You may not think of the Hooked on Phonics program as an option, but here is why it can be great addition to your homeschool curriculum as a preschool phonics curriculum.
About this Reading Program
This reading program, which first became popular in the early 1990s, is still the first-choice preschool phonics curriculum for children that continues into the early grades. It is popular with both home-schooling children and with children who have difficulties with reading. Yet, children of all reading levels can benefit from this reading program because it encompasses beginning to advanced lessons.
This program, being divided into incremental “kits”, is geared to all intelligence levels. Parents can use the kit that best suits their children’s reading level regardless of their ages. The first kit instructs children on the alphabet, while the final kit teaches longer and more complex words. All kits teach children to associate a dictated word on an audiotape with its corresponding image on a flashcard. The program also teaches children general phonics rules they can use when pronouncing new words.
Each kit utilizes audiotapes and entertaining course readers. These readers are basically storybooks that reinforce the words that children learned through their audiotapes. Moreover, this curriculum reiterates the new words through flashcard and workbook exercises so children can further commit the words to memory.
What are the Advantages of Using Hooked on Phonics?
- This program is roundly well-liked by children because it is interactive and engaging. Many parents also state that its high-quality course readers compare with children’s books.
- A great homeschool curriculum because it employs all styles of learning. It includes audiotapes, workbooks, readers, and flashcards. This makes it adaptable for many children.
- Parents enjoy the sticker chart included with the program, used to mark a child’s progress with the course. Most children enjoy putting new stickers on their charts.
- Hooked on Phonics is especially beneficial for both remedial and gifted readers. It goes back to the building blocks of reading—by teaching children to pronounce each letter of the alphabet—so they can regain a new hold on reading.
- This reading program program also takes into account those words that do not follow phonics rules. It teaches children to memorize these words.
- It doesn’t usually take much time to generate results. In fact, many parents state that 15 minutes per day was sufficient for their children to make huge strides in their reading skills.
- Homeschooling parents find that using this program as a homeschool curriculum enables their children to advance to reading levels above their grade level.
Some Potential Drawbacks
- Hooked on Phonics does not come with workbooks, only course readers. Many parents wish the program included a writing workbook so their children could learn writing skills as well as reading skills.
- Some parents consider it a hassle to arrange the flashcards to synchronize with the dictated words on the audiotapes.
One way we tested this as a preschool phonics curriculum for our child when he was young was through the iTunes app. It was an inexpensive download and fit our travel schedule. He enjoyed the silliness while adding to his understanding of phonics. We bought a 30-day trial which he quickly completed. He would have had to move to the full kit in order to continue with the program.
Nonetheless, the vast majority of parents agree that the Hooked on Phonics program is convenient, effective, and flexible. It is also fun for most children and kindles in them a love for reading. We like any homeschool curriculum that does that!
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I used this program with my eldest who begged me to teach her to read at a young age. We started at the kindergarten level and used through the second grade level as she demonstrated profeciency. We also added bob books and additional common sight words. She became a fluent reader at an early age and reads grade levels above 6 years. I really think this program was part of the reason and will continue using it for my other children. It is engaging, the newer versions have online games and printable worksheets, and it took less time and was more enjoyable than the phonics curriculum we were required to use in kindergarten.
We had the same experience with Hooked on Phonics! We experimented with the iPad versions that were available at the time and our son enjoyed them, too.
Thanks for sharing,
Caleb at homeschool-curriculum.org