For young students, phonics is a great foundation for literacy, reading, and writing; concerned parents can reach out to Varsity Tutors to connect with a phonics tutor who can work individually with students to help them get everything they can out of phonics tutoring sessions.
Phonics is one way a student learns to use words properly - they'll probably start learning these concepts as early as kindergarten. Written language can feel like codes to a youth who struggles, and some parents try to help lessen the stress by starting the search for a "phonics tutor near me." We understand how important it is for your student to learn things like the different relationships between letters and words. Finding a phonics tutor with help from Varsity Tutors gives your student more opportunities to practice and learn.
In first and second grades, you can bet your student is learning the sounds of the letters, parts of words (like the endings), and letter combinations. By second grade, a student is using the phonics skills they learned early on (letter recognition, pairing, etc.) to spell and read basic words. Phonics tutoring and instruction is typically most useful to students between the ages of 4 and 7 because, after second grade, they're expected to know how to read and use words, to put sounds together, and to sound them out if words are unfamiliar.
Working one-on-one with a phonics tutor at an early age can help a student to comprehend more information and see that learning doesn't have to be something to be embarrassed about. Your student won't have to watch others as they learn and feel down on themselves it if they struggle. Working with a tutor at an early age might help your student gain confidence that they can use to speak up and read in class. Learning phonics skills early on can build a strong foundation for their academics later on too. That's why we want you to stop searching for "phonics tutoring near me" and let us help.
There are many topics in phonics that a child is exposed to at an early age. Qualified phonics tutors learn (by getting to know a student) how to help students to more easily comprehend what letters sound like, or how they sound when they are combined. The list below explains some of the topics that a student might study as they work with a phonics tutor:
Topics in Phonics
- Consonants and short vowel sounds
- Consonant digraphs and blends
- Long vowel/final e
- Long vowel digraphs
- Other vowel patterns
- Syllable patterns
When Should I Look For Phonics Tutors Near Me?
Because students learn about phonics from an early age and they may be taught those concepts differently at each grade level, it can't hurt to seek phonics tutoring for students as early as first or second grade and continue that tutoring as needed throughout their academic careers. Phonics is taught at early levels, often before students even enter Kindergarten - you might even be teaching your student the basics of phonics when you teach them their letters or try to help them associate words and letters by pointing out different items and telling them what those items are.
There are a variety of approaches that teachers can use when it comes to teaching phonics. Synthetic phonics is one approach, which teaches reading by blending and uses segmenting to teach students about writing. Analytical phonics teaches consonant blends as units and teaches students to break down words into common components.
At the kindergarten level, a phonics tutor can help students to grasp the concepts required by Common Core Reading Standards. Some of those include basic things that adults don't even think about - reading from left to right, spaces between words, the pronunciation of segment syllables in spoken words, and being able to pick out the phonemes of a three-phoneme word. Students are also expected to know the different sounds that vowels make, to read common sight words, and how to substitute or add phonemes to a word to create a new one. If you feel your kindergarten student is struggling with their phonics understanding, one-on-one work with a phonics tutor can make a huge difference.
The table below explains the elements of the Kindergarten-Level Common Core Reading requirements:
Common Core Reading Standards for Kindergarten Students
- Demonstrate understanding of the organization and basic features of print.
- Words go left to right on a page, from top to bottom, and from page to page
- Spoken words have equivalent print versions signified by a sequence of letters
- Spaces exist between written words
- Knowing the letter of the alphabet in upper- and lowercase
- Demonstrate understanding of spoken words, syllables, and sounds (phonemes).
- Ability to understand rhyming and bring up words that rhyme
- Count, pronounce, blend, and segment syllables in spoken words
- Blend and segment onsets and rimes of single-syllable spoken words
- Ability to pick out the phonemes in a three phoneme word
- Ability to substitute or add phonemes to a one-syllable word to make another word
- Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.
