Getting ready for reading begins way before you begin sounding out words in a story book.
Did you know phonemic awareness does not involve print (that is phonics)?
Phonemic awareness is the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate the individual sounds (phonemes) in spoken words, and it is an important key to learning to read.
That is why nursery rhymes and rhyming can be so helpful. They begin to expose your child/student to how changing the beginning sound of a word can make a new word, and the principle that different sounds make different words.