Teaching Phonics and Reading at home

Teaching a child to read independently is the most important life skill that you can teach him.

Learning phonics is the first step to reading. Most parents will send their kids to phonics enrichment classes. However, even if you pay money to send to such classes, the teachers will still tell you that you must practice with your child at home. 

I have been teaching my boy phonics at home for about 8 months.  I am a full time working mummy,  and I can only afford to teach him about 15 minutes a day.  Checkout my blog about my method of teaching, as well as the teaching materials.


It was tough at first,  I took more than 1 month to teach my boy to read 3 letter words with the vowel "a".  He is the type who cannot sit still and cannot focus even for a few minutes. He also needs many repetitions before he can understand or remember the technique.  I had to think of fun and interesting ways to teach him.  It takes a lot of patience.   He progresses slowly and steadily, and now he has become very comfortable with the routine of studying for 15 minutes a day.  He enjoys learning with me also because this is the time of the day when he has my undivided attention.

At the same time, I also let him read 1 page of the Ladybird Keyword series (available at Popular Book Shop)every day.  Now after 8 months, he is able to read Books 5a and 5b, which have pages of about 100 words.   This series is excellent at building up his confidence to read. Here’s the photo of a page from Book 5a.  He can read it on his own the first time.  He is 3 years 11 months old.

I think any parent who can read English, is capable of teaching their child to read at home ! Teaching your child to read is also the best way to bond with them.

Thanks for sharing

Thanks for sharing


Thanks Tamarind, for sharing about these basic things like phonics which made me realize the importance of doing it!  My boy is not yet verbal and now I am making him do letters and numbers puzzles so that he will recognise the letters first.  I will check out the Leapfrog DVD but not sure whether he will be able to sit through the video since he likes Barney & Elmo (ie. very quick action with music type).  Also am considering sending him to Montesorri Phonics but he is the type who dislike being left alone at new places hence I am hesitating.  Another way is for me to attend Montessori Phonics course and then buy and teach my DS.  Whichever way, your articles have certainly helped me to understand the choices I have and how to move forward!

Best regards!

Great job!

Your guide to teaching phonics is truly comprehensive! Thumbs up 🙂

Truly Amazing!

Hi Tamarind,

I was trying to teach my 4yr 10mths boy to read in vain, and we both we getting frustrated and cranky.  I was rather desperate until i chance upon your blog from the kiasu forum.  I immediately put into practice and taught my boy following your instructions. 

I also let him try to so the exercise in starfall.com and that really excites him!  We started last Sunday and by today, Tues, he is able to read the ‘at’, ‘an’, ‘ap’, 3 letters!

I really admire you for your patience in teaching your kids and your valuable time to share your methods on your blog!  Truly amazing!  Thanks a mil!


Good Phonics School

Hi all

I am full time working mom. I have 1 elder daughter, 7 and 1 younger on coming to 4 in Oct. I dont have time to teach at home as work is hectic and already, spending alot of time with my elder one.

The elder one’s phonics is a disappointment. I am not sure if it is teacher or herself. Her P1 sound discrimination test was badly done. I wonder what can be done to salvage and also, start the younger one.

I am reading Peter and Jane to the younger one. And I cant be consistent as sometimes I need to work late or coach the elder one. 

Anyone has recommendation of a good school that teaches phonics?

Thks! JJ

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How to introduce Grammar to 5 years old kid


My son is in K1.  I had been thinking how can I introduce Grammar to him.  On the other hand, I was thinking am I too kiasu on this issue. 

Please help.

Thanks & regard





Thanks !

I am learning a lot from other parents in this forum too 🙂  

Well Done!

Hi Tamarind

It takes a lot of continual discipline & effort on your part to prepare for the teaching.  I know it is hard work and a persistent one as I have also gone through it myself for preparing Maths & Science for my girl in RGPS.  She is now in P5. 

Super impressed

Wow… Tamarind…. I think your kid is very lucky to have such a wonderful and dedicated mum like you. Amazing job!

Looks like I’ve got lots to learn from you…. and millions of thanks for sharing your teaching methods.

I'm awed

Tamarind, I’m awed by your dedication to your children despite you working full time as a mother.

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