Friday, January 13, 2012

Review: Hooked on Phonics Learn to Read Complete - Kindergarten

Back in July, as Henry began his preschool lessons, I wrote a little comparison of Explode the Code and Hooked on Phonics.  It was based on the first set of EtC workbooks and the pre-K level of HoP.  And I stand by that original review.  The pre-k level of Hooked on Phonics wasn't very good and was easily bested by the early Explode the Code workbooks.  However, Henry has now completed the first two lessons of Hooked on Phonics Learn to Read - Kindergarten.  And...

Hooked on Phonics, I take it all back.

I apologize.  Really.  I just wasn't that impressed with the pre-k level, but I suppose now I see that the pre-k level was really about nailing the basics and only about nailing the basics.  And maybe, after two years of learning letters already, it didn't seem like it was worth it.  We stuck with it, though, because Henry wasn't really ready to move to the next level.

But now.  We've begun the Kindergarten set and I understand.  This thing rocks.

The set-up is straightforward.  We're doing two lessons a week right now, but I think I may bump that to three since each unit consists of three lessons (and one review).  Of course, we'll adjust based on Henry's proficiency.  The lesson begins by watching a video off of the included DVD that covers the new words to be learned that day.  After that, we hit the workbook to read each of the same words on a practice page.  That makes up the "learn" portion.

Then, we "practice."  That means reading all of the words (and some words from the previous lesson) from left to right.  There's an emphasis on pointing out proper names based on capitalization.

After "practice" comes "read."  It's a simple story set up in comic panels that uses all of the words from the current lesson.  Understanding how punctuation affects how a sentence is read is stressed.

Finally, we head over to for additional opportunities for review.  There are printable worksheets, "mini-books" to create and read, songs to listen to and videos to watch, and even some art lessons!

It's fun.  It's comprehensive.  It's completely adjustable to your child's learning pace.  And it's full of tips to help me explain and highlight new information.

- Five out of five stars because it's awesome.

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