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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Hooked On Phonics Review

If you are like me and have no clue how to teach your children the fundamentals of learning, I have the perfect product for you. My goals are to teach my son and not just let the school/teacher teach him. I want to be involved and hopefully influence a love of learning. I could be a career college student because I love school so much. When I look at my son, the blank canvas I had no clue and no idea where to start. I always wanted thing to be a certain way when I had kids but you have to have the tools for them to be the way you want them.

To be honest, I would have never bought this product if I wasn’t sure it would work. There was no way I was going to throw away over $70 on something that “could” work. After 2 short months I can honestly say I would pay even more. My son is so excited to learn the Alphabet and shows how proud he is of his accomplishments. First, I had to encourage him then he just started doing it by himself.

What was Included:

- 26 letter Blocks
- 1 interactive CD-Rom with games and the ABC Song
- 2 workbooks
- 2 sets of flash cards
- 40 picture cards
- Bingo cards and chips
- Alphabet poster
- Progress posters and stickers
- Parents guide

One thing I did not do was follow the parent’s guide to a “T”. I adjusted to what I felt was right for my son and how I could get him more involved. When I hung the Alphabet poster on the wall in his play area, he could have cared less. As time went on he began to understand his letters. He now loves looking at his poster with the letters. Every day he gets more and more into the CD. He likes that he recognizes his letters and gets to click on them to hear the song.

The coloring in the workbooks is not going well because he just isn’t into coloring at this point. He does like looking at them and being able to tell me each letter. The letter blocks are like a badge of achievement for him and he absolutely loves them. He will bring them up to me so he can tell me his letters. He only gets one block at a time and I take a lot longer period of time with each letter than the parent guide suggests making sure he knows them, since every child learns differently. He learned some letters fairly quickly and others have taken a little more time.

Tommy gets to pick out a sticker and place it by the letter he knows on the progress poster. Also, he knows that doing that gets him another block. It’s a work in progress and I will keep you updated on the progress he is making.

For me it was more than just learning his alphabet. As a mom, sometimes we get caught up on other things other than our kids. Don’t get me wrong I spend time with my son but this is a different kind of time. We have connected on a different level, a level of accomplishment and pure pride. I give him encouragement and I see the pride in his eyes. This is a great feeling for a parent. He has become more outgoing in many aspects because he has more self-confidence. Of course all kids are different but I also believe working with your child can only bring positive results. I have learned more about his learning style so this gives me, as a mom, the tools to interact and teach the way that’s right for him.

I will definitely be working on the next level with him which involves learning letter sounds. I am also going to go ahead and buy each kid the appropriate level/ area they need to work on.

One really nice feature on their website is the Product Recommendation which helps the parent decide which program is appropriate for their child. They have so many different programs that it can be overwhelming to decide where the perfect place is to start. The demonstrations are very informative and give a nice little overview of the programs. One fact I did not know is that parents also use this program for home schooling their children.

If a teacher would like to purchase this for their classroom they give links for grants. They also give the correlation to state standards which is awesome. I did not have any clue what this meant until I asked Mr. Man.

All in all, this is a great product that I have used first-hand and definitely recommend to any parent that wants interaction and communication with their child while teaching the child useful tools they will use the rest of their lives. I will also keep everyone updated on the progress for my youngest. We will start the 2 older kids on this in the summer and I will give progress updates.

• *I have noticed that the kits are slightly different than the one I have for my youngest*