Teaching a child (or an adult) how to understand phonics by using the phonetic blend method is the easiest for all to understand. This article will take you step by step through the concept of teaching phonetic blends and eventually teaching your student to read.

Teach the difference between a vowel and a consonant. Teach your student the difference between a vowel and a consonant by pointing out that the five vowels "a," "e," "i," "o" and "u" have a long and a short sound. Teach them that all words need at least one vowel.

Associate picture and sounds. The short "a" says "a,a,a as in apple." The long "e" says "e,e,e as in eagle." As soon as your student has learned the vowel concept, move on to the next step.

Use index cards. On index cards, write the consonants and vowels; one letter on each card. place a consonant and a vowel side by side. For example "c" and "a." Say the sounds of each letter over and over again until each letter's sound blends together. This is called a "blend."

Practice sounds. Mix up the consonant cards and practice each blend over and over until your student can say a blend without "pushing" the two sounds together.

Make a chart. Cut poster boards in half and make 21 charts; one for each consonant. In a column, from top to bottom, write each of the phonetic blends. "ba, be, bi, bo, bu," "ca, ce,ci, co, cu," and so forth.

Form words. Once your student has mastered the reading of the chart, start making three and four letter words with the index cards. Add a "t" to the "ca" and sound out the word "cat." Let your student go through the phonetic blend charts and figure out for themselves what letters can be added to a blend to form a word and which letters and blends do not form words.