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So your child has almost mastered beginning sounds… time to level up to the next type of phonics! Blends and digraphs can be learned right after beginning sounds. And it’s okay if your kiddo is still shaky on a couple sounds before you start blends and digraphs! This is normal, and your child can keep practicing the tricky sounds while learning something that’s more of a challenge.
What are blends and digraphs?
“Di” means two. A digraph is when two consonants make just one sound. Think about the -ck at the end of the word “luck.” You wouldn’t read this out as “l-uh-cuh-kuh.” The two consonants of the -ck together just make a single “cuh” sound. “Ch” in cheese and “ph” in phone are also digraphs.
Blends also have two or more consonants that blend together into a specific sound… but this time you can hear both of the letter sounds in the blend. Think about “tr” in the word train. You wouldn’t say “tuh-ruh-ay-nuh.” The t and the r are blended together so that you can hear both still, but the combo still makes a different sound then when those letters are separately.
How to Teach Blends and Digraphs
If your child has mastered the beginning sounds, learning the blends and digraphs won’t come naturally at first. (Why on Earth does a “ph” make an “f” sound?!) The best way to teach these sounds by explicitly explaining the new sound and pointing it out in as many words as you can as you read together. Don’t be surprised if these are trickier for your kiddo to learn than the beginning sounds were. Just think exposure, exposure, exposure. Teach blends and digraphs in a wide variety of ways… playing games, noticing words in books together, looking at a chart of the sounds (like these ones!) and reviewing them once per day. And whatever else you can think of!
How We Use These Posters
These blends and digraphs posters are perfect for printing on nice cardstock and laminating to hang in your homeschool space. We also like to laminate, hole punch, and put in a binder for long car rides. My son stares at all the pictures, practices sounding out the words, and asks me how to say each word. It’s a fun little learning activity that helps car rides go by a bit quicker for him!
This set contains 6 classroom posters.