We have an early reader in our home – a six year old boy. To date, we’ve been going through the alphabet and workbooks. While traveling this month, we ran out of workbook materials. I went searching online for learn to read resources. There were plenty of options from which to choose, including Hooked on Phonics.
After reviewing a bunch of products, we decided to test Hooked on Phonics. He was hooked! We tried the first three steps for free. We laughed at the stories. It was good to see him challenged, but not overly so. We’re a week into it and his progress is better than ever. He’s reading the stories and sounding out challenging words. Today he read the words “pirate flag” from a game we have – he had a hard time with “the” just a week ago. I’m impressed.
Here are some specific observations:
1. You need to monitor the use. The word puzzles are easy enough to figure out that a child can cruise through them without thinking. We have to watch for that and talk about word comprehension.
2. This does not test skill mastery. You have to watch to ensure your child is engaging in the tasks to the level where they should continue. We’ve been sitting together to go through the stories. I sometimes make him repeat to be sure he’s clear on the sentence.
Areas for Improvement
One area for improvement would be to incorporate voice recognition like what is found in Rosetta Stone or Duolingo.
We bought the $6.99 30 day version on ipad. I think we’ll complete it well before then.
Additional note: we did complete the 30-day version within 30 days. We then tried the First Grade beta edition and enjoyed it. Only four lessons were available and we quickly completed them.