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There are two parts to phonological awareness and both are required in order to have fluent reading. 1. Phonemic awareness skills means the ability to manipulate the sounds that make up spoken language. For example, we know "c" makes the /k/ sound. When multiple letters are put together to make a word, phonological awareness enables us to break apart each individual sound within a word. 2. Phonics skills is the understanding that there are relationships between letters and sounds. (WE NEED MORE HERE) Having these foundational skills will lead into stronger fluency skills which is defined as the ability to read with accuracy, speed, and expression. When these come easily reading comprehension is attained. This will allow your child to understand and enjoy the story. Laying the foundation of phonological awareness is important regardless of your child's grade. We see children in middle and even high school who are struggling with decoding a new word, fluency and comprehension because of a weak phonological awareness. Orton-Gillingham and Language therapy are two ways you can help your child strengthen these skills. OG is a multi-sensory approach to teaching a child how to manipulate these sounds in words. One particular aspect stuck out with me So, what can you do at home to help your child with phonological awareness? One way is to practice manipulating sounds through Elkonin Boxes. Here's one link with an example http://www.readingrockets.org/strategies/elkonin_boxes or check out my past post on What Is Inside of my OG Bag? You can also play games with you child! This book has different levels of games that you can play https://www.orton-gillingham.com/products/2378/. Remember, even though this book says for grades K-2nd, phonological awareness consists of a foundation of skills that will later affect decoding, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. If you have an older child who is struggling with manipulating sounds, it's beneficial to go back and work explicitly on strengthening his or her awareness. Practice rhyming with your child! You can read poems together or take turns saying rhyming words. Please e-mail us with any questions at email@example.com. We love connecting with you and are always happy to help you with tips and resources. With Appreciation, Christina and Wendy