How to help your child
Read with your child as often as possible. Often the reading scheme books that your child brings home will have a phonics focus section at the front or back which will give you the opportunity to talk about new phonemes and graphemes that have been taught in class. Look for these new graphemes within the text of the book. This is especially important once your child has begun to learn digraphs (two letters making one sound) and trigraphs (three letters making one sound). Can they be “Digraph/Trigraph Hunters” and remember that the digraph/trigraph makes one sound rather than sounding out each individual letter?
When your child is reading, remind them to say each sound then blend them together from left to right to read the word.
When your child is writing, remind them to segment the word into each sound. They might use robot talk or actions such as phoneme fingers to help them. Ask your child (or their teacher) which strategies they use in the classroom.
When you or your child say the sounds take great care not to add an “–uh” sound onto the end of sounds. Cat should be sounded out as c-a-t not cuh-a-tuh.
The following video is a useful reference on how to correctly say the sounds: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BqhXUW_v-1s