In a nutshell
Although ‘c’ is one of the first letters learned by most children, it is quite a tricky customer. For example, consider the pronunciation of it in each of the following words:
These different pronunciations are best learned by practice – the more your child reads, the more comfortable they will get with the tricks and oddities of the language!
There are some rules which can help with how to pronounce ‘c’. Not all instances of ‘c’ will follow these rules, but they do provide a general guide.
‘C’ should be pronounced with a ‘k’ sound unless:
– The letter following it is ‘e’, ‘i’ or ‘y’. In these cases it has an ‘s’ sound, (for example, ‘cent’, ‘circus’ and ‘cycle’).
– The letter following it is ‘h’. In these cases it has the ‘ch’ sound, (for example, ‘church’ and ‘child’).
‘I Spy’ words
‘I spy with my little eye, something beginning with…’ is a great game to play to reinforce the sound that a letter makes and it can be a fun game to kill some time – for example on a long car trip. Here is a selection of short words starting with ‘c’ for you to use:
cap, car, cat, cot, cub, cup, cafe, cage, cake, cane, card, cart, case, cash, cave, cent, chin, chip, city, claw, clip, coin, comb, cone, cord, cork, crib, crow, cube, cuffs, curls
Letter C Worksheets
This letter c worksheet gives your child lots of opportunities to practice writing capital C.
This worksheet focuses on the lower case c.
This letter c worksheet gives your child an introduction to the basic sound that ‘c’ makes, and also allows them to practice writing the capital and lower case letter c. Once your child is able to recognize the simple sound made by ‘c’, they will be on their way to being able to sound out simple words like cat and car.
‘Ch’ is one of the most important digraphs in English. It is a good sound for your child to practice – mastering it is a key step in progressing beyond merely sounding out simple words to reading fluently.
‘Ck’ is a very common sound in the English language. This letter c worksheet provides some great examples of the sound for preschoolers.
Practice for words where ‘c’ is pronounced like an ‘s’.