When I was at school we learned to read and write visually. We read lots, pratised writing words and memorised spellings. I am therefore unfamiliar with phonics as a learning tool. Phonics is the system used in most schools, to teach children how to read and write. Children must learn to recognise over 40 phonic sounds, sound them out and blend them together to read a word.

Garden Girl, at 5 years old and Garden Boy, at 3 years old, are both using phonics in the Foundation stage to learn reading and writing and they are both required to learn phonic sounds at home and read with me at home. I love reading with my children at home but I quickly became aware that I didn't know all the rules. I didn't even know all the phonic sounds. I am learning phonics alongside my children but I am having to do a bit of research along the way.

In the literacy section of this blog, I aim to post information about phonics, as I learn it, as well as little tips and rules that I have found helpful in guiding my little ones. I am not an expert. I have no formal training in educating children. I am likely to make mistakes along the way but, to steal a phrase from my little ones' school, this is my learning journey and I hope that some of what I learn will be helpful to other parents. To find all my posts on literacy, click on the Literacy link under the title 'Focus On..' on the right hand side. And if you have any useful literacy tips, leave a comment on one of my posts, or send me an e-mail to