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Hooked on Phonics: Can you all tell me your experiences with this, please


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I am looking into this for dd5.5 and I am wondering if it is worth the price. Or should I just stick with what I have (PP, OPG). She LOVES color and fun! I am afraid that she'll get bored with the above options.


Can you tell me what you liked or didnt like about HOP.


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It's a solid phonics program. It's progressive, teacher/parent friendly. I liked that it came with already supplied level appropriate readers that helped motivate my kids.


I taught each of my kids to read with it.


It's very overpriced from the company. I'd buy only from ebay, slightly used or from one of the ebay sellers.

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I loved the program. My older children both started it when they were 4 1/2ish, and they loved it which is even more important. They would ask me almost every day if they could do a lesson. In fact, when my son five, he would go to he park and ask other kids, "Hey, what level are you on? I'm on three!" He assumed tha all kids must be hooked on phonics. I think that the best thing about the program is that it sets them up to succeed. They go over the sounds and words in the workbook and then it will tell them which book to read. The book will contain only words that they've learned up until that point. It makes hem feel like they are great readers. I plan to use it again with my little guys.



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I've used it with three kids after using Sing, Spell, Read, and Write. HOP is much easier to use.

My kids have loved it. They look forward to putting their stickers on the sticker chart. They can see their progress.

And the extra readers were the best. My 1st graders like having their own beginning chapter books to read during quiet time.

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about home schooling! I just knew that my ds was ready to learn to read. I had nothing to compare it to, not being in the home schooling mode at the time. We started at 3 years and 3 mos. and ds completed the entire program by his 4th birthday. He read that entire year (age 4) and entered kindgergarten (ps) at 2.6 reading level (this meant grade 2 in the 6th month of grade 2). So, it worked!

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I had nothing to compare it to, not being in the home schooling mode at the time. We started at 3 years and 3 mos. and ds completed the entire program by his 4th birthday. He read that entire year (age 4) and entered kindgergarten (ps) at 2.6 reading level (this meant grade 2 in the 6th month of grade 2). So, it worked!


I had almost the exact same experience with dd1. We started at 3 years 3 mos also and the program was done by the time she turned four. She reads fluently now, I would guess at 2nd grade level. She does very well with trying to pronounce unknown words.


I used the older version of Hooked on Phonics that has 5 levels, one box for each level. It was the deluxe version and came with extra flash cards and bonus chapter books. I think you can get them on ebay fairly cheaply; mine was a hand-me-down from a co-worker.


What I liked about the program:


1) The readers that come with it. After a 10-15 minute lesson you get at least a short story in the workbook to read that ONLY contains words your child has already read. After usually 2 of these lessons you get a reader that also has no unknown words in it, that your child can read all by herself. It gave my dd a huge sense of accomplishment when she could pick up a book and read it on her first try.

2) The sight word flash cards. My dd and I would make a game of it (as suggested) where every time she got one right she could keep it in her pile. She thought this was loads of fun and she learned them very quickly.

3) The effectiveness of it. A 30 minute lesson 3 times a week or so and after 9 months she was reading words like night, basketball, happily, etc. with no hesitation at all, and 64 page chapter books with 3-4 sentences per page.


What I didn't like:

1) The tapes/cds. They have the letter and word sounds on them, and you are supposed to listen to them before you do your lessons. I found they were very boring and unnecessary. I would pronounce the sounds/words instead and we got along fine doing this.

2) The review, other than the readers/stories, is very redundant and consists of simply re-reading the words you just learned. We always skipped over it. If you did need review on some words you would probably want to find a more interesting way to review them.

3) The chapter books. Blech. I will admit it must be awfully hard to write a good story with only a short list of words at your disposal to use in its creation. I cringed through most of the chapter books, and at 64 pages each that's a lot of cringing.


Couple other things you may want to know: the workbooks do little in review of letter sounds. They review them on the tapes, but it's quite boring. I would use another program if your dd doesn't know all of her letter sounds yet, and then jump into Hooked on Phonics when they start combining letters. Finally, Hooked on Phonics teaches the sounds that letter combinations make, but doesn't actually teach phonics rules persay. So my dd knows how pronounce the word "why," for example, but couldn't tell you the rule that says "y at the end of a short word says i." We are going through ETC workbooks right now to review and go over these rules.


Good luck with your decision and have fun with the reading lessons!

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have you seen HeadSprout phonics? I haven't used either program, but I am about to push the "buy now" button for my youngest student.


it is pricey, but from what I understand it is less then hooked on phonics. It is also less teacher intensive. This is my 5th reading student, and I am frankly burnt out.


good luck with whatever you decide on.

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I used a 1983 version of HOP with my oldest, now in 2nd grade. By the end of K she was reading at a 3rd grade level and by the end of first she was at a 6th grade level. We are now starting the program with my youngest, just starting K.


The program I have is not like what they sell at Wal-mart in the box with the readers and games. It is a large box with 6 books and a review book. It also has a comprehension program that came with it. Both boxes go from beginning reading to college level. I have seen the entire set on Ebay and a friend of mine bought it for $35, which originally sold for well over $250.


I personally can not say enough about these books. Yes, they are a little dull (no readers with this set), but once they are done they can pick up any book they want to and read it with little to no help.



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