Phonics, Reading and Writing - how you can help at home during COVID - 19

Phonics, Reading and Writing - how you can help at home during COVID - 19


Kids will do at least 20 minutes of phonics based learning everyday in school so anything you can do at home with them is great - even if schools don't close I hope you find this information very useful. 

I’ll start with phonics as all kids need their phonics to read and write everyday. Children should know all their sounds by the end of Year 1. The Read, Write, Inc website is great for parents as it has really useful information on their which is free. If you are unsure what phonics is yourself, starting off with the parent’s video here would be a great start. Your child’s school might not teach the RWI scheme but the concepts are the same. It does promote their home learning kits at the end that you can buy from the website or Amazon but you can also make your own resources too like flash cards. Get the kids involved when you do this so they feel like they have ownership over them too. 

If you follow Ruth Miskin on Facebook she is also doing daily activities that you can join in with too. 

The sounds your child will need to know are:


m a s d t i n p g o c k u b f e l h sh r j v y w th z ch x ng nk


ay ee igh ow oo oo ar or air ir ou oy


ae oi a-e i-e o-e u-e aw are ur er ow ai oa ew ire ear ure

At the end of Year 1 children are expected to sit a phonics screening check where they will read nonsense words using the sounds they have learnt. Not sure on how to pronounce the sounds? No worries click here to hear them all.

The most important thing is that children are exposed to these sounds daily. Here’s a few ideas for younger children:

Flash the sounds – hold the cards in your hand and show them to your child - remove the ones they know and keep in the ones they don’t

Hide flash cards around the garden for them to find

Hide flash cards in a sand pit for kids to find with a paintbrush

Write letters in a tray with the other end of pencil in sand, flour, salt, sugar – anything you have spare in the cupboard.

Chalk letters on the floor outside and let children spray the letter away. (Fill up an empty spray bottle with water – also great for fine motor skills).

Find objects around the house that begin with certain letters and place them in a hoop or bowl.

Sorting object beginning with different letters into hoops or bowls.

Alistair Bryce-Clegg is a great Early Years Educator that offers loads of support for teachers but he has also set up a home learning page here too which is worth a look. 

Older children: 

Phonics screening support:

Twinkl is a great resource and has a months free subscription while we are battling through Covid19. 

Practise Year 1 Phonics Screening Check Word Cards. Think of the planet – don’t print them out just display them on the screen and read from there. 

Play phonics screening games - this one is called Phonics Galaxy

Letters and sounds website also has great games on. 

How else can I help?

If you know what sound your child is currently learning at school there are also games linked by sounds here. 

Practice reading and spelling common exception words from Year 1 and Year 2. Check here to down the lists. 

Reading Eggs is also a good website which has a 2 weeks free subscription which requires no credit card for you to subscribe - it might be worth holding off on this until you really do need it. 

Teach your Monster to read is another free website which is great - they also have an app version which is usually £4.99 but they have lifted the charge due to the current circumstances. 

There are plenty more activities that you can do and I'm not saying these are the best but I wanted to give you some background information and help on what you child needs to know. Reading and writing go hand in hand, you can't do one without the other. 

Reading is the most important thing you can do with your child and it also gives you quality time to spend with your kids too. 

I really hope these ideas give you a little bit of help of how you can help at home. 

Helen x