- Ability to make the primary or many of the frequent sounds of each consonant letter
- Knowledge of the long and short sounds for each vowel, ability to associate with graphemes
- Ability to read common sight words
- Differentiate similar words by the sounds of differing letters
- Understand and read emergent-reader texts
Phonics Tutoring and Preparation for Evaluation and Standardized Tests
Throughout a student's education, they'll be evaluated on their literacy levels with a variety of exams, sometimes starting as early as Kindergarten, although those may not feel like traditional tests. Phonics tutoring in early grades can look like computer games or flashcards. It doesn't have to be practice tests and pop quizzes or lectures. Phonics tutors assess your child's level of understanding and use that knowledge to make sure their phonics tutoring practices are appropriate for both the student's age and comprehension. Since every student learns differently, tutoring sessions are unique to each student. That personalization makes things easier and more enjoyable for the student, and can help them to realize that studying and learning doesn't have to be all about struggle. Many of these tests and evaluations are designed to be fun, using both visual representations and words themselves to illustrate relationships between the combinations of letters and the image of what that word actually is - like a picture of a cat along with the word "CAT," for example.
There are a variety of assessments that a student might encounter to judge their literacy levels, but the general skills that any of these tests will cover remain consistent. Regardless, a phonics tutor can review the exam in question to identify what it will be assessing and how it does so. With this information in mind, a tutor can work with your child to prepare them and build up their understanding of any topics they can expect to face. A tutor can also walk students through practice exercises that are similar to those that the student would see on the exam, including coming up with practice on the fly or with practice problems provided by the test officials.
A Phonics Tutor Can Help Students Prepare For:
- Grade Level Assessment Tests - These exams assess a student's abilities against others at their grade level. A tutor can begin measuring a student's abilities before the exam and build up their skills by focusing on the areas they need to improve before the day of the test.
- Entrance Exams - Some independent schools may evaluate students to see if they would fit in well at their school. A tutor can help students focus on the skills these exams assess as well.
How Can A Phonics Tutor Help My Student Find the Benefits of Phonics?
Working with a phonics tutor means that study sessions can be fun. Phonics tutoring sessions don't have to feel like a fight for student or parent. Your student can get help with class work, prepare for exams, or learn more about words and reading. With a strong understanding of phonics and phonetic concepts, a student may have an easier time reading and communicating with others. Students learn the rules of language and how to apply them and learn to spell more quickly with phonics tutoring. Learning phonics simplifies things and makes reading and writing easier because it breaks down the English language into less than 50 distinct sounds. Familiarity with those sounds helps a student to segment or blend words together as they read.
As a parent, you've probably told your student to sound a word out if they're struggling instead of reading it for them, right? Phonics helps them to be able to sound a new word out and may give your child a bit more confidence that they can do something without always asking you for help. That's a significant development and can help students later - whether they're participating in phonics tutoring or they're working on an entirely different subject later in their academic careers.
Some of the benefits of learning phonics are outlined below:
Benefits of Learning Phonics
- Student learn pattern recognition to develop reading fluency more quickly
- Using the principles of phonics makes it easier to figure out new words by sounding them out
- Students learn the pervasive rules of syllable structure
- 50% of English words are fully readable via phonics, and 37% are mostly readable via phonics. Only 13% of words require memorization.
- Phonics education in England increased the percentage of 1st year students reaching the reading standard from 58% in 2012 to 81% in 2016
Finding Resources to Help Your Students with Phonics Instruction
Instead of continuing your search for "phonics tutoring near me," reach out to Varsity Tutors. We can find a qualified phonics tutor who will design a personalized plan of study for your student to help them with their phonics studies. The tutors we match students with take the time to get to know each student as well as their academic strengths, learning styles, and personalities. With that knowledge, phonics tutors look for supplemental study aids, use practice tests, give lecture-style sessions, and create hands-on activities to help students develop an understanding of those concepts.
Tutoring doesn't even have to take place with "a phonics tutor near me," because Varsity Tutors uses a Live Learning Platform that connects students and phonics tutors anytime and anywhere. You don't have to be in the same physical space, and you don't have to be in the same community. That flexibility allows your student to have a social life and tutoring to happen around the demands of your schedule. Our platform uses the internet and takes the location out of the equation. This means that there's more flexibility in phonics tutoring sessions than there would be if you were limited to searching for "phonics tutors near me."
Call Varsity Tutors today to be matched with a phonics tutor who understands your child's struggles. We look forward to helping your student connect with a knowledgeable and flexible phonics tutor who can help them dive into letters, sounds, phonemes, and graphemes. Whether they're preparing for a test or learning to read in everyday situations, your search for "phonics tutors near me" ends here. Call us today, and we'll get you connected to a tutor who knows the material your student will be learning and is eager to help.