Allowing children to have fun whilst learning is a great way to help them develop essential skills. Interactive games, like, Time for Phonics helps children learn and play at the same time and help a child with their sounding words.
Disclaimer: I was gifted membership to the Time for Phonics website by Mactivity Enterprises for my honest, unbiased review. This hasn’t influenced my opinion of the product in any way.
This sounds a bit odd, and I’ve read and heard many parents say completely the opposite, but I enjoy home schooling! I won’t lie though, it gets tough at times. Especially when you have to jump from teaching a 4-year-old the ‘ee’ sound to then jumping to help the 11-year-old with computer programming in computer science.
Teaching a 4 year old how to say how a word sounds is actually quite tricky. As we get older we instinctivly just say the word how it sounds. But to a 4 year old, or children in key stage 1, its quite an important step. You have to help them sound the word out in order for them to start spelling the word. For example. The word ‘Train’, to a child sounds like T-r-A-n.
We have to then teach the child the ‘ai’ sound. T-r-ai-n. This is called phonics. And, also, my 4 year old taught me the ‘ai’, ‘ee’, ‘th’ etc sounds are also called a digraphs… who knew!? (3 letter sounds are called trigraphs)
Help with phonics
Parents need a little help! And we’re getting it with the support of teachers through a myriad of apps. I, personally found, that some videos don’t load or they’ve been recorded wrong etc. Which makes it difficult to actually help the child. So, sometimes it can be difficult to teach Alfie phonics, without the aid of a teacher to help pronounce the sound.
I came across ‘Time for Phonics’. It’s an interactive website that helps children learn phonemes through a game like interface.
Time for Phonics
Alfie, my 4 year old took to it like a duck to water. With clear phase selections at the start, you know exactly what to expect. Choose the phase based on what your child’s teacher says they are on. Most kids in reception would be on phases 2,3 & 4.
The aim of the different games is to read the words that are presented and determine if they are a silly word or a real word. I did this with Alfie at the start to help him, but shortly after, he got the hang of it. For each correct answer, they get a star. At the end of the game, it tells you how many correct answers they got.
It’s a very simple and straightforward game and I was surprised at how well Alfie learned the sounds and words. The simple process of learning whilst having fun.
Within the website, there is a multitude of resources available to parents and teachers. Such as helpful information, Guides to aid with phonics, Schemes, and a support group.
How much is it to sign up?
Well, I must admit I was pleasently supprised at the cost. You cant expect a resource like this to be free. At the time of writing this, You can try it out free of charge for 30 days. After that its £10 per year.
Although I was gifted a 12 months membership, I would quite gladly pay £10 for 12 months. That’s only 83p per month.
Overall thoughts on Time for Phonics
I think it’s a great little website with a very simple purpose. The games are great fun for the kids to play too. Although there are only a few games, I’m sure there will more to come. It is a new resource, after all.
One element, I’d really like to see on the website is some phonic videos to help prior to playing the games. Again, I’m sure this will come in time. Time for Phonics is part of the Mrs. Mactivity Learning Resources.