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!