Phonemic Awareness by Margo Edwards

Today’s post is from  Guest Blogger, Margo Edwards of 


Phonemic Awareness is a crucial foundational skill for child literacy. It is, quite simply, the ability to think about and play with the sounds in spoken words. A child with high phonemic awareness understands that:

  • adding a /fff/ sound to the beginning of arm makes a new word, farm.
  • the word bow is the word boat with the /t/ sound chopped off the end.
  • if you take the word mug and replace the /mmm/ sound at the beginning with a /rrr/ sound, you get the word rug.

Phonemic Awareness is sometimes called Pre-Phonics. A child with high phonemic awareness and a solid knowledge of the alphabet letters and their sounds is well-prepared for Phonics and for future success in Kindergarten and elementary school.

How do I teach Phonemic Awareness to my child? Our free online curriculum has 110 carefully sequenced games and activities designed to help you do just that. The curriculum includes clear instructions, “how-to” videos, and free printables, providing everything you need to lead an individual child or a classroom full of preschoolers down the path to literacy.

Start as early as age 3, with Listening and Rhyming games. Then introduce the idea that spoken language is made up of Sentences and Words, which can be divided into Syllables. Four-year-olds who can divide words into syllables are ready to dive into the heart of our curriculum: Beginning Sounds, Ending Sounds, and more. Our final module is actually a bridge between phonemic awareness and basic reading.

Early literacy is the key to success in future learning. If a child falls behind early, it’s nearly impossible to catch up. Seven out of eight children who start elementary school behind their classmates are still behind at the end of elementary school. So help your child get – and stay – ahead of the curve!

Margo Edwards is the Director of Content Development at, a website dedicated to providing free resources that promote child literacy. is proud to be sponsored by the Georgia Preschool Association.

Click here for songs that teach Phonemic Awareness!

Finding Great Books for Your Kids!

Kids readingDo you ever get lost in the library or the bookstore? In all honesty, it isn’t really a bad thing when that happens, but with our busy lives, sometimes we find something quick and easy. That is why whenever I need a new children’s book, I turn to the experts and look at the award winners. Here are few of the great children’s book awards and the winners for 2016.

Caldecott Awards

By far my favorite book award is the Cadecott Award. The Caldecott Medal was named in honor of nineteenth-century English illustrator Randolph Caldecott. It is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children. The illustrations are always so captivating. Great for engaging readers of all ages!

The 2016 Medal Winner:

Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear

by Lindsay Mattick and illustrated by Sophie Blackall

Before Winnie-the-Pooh, there was a real bear named Winnie. Here is the remarkable true story of the bear who inspired Winnie-the-Pooh.

2016 Honor Books:

Trombone Shorty

by Troy Andrews (author) and Bryan Collier (Illustrator)

Hailing from the Tremé neighborhood in New Orleans, Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews got his nickname by wielding a trombone twice as long as he was high. Trombone Shorty is a celebration of the rich cultural history of New Orleans and the power of music.


Illustrated and written by Kevin Henkes

An owl, a puppy, a bear, a rabbit, and a pig—all toys arranged on a child’s windowsill—wait for marvelous things to happen in this irresistible picture book.


Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement

Illustrated by Ekua Holmes, written by Carole Boston Weatherford

Stirring poems and stunning collage illustrations celebrate Fannie Lou Hamer, a champion Civil Rights.


Last Stop on Market Street

illustrated by Christian Robinson and written by Matt de la Peña

Every Sunday after church, CJ and his grandma ride the bus across town. This energetic ride through a bustling city highlights the wonderful perspective only grandparent and grandchild can share.