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A phonics toolkit to support your child when reading is hard

We have developed a step-by-step guide to help you provide extra support with your child's reading at home, particularly if they are having difficulty learning to read at school. 

This page has all the videos, information and resources you need to get started. You can get access to additional resources and ongoing support from our specialist teachers in our Facebook Group.

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Getting Started with Links at Home   Reading 

Welcome to Links at Home Reading! Through a series of video demonstrations and downloadable resources, we show you how to support your child when reading is hard. Our program uses the same Systematic Synthetic Phonics approach used in Australian schools to best help your child build essential reading skills and confidence. We have included some introductory videos and resources to help you understand why we use this approach.

On this page you will find eight video demonstrations that introduce you to a small group of sounds. Each demonstration includes a written instruction guide and printable resources that you can use when supporting your child.

Bookmark this page now to easily return to our valuable resources and support whenever you need them on your child’s reading journey.

Jump to:

Learning to Read

How Children Learn to Read

Before getting into the Links at Home Reading program, we will start by looking at how children learn to read and why it can be so hard. This will give you an understanding of the key concepts of learning to read.  

Synthetic Phonics

The Links at Home Reading program guides you through a Systematic Synthetic Phonics approach to supporting children’s reading. This video will provide you with a brief introduction to what Systematic Synthetic Phonics is.  

Using Decodable Readers

Our reading program does not include any books. That’s because our program focuses on strategies you can use when your child finds reading hard. This video shows you where to find appropriate books to read with your child.  

Key Terminology to Remember

There are a few terms used in Systematic Synthetic Phonics and reading that you may come across throughout this program that you may be unfamiliar with. Your child may have heard these terms at school during their reading lessons and you may have seen them in their home reading materials. We’ve done our best to simplify the language used throughout our program to make it easy to understand. Below is a quick reminder of some of the terms you may come across when supporting your child with reading.  

Phonemes: The smallest unit of sound in a language. These are the different sounds we can make in spoken language. 

Graphemes: The letters or groups of letters that represent the written form of a phoneme (spoken sound) 

Blending: Combining individual sounds to form words and sentences.   

Segmenting: Breaking down whole words into their individual sounds. 

Decodable words: Words that can be read by blending their sounds together 

Video Demonstrations

The Links at Home Reading Program introduces you to beginning phonemes your child will need to start reading fluently. The phonemes have been divided into eight groups to provide a structured approach to learning to read.  

Watch our demonstration videos to learn how to correctly model each of the sounds for your child, how to help your child ‘sound out’ and blend sounds together to read words and how to support your child to spell and write simple words and sentences.  

Watch each video without your child first and then complete the activities with your child. If you need help demonstrating the phonemes and blending to your child, skip to the relevant section of the video and play it for your child.   

Group 1

In Group 1, you’ll introduce your child to the most common sounds in the English language – s, a, t, p.  

Group 2

In Group 2, you’ll add four new sounds – i, n, m and d – to begin expanding the number of words your child can read.  

Group 3

In Group 3, you’ll add four new sounds  – g, o, c and k  – to continue building on their knowledge. 

Group 4

In Group 4, you introduce the sounds ck, e, u and r to increase the length of words and sentences your child can read.  

Group 5

In Group 5, you introduce the sounds b, h, f, ff, l, ll and ss to show that some sounds can be represented by a double letter.  

Group 6

In Group 6, you introduce the sounds j, v, w and x, allowing your child to read longer words and sentences. 

Group 7

In Group 7, you introduce the sounds y, z, zz and qu, which appear less frequently than the sounds in previous groups. 

Group 8

In Group 8, you introduce the sounds ch, sh, th and ng to build your child’s knowledge of double letter phonemes.

Games and Activities to Support Reading

Once your child builds confidence with the sounds, words and sentences in each Group, it’s important to keep practicing to reinforce what they have already learnt as they add more sounds. We’ve put together a range of simple games and activities to provide a fun way to practice reading skills.  

Card Games

Watch this video to learn some classic card games with a phonics twist. To play, you can use either the sound cards or the word blending cards in your pack.  

Board Games

We have created our own set of simple board games you can use to make reading practice fun. Watch this video to learn how to play! 

Phoneme flash cards laid out on table. Learning Links teacher points at the phoneme /a/ in pat while student sounds out word.

Join our supportive community

To get ideas to support your child’s reading, join our supportive Facebook Group. Here we will share additional resources, games and program updates. This is also a safe place for families to share their own ideas and reach out for help.  

Development of Links at Home was possible thanks to generous funding from community partners including Berkeley Sports Club, Club Banora, Cumberland City Council, Georges River Council, Liverpool Catholic Club and The Shellharbour Club.