You can teach phonics rules for words before a child can write letters. Magnetic letters make this possible.
Some work needs to be done with learning letter sounds first. You may be able to teach unknown letter sounds while working with magnetic letters.
The word no is a good first word to teach. The n and o sounds can be stretched out. You can teach the phonics rule: A vowel at the end of a word usually makes a long sound by teaching the words no, so, and go.
Here's a video teaching the words no, go, and so.
Continue to teach a vowel at the end of a word usually has a long sound with the words me, he, we, and she. Be sure to teach the sh diagraph. I'd start with the o and e words first when teaching this rule.
Advanced learners will want to know the long u sound is usually spelled with o or oo (to, do, too), the long a sound is usually spelled ay (day, way, play), and the long i sound is usually spelled with a y (my, try, shy).
This rule works if a vowel is at the end of a syllable. Knowing this rule helps early readers decode words. Here's a video showing how to use this rule when trying to sound out a more than one syllable word.
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