HOP helped my son so much!! The leg up it gave him in school was indescribable!! I was a poor reader and hated to be called on in class but he excelled in reading and comprehension!! He was able to bypass all the pitfalls I fell in... self doubt, embarrassment, dread... that I suffered thru!! It's pricey, it was back then too, but I would do it again if I had the chance!! In a heartbeat!! I want my grandchildren to excell!! I will do whatever I have to to insure that they have the leg up that I so wish I had had all those years ago!!
That said, I have been so pleasantly surprised at the leg up this experience has given him, already! He's still in the stage where he's mastering naming every letter of the alphabet, and identifying their sounds. In our house, the secondary challenge is that he's in a bilingual preschool, and is speaking as much Spanish as he is English. This is where I think Hooked on Phonics has really helped us. Where his teachers might say "ah" for "A" and we say "ay" for "A", he can do the lessons with me and point to letters on the page, making the difference between the names of the letters, and their sounds, more concrete. When he does Hooked on Phonics lessons with me, he knows this is how we see and say the sounds in English.
The step-by-step approach, with reviews built in via songs and ebooks, is very effective for teaching reading. Teachers will appreciate the mix of phonics and sight words, and kids will enjoy the variety of delivery -- songs, games, and books -- and the predictability of how each step advances. Though $8.99 per month (or $49.99 for a lifetime subscription) might seem expensive, teachers get a step-by-step curriculum for an entire class of students, which can be reset every year and reused for a new class of students. Differentiation is easy as well, as teachers can unlock all content for students who can already read, allowing them to review at their own pace. Kids can also practice writing using the words in the writing section.
In Year 1, they will start to explore vowel digraphs and trigraphs (a group of three letters that makes a single sound, like 'igh' as in 'sigh') further. They will begin to understand, for example, that the letters ea can make different sounds in different words (dream and bread). They will also learn that one sound might be represented by different groups of letters: for example, light and pie (igh and ie make the same sound).

As phonics is an absolute essential component of any effective reading program, when you work with your child on these sheets, make sure to teach both the letter names and letter sounds. Often times, parents will focus on and teaching only the letter names, neglecting the associated letter sounds. As you read through some of the articles on our site, you'll learn that learning the letter sounds is a far more important aspect of teaching a child to read. So please keep that in mind! Learn more here with the Children Learning Reading program.
Phonics instruction may be provided systematically or incidentally. The hallmark of a systematic phonics approach or program is that a sequential set of phonics elements is delineated and these elements are taught along a dimension of explicitness depending on the type of phonics method employed. Conversely, with incidental phonics instruction, the teacher does not follow a planned sequence of phonics elements to guide instruction but highlights particular elements opportunistically when they appear in text.
The spelling structures for some alphabetic languages, such as Spanish, Portuguese and specially Italian, are comparatively orthographically transparent, or orthographically shallow, because there is nearly a one-to-one correspondence between sounds and the letter patterns that represent them. English spelling is more complex, a deep orthography, partly because it attempts to represent the 40+ phonemes of the spoken language with an alphabet composed of only 26 letters (and no diacritics). As a result, two letters are often used together to represent distinct sounds, referred to as digraphs. For example, t and h placed side by side to represent either /θ/ or /ð/.
English has absorbed many words from other languages throughout its history, usually without changing the spelling of those words. As a result, the written form of English includes the spelling patterns of many languages (Old English, Old Norse, Norman French, Classical Latin and Greek, as well as numerous modern languages) superimposed upon one another.[7] These overlapping spelling patterns mean that in many cases the same sound can be spelled differently and the same spelling can represent different sounds. However, the spelling patterns usually follow certain conventions.[8] In addition, the Great Vowel Shift, a historical linguistic process in which the quality of many vowels in English changed while the spelling remained as it was, greatly diminished the transparency of English spelling in relation to pronunciation.
Historically, a range of less systematic approaches have been popular. Typically, these approaches do not have a clear scope or follow a sequence but instead address letter sounds only as they arise incidentally in interactions with children or are needed to read words within a specific text. So, if a teacher is reading the book Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, she will teach the ee sound because it is found in the word see. The problem with this kind of serendipitous approach as the driver of phonics instruction is that information is not presented logically to the child and information gets missed. Of course, children should read connected text as they are learning phonics, and teachers should point out words they are reading that match taught patterns. But the scope and sequence of phonics instruction should not be based primarily on opportune moments in text reading.
ABCmouse.com’s phonics curriculum helps teach children the relationship between each letter of the alphabet and their sounds in a fun and interactive environment. With thousands of engaging learning activities, including games, books, songs, and more, and an award-winning preschool–kindergarten curriculum, your child will learn to love to read at ABCmouse.com.
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