Phonics & Early Reading

Phonics is fundamental to reading success

Phonemic awareness is the starting point; it is understanding that words are composed of discrete sounds.  It is 100% auditory and does not involve written letters.

Phonics then connects sounds to written letters.  Phonics is understanding how letters are used to make sounds and words. Kids learn to ‘sound out’ words and begin reading.

The third building block is sight words: high frequency words that fluent readers recognize instantly without having to "sound them out".  About 100 sight words comprise almost half the words we read.

Early reading topics

Phonemic awareness includes:

  • recognizing individual sounds in a word
  • identifying the same sounds in different words
  • recognize which word in a set of three or four words has the “odd” sound
  • listening to a sequence of separately spoken phonemes, then combine the phonemes to form a word
  • breaking a word into its separate sounds
  • recognizing the word that remains when a phoneme is removed from another word
  • making a new word by adding a phoneme to an existing word
  • substituting one phoneme for another to make a new word

Phonics then helps students master the relationship between letters and sounds:

  • identifying letters and sounds
  • identifying beginning, medial and ending sounds and their letter patterns
  • making and breaking apart words
  • word-sorting activities
  • sound cueing
  • applying phonetic principles in the context of sentences, stories, and other forms of text
  • counting and identifying syllables
  • reading strategies using graphophonic (visual), semantic (meaning), and syntactic (structural) cues to identify unknown words
  • self-correction and self-monitoring strategies

Finally, sight word activities help students instantly recognize words from the Dolch, Fry and other high frequency word lists. 

Early reading and phonics worksheets and flashcards

Beginning sounds

Recognize the sounds and letters at the beginning of words.


Beginning and ending consonants and consonant blends.

Vowel worksheets

Vowels and the sounds they make.


Write letters and words by "sounding out" simple words.

Rhyming worksheets

Rhyming exercises.

Letters worksheets

Practice tracing and printing letters will improve familiarity and recognition when reading.

Sight words worksheets

Help in recognizing high frequency words.

Phonics flashcards

Over 1,000 printable phonics flashcards.

Dolch sIght words flashcards

Flashcards for the Dolch Word List, 220 of the most frequently used words in English.

Fry sight words flashcards

Flashcards for all of the 1,000 Fry sight words.

Early reading workbooks

Full description of our workbooks are available in our bookstore.

Phonics Workbook

Phonics A Workbook

Focus on beginning sounds and short vowels.

Phonics flashcards

Phonics Flashcards

Over 1,000 phonics flashcards in 35 categories.

Sight Words Flashcards

Sight Words Flashcards

Sight word flashcards including Dolch, Fry sightwords and some custom sight word worksheets.

Letters Workbook


Learn to recognize, trace and print letters.