My youngest son struggled with phonics. Even in kindergarten, his teachers sent home notes that he was having a difficult time understanding the connections between certain letters and the sounds they made.
The following year, we began homeschooling him and working one on one with him daily to help him grasp letters, phenomes, and words. This was VERY slow going until we discovered that he made much better connections when he used more than one sense at a time. For instance, if he wrote the letter (tactile) AS he was saying the sound, he was more likely to remember it. And the more senses he used, the more progress he seemed to make – – such as typing a letter on a keyboard, seeing it come up on the screen, and hearing it spoken at the same time.
This discovery led us to seek out free student keyboarding games online where he could practice this technique. Not only was he learning his phonics, but these kids typing games were making him quite the successful keyboarder!
Once he had mastered his letters and sounds, he moved onto more complex keyboarding games that included words and sentences. The method was still the same – – type, see, hear – – but the challenges were greater. And the use of multimodal learning continued to help him build his word power. Sight words also became more recognizable to him after typing them out multiple times.
Now that he is in middle school, my son rarely plays keyboarding games anymore except to check his progress with a typing speed test or two, but the games were invaluable to him as he began the reading and writing process. If you have a child who is struggling with phonics or letter-sound connections, consider letting him or her try out some fun typing games online!