Home learning: How to engage your child with reading using phonics


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March 19th, 2020

Last updated: October 29th, 2021

Home learning: How to engage your child with reading using phonics

In this blog, Alanya sets out five resources to help your child develop confidence and fluency in their reading while having lots of fun along the way!

What is ‘phonics’?

An effective strategy your child will use at school to learn to read is ‘phonics’. This teaches your child to listen carefully to words and identify the small units of sound  called ‘phonemes’. Children can then break words down into sounds (segmenting) and use units of sounds to build words (blending). Don’t know where to begin? These sites are packed with resources to help you and your child learn together!

1. Teach Your Monster to Read

Teach Your Monster to Read is an exciting and engaging game to take children right from their first steps in learning letter sounds, to reading words and finally sentences. The game is available both on your computer for free and if you download the app your pennies support the Usborne Foundation, a charity supporting early literacy.


2. Oxford Owl

Oxford Owl is packed with resources. If you are unfamiliar with how phonics can be used to support your child’s reading and writing skills, or what their reading level is, the site has accessible parent guides to get you started. Alongside this, you’ll find beautiful e-books and interactive games to keep your little one busy.


3. ICT Games

This website is a hub for interactive games to support children to practice their reading skills. Dinosaur, pirates, Egyptians and wildlife-themed games get even the most reluctant readers hooked!


4. Phonics Play

Phonics play is another popular site for pupils and parents alike. The helpful guides give advice and support, while the ‘Buried Treasure’, ‘Picnic on Pluto’ and ‘Rocket Rescue’ games are always firm favourites for children learning how to sound out tricky words.


5. Mr Thorne Does Phonics

In these videos Mr. Thorne’s mischievous giraffe puppet ‘Geraldine’ goes on a hunt around the house to match objects to her letter sounds. This is a really easy and engaging activity you can do at home. Mr. Thorne gives a great model of how to introduce new sounds to your child. If you want more there is also a downloadable app.


Remember that the best way to engage children in reading is the opportunity to explore books together. A story a day is a must if you are learning at home. Make this an exciting part of the day by asking your child to choose a favourite book and leave it on your ‘story cushion’ ready for story time.

More about Alanya

Alanya qualified as a teacher in Primary education in 2014, and now works as a tutor with Owl Tutors.

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2 responses to “Home learning: How to engage your child with reading using phonics”

  1. Avatar for Owl Tutors Owl Tutors says:

    Dear Raz

    Thanks for reading.

    You can read our recommended reading list here, if that is helpful:


    Best wishes

    Owl Tutors

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