Everyone probably has heard of the well reputed Hooked on Phonics line of products I myself have heard a lot of their success stories and was eager to get my hands on one of them, when I had the excellent opportunity to review the Hooked on Phonics Learn to Read program.
What is the Learn to Read Program?
Learn To Read – Pre K to 2nd Grade Package is an amazing set that would help your child till he can read as fluently as a 2nd grade child can. There are 2 levels for each grade level. These packages are carefully designed to not only help your child read better, but to also get their attention and gain their interest.
Hooked on Phonics has clearly made learning for fun for your kids.
The Pre-K Level focuses on the alphabets and alphabet sounds.
The Kindergarten Level packages focus on short syllable words that are 3 letters long.
The First Grade Level pack focuses on longer words
The Second Grade Level Pack continue introducing longer words
Since my kid is a preschooler, naturally I started with the Pre K package. So let me dig into the Pre-K Learn to Read Package with you and share our experience.
I can understand why they would call it “Hooked on Phonics”. This is because my kid surely got hooked on to these reading packages! He loved it all – the workbook, the DVD, flashcards and the story books. Let’s not forget the stickers.
As a parent, what got me impressed was the careful planning of the lesson. They first start with the workbook, where they introduce the portion; they then repeat it with different exercises within the workbook. The workbook would also suggest some activities to be done with the flashcards included or at their website. This is followed by a short story time session you could have with the child. Finally, they can watch a fun and lively DVD that reinforces what they have learnt.
The Pre-K Level 1 package
– 1 Workbook
– 2 whole set of the alphabet flashcards with pictures
– Story books
– 1 DVD
The Workbook introduces each alphabet and teaches the child how to write them. It encourages them to trace over each letter with their finger to master the strokes and curves and eventually get them familiarized with how they sound and how they are written. This workbook also introduces rhyming sounds and has the children understand how to distinguish words based on their beginning sounds.
Within the workbook are suggested flashcard activities after a few units. Also they introduce one of their story books and have a short story session before the kid can go on to view the DVD. The DVD is also split into a few sections, so the child can watch a few units during each session.
What is best is not only the lesson structure but also the fact that they are short, lively and entices the child to interact and get interested in learning more. Kids do have a short attention span. Hooked on Phonics is aware of this and makes each session last for at most 20 minutes. This way, it is fine if they were to digress after one session.
We enjoyed the DVD as it repeated the alphabet songs and had fun songs to introduce a few letters each time. The beats were all different and unique. This not only retained the child’s attention but also enticed them to sing along and master the sounds at the same time. This indeed was a visual and a audio reinforcement for the child.
A Note To The Parents
One thing that I would stress is as a parent is that we should follow the pace of our child. Some kids can sit through longer session while others won’t stay focused for that long. There is nothing wrong with either kind of children. To make learning fun for our kids, we must work with their moods and attention span to make the most of this program. There is no point forcing a child. The child would eventually master these concepts. It is critical to do so when they show some interest or seem ready.
The Pre-K Level 2 package
The Pre-K Learn to Read Level 2 Program comes with
– 1 Workbook
– 1 set of flashcards
– Story books
– 1 DVD
Although this workbook still talked about alphabets, it focused more on picture words and beginning sounds as well. Each letter of the alphabet was introduced again and this time pictures were presented. The child would then need to point out which of the pictures had the same beginning sound as the alphabet introduced. Then there were matching games and others introduced. These games encouraged the child to match picture words according to their sounds and spot items that start with the same letter from a picture.
Once again, not only were the alphabet sounds being emphasized on, but the concept of beginning sounds and matching sounds were reinforced as well. Also the workbook introduced the flash cards and story books at appropriate junctures. Once each session in the workbook was done, the child could enjoy and reinforce these concepts through the DVD and then get rewarded with their stickers.
When using the Hooked on Phonics Packages
1. As I mentioned earlier, work with the child’s pace. If they seem focused and intrigued, you may proceed. Otherwise just save the lesson for later.
2. Have an interactive time with your child as both of you are going through the workbooks and games.
3. Sit through the DVDs with your kid (at least in the initial stage) and join them as they sail through the alphabets
4. Try to stick to the schedule. However, if they are intrigued by a particular segment; don’t hesitate to stay in there a little longer.
5. Remember not to overdo it and lose their interest.
Right now, we are being ambitious and starting on the Learn To Read Kindergarten Level 1 Package. Since his preschool has been introducing some 3 letter words, this is not impossible. However, we probably would go much slower on these books as he masters the words and the sounds one page at a time.
The Kindergarten Packages come with the workbook, several short story books and a DVD that introduce short words to our budding readers. Of course they come with the stickers to celebrate their success.
The first level starts with introducing words that end with “at”, “an”, and “ap”. Several words that end with these syllables are introduced and repeated till the kindergartener masters them. There are then short exercises that reinforces these concepts which then follows with visual and audio reinforcements through the DVDs.
With this level, I find that I need to go a little slower just so the kid does not get overwhelmed. But that is what I love about this program – I can set the pace and still get the concept across to my child!
Overall, this is an excellent package to get for your child or to gift a household with kids between the ages of 3-8. This is a worthwhile investment to make reading easier and more fun for our children. Reading is such an essential skill that is best mastered at a young age. Good reading habits and skills could prove very beneficial as your children go to school and learn more each day. Hooked on Phonics could make this journey to learn how to read much easier on both the parent and the child.
This amazing package also comes with a free bonus with extra fun reading materials for those in Kindergarten till 2nd Grade. Also included is a book filled with fun activities for the kids to enjoy as they grow with these books.
If your child has already gone through Pre K, there is no need to worry. These Learn to Read Packages come in a variety of packages. They could be purchased in bulk or individually. Each level of each grade could be purchased separately as well. This is indeed a great asset for parents and kids everywhere.
You could learn more about Hooked on Phonics at their website or join them in Facebook to stay up to date with the latest.
I hope that you have enjoyed my review and can see what a valuable asset this learn to read package would be for your growing child. This package has indeed made learning exponentially for fun for me and my child and I hope it can do the same for you too. Have you used any of these learning systems before? What was it that you like the most?
Disclaimer: I was provided with a set of the Hooked on Phonics products to try out and write an objective review. All opinions here are purely my own. I thank Hooked on Phonics for this opportunity