Why is It Important to Teach Kids Phonics? 5 Scary Reasons You Shouldn't Skip It
Why IS it important to teach kids phonics? Here's the easy answer: you want your children to grow into strong readers.
So what's the big deal about phonics? Why is there so much confusion about it? Let's start with a little background.
Phonics goes all the way back to the early Greek alphabet, adapted by the Greeks from the Phoenician alphabet. The Phoenicians were known to have used symbols to help native speakers recognize sounds of words they knew. In the beginning, the ability to read these symbols (consonants only—no vowels) was related to the culture, and a person needed contact with native speakers to understand them.
The Greeks changed all that. They added vowels and a system that made their alphabet more portable to other communities. The sounds were no longer attached to meanings, rather, they were assigned to sounds in a word. A writer could actually mix them up to create new words, based only on the sounds. Then the Romans ran with it and created the alphabet we still use today. So you see, the genius of a portable, phonetic alphabet stems from the innovative nature of this early civilization.