Teaching kids to read can be a struggle for some. Many kids learn to read early, while others need more help. Educators and parents alike find that strong use of phonetics helps kids start off right and excel faster, because at the end of the day, the sounds paired with the words are what matter and stick with kids. Once they master the sounds, they will be on their way to reading in no time.
One of the best ways to get them there is by using an app that makes it fun to learn phonetics. LETTER FREE PHONETICS is one of the better apps out there that entertain and educate at the same time. This app is a collection of games that kids can play. As they play, they are introduced to images and the sounds associated with the first letter of the image. The app literally stays away from showing letters and focuses mainly on objects and their starting letter sounds.
In one set of games, kids put together simple puzzles. Once the puzzle is complete, the app sounds out the word and the first letter of the word. This multi sensory engagement helps kids learn the sound and link it to the image.
In another set of games, the app provides the sound of a letter and the child must them choose from a selection of images, picking the one that starts with the sound that was just heard. This provides a different mechanism by which a link is established between an object and a sound.
The final set of games provides more of a challenge and forces kids to think quick. The app will show several image/sound pairings and the goal of these games is to drop a token over the correct pairing.
What the developers of the app took into serious consideration was the types of images that are used. Kids who are learning to read are fairly young and recognize certain objects easily. Those are the types objects used in the app. Things like dog, pig, hat, apple, flower, vase, and more.
To make it more enjoyable, the app allows you to configure certain options. You can choose the voice to be of a child, a female or male. You can choose to have the sounds repeated automatically, or not. For the more challenging exercises, you can choose whether or not clues will be provided. This helps parents and educators customize the game to fit the needs and abilities of the child and adjust as needed.
I really couldn’t find anything amiss with the app. It was easy to use and provided a ton of fun examples for kids to work with. I would recommend having plain backgrounds to each puzzle, rather than ornate images. That would help to keep the focus on the images that are a part of the puzzle and reduce distractions.
LETTER FREE PHONICS is a definitely a valuable piece of educational material to have at hand if you are looking for different ways to introduce phonetics to your child.