What is phonics?

What is phonics? For the answer, and phonics worksheets and videos, visit https://www.sightandsoundreading.com///newsiteMany parents of little readers often ask the question “what is phonics?” They may ask if their child needs to know phonics in order to learn to read, or how old their child has to be learn phonics. I hope to answer a few of those questions today.

Phonics is a method in which a student learns that letters make different sounds, and combonations of letters make different sounds. So, for instance, a child learns that the b says “buh”, or the letters ‘i-n-g’ say ‘ing’.

In school, children usually learn phonics from kindergarten through second grade. At first they may learn the individual letters of the alphabet: the vowel sounds and the consonant sounds. Next they will learn the blends and diagraphs. For instance the sounds made when you blend the letters “bl” or “cr”. Then students will learn different word endings like ‘ing’ and ‘ed’ or ‘tion’.

At Sight and Sound Reading, we teach phonics in a number of ways. First, we have our sight word learn to read for free program. (This is not phonics), but -within the videos where we teach the children to read, we also are teaching phonics to the children. The children learn phonics in context -so, for instance when they learn to read the word ‘good’, they are taught that good begins with the letter ‘g’ and makes the ‘g’ sound.

We also teach phonics through our free phonics videos. There are also worksheets that go along with the program too. Mrs. Karle explicitly teaches phonics by sounding out words for each of the vowels. She teaches slowly and deliberately and repeats herself frequently. These vidoes are wonderful for struggling readers, especially those children who struggle with phonics.

Lastly we teach phonics through fun free videos and free worksheets. Each Friday we offer a free phonics worksheet for students. We also offer silly phonics videos every so often to help children remember the phonics sounds.

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Madreen Karle is a master first grade reading teacher with over 30 years of classroom experience. She taught reading in a special needs and English as a Second Language classroom. After retiring she wrote a reading program to help others learn how to teach reading. She is a trusted educator and author of 5 books to help teach children to read and write. In addition to her books, she is a mentor for 3 websites that give reading teacher tips (Mrs. Karle’s Sight and Sound ReadingMrs. Karle’s Reading Patch, and Mrs. Karle’s Handwriting Patch). Through her teaching she learned that confidence was the key to learning to read. A child who is not confident at reading does not like to read and struggles to read. Mrs. Karle created “sunshine moments” to help teach children how to grow their confidence and learn to read.
Meeghan Karle Mousaw (Madreen’s daughter) has her Master’s in Special Education. She has 8 years experience teaching children to read online. In addition, she developed a curriculum to teach children handwriting called The Handwriting Patch. With the Handwriting Patch learning is fun because children learn to draw and learn handwriting at the same time. In 2019 The Handwriting Patch curriculum became an amazon best seller the first year it was released, helping thousands of kids learn handwriting with a unique, fun method. She is mom to 6 kids, each with differently learning abilities and struggles.
The Reading Patch was established by the creators of Mrs. Karle’s Sight and Sound Reading. Together they have been featured on the NBC media outlets and Parents Magazine online. Over the last 8 years in their online platform, Madreen and Meeghan have worked tirelessly with teachers, homeschoolers and parents looking to help children learn to read to become a trusted authority in teaching children to read and advocating early literacy skills. They often partner with other educational experts to deliver the most current information to the Reading Patch community.


  1. I am interested in your program. I teach 1st grade and some students are struggling in reading..

    1. Hi there,
      I am happy to help you help your struggling readers who are in first grade. Our curriculum was written to help struggling first grade readers. 🙂 What questions do you have? How else can I help you? Feel free to tell me a little bit about your struggling readers and what you are concerned about most. Thanks! (I sent you an email as well -feel free to respond to me/email me at [email protected])

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