in a way that it would be very easy to sit down with a child and go through letter sounds as you play the game (ex. The frog is looking for a /b/ sound which word says b-uh, /b/a/t/ or /r/u/n/). There is even a friendly fish to help and encourage children along in their journey!
2. Engagement: Children learn best when they are engaged and enjoying what they are learning. Engagement acts as a motivator to encourage children to remain persistent in their expectations of success. Froggy Phonics is broken up into an array of awards that encourage children to remain engaged while building their self confidence. Throughout the game Fishy pops up and cheers for the child at every milestone. Also while exploring Froggy’s world children will come across friends and other ways to interact with the game. The levels are long enough to remain challenging without exhausting a child’s efforts.
3. Multifaceted and Multilevel: Not every child is going to learn the same way. Some will be visual learners, some will be auditory, some will be kinesthetic (hands-on), some may be a mixture of all of the above, and even some may learn in a completely different way. No matter how you categorize learners, or how you learn, it is universally accepted that every child learns in a different way. Froggy Phonics was a great game for this because it included an array of elements. There was visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and even social. When I first started playing this game with my daughter all I could focus on was how simple it is, because you have to admit that there are a ton of apps out there that are all flash and that’s enamoring. This game is really quite brilliant in that it appeals to every style of learner while remaining simple and straight forward. I was very impressed with this.
Froggy Phonics also did a great job of working on:
- Sequential Decoding
- Decodable High Frequency Words
- Use of Patterns
About Froggy Phonics:
Based on the popular, award-winning Edupress™ board game, the Froggy Phonics app allows children to practice their phonetics skills with some hopping good fun! Froggy Phonics inspires kids in grades K-2 (ages 4-8) to associate letters and letter groups with their sounds through the fun character, Froggy.
The object of the game is for Froggy to gulp down as many fireflies as he can to earn more rewards for the Fascinating Firefly Festival. Froggy leaps from level to level on lily pads and uses simple phonics patterns to gulp down fireflies. When Froggy finds words to match the correct given letters, a voice sounds out the word, so children are able to hear its pronunciation. There are nine levels and nearly 900 different words for Froggy to discover.
Hopping through a natural outdoor setting made with appealing graphics and a playful soundtrack, Froggy is accompanied by his friends (fish, turtles, alligators, owls, butterflies and tiki statues) to ensure he is never alone. With no time limit and never losing points for incorrect answers, children are enthralled by this parent and teacher-approved app. Froggy Phonics is available for $4.99 on Apple and Android devices.
I was given this product for the purpose of this review. All opinions provided are 100% my own.