How to Make Learning to Read Easier [What’s the Secret?]
If you’re struggling to help your child learn to read, you’re not alone. Learning to read is pretty much the basis of everything else we learn to do, and for many kids, it’s extremely challenging. I would like to share reasons for why I am a firm believer in using phonics to teach children to read, and also give you some ideas for how to teach phonics the easy way! So…what’s the secret? I’ll share this a little later in this post:)
I have worked with so many parents and caregivers of children who are very skeptical when it comes to phonics. I respect this, as every person has his/her own opinion. However, it is my hope and prayer that you will give me a chance to share my beliefs and ideas with you!
Why Do I Believe as I Do?
I know that ensuring that students learn is the primary job of each individual school. However, it makes me sad when I see schools who have completely reverted to using only sight words to teach reading. It doesn’t matter if the child is in kindergarten, or high school. They are still going to need those tools necessary to break words apart and put them back together when encountering a word they have never seen before.
I am the owner of a private tutoring business, and it still bewilders me when I come across upper grade kiddos who can’t recognize words they should have learned a long time before. I have actually used phonics with these kids, and believe me… what a difference it has made in their ability to read more complex words! Many of these kids have gone from literally “hating” to read, to actually “wanting” to read during our tutoring sessions.
Why? I think it’s because they have a much greater self esteem when it comes to what they can actually do now! They realize that they can read successfully, and in turn, have a much more enjoyable experience! This makes me truly happy!
The Lessons Kids Learn in School Need to be Supplemented at Home
I’m sure there are some parents who would disagree with this statement. I know this because I have had many people tell me that it is the school’s job to educate their child. I agree that the schools should be responsible for the bulk of the teaching/learning that takes place. However, I also agree that learning is a two way street.
What the child is or isn’t learning in school needs to be supplemented at home. I believe that children need reinforcement at home for what they have already learned, and they also need to be taught what they may have missed out on in the classroom.
It’s hard for teachers to give constant individualized attention to every child when they have anywhere between 20-24 students in their classrooms to take care of! Believe me. I’ve been there! If you’re still reading this, blessings to you! This tells me that you are extremely interested in your child’s success! And, so am I!
I Would Like to Introduce You to a Great and Easy Way to Help Your Child Read!
It is my goal to see more kids succeed in life, and live life to the fullest without all of the struggles that come from the challenges of not being able to read well. There is way too much illiteracy in the world already. In the following paragraphs, I would like to introduce you to a wonderful program to help get your kiddos up and reading, or simply take them a step further in the process.
Now, I Would Like You to Meet…Hooked on Phonics!
|The Hooked on Phonics Learn to Read Program is a program that has been around for a while, and has helped countless children learn how to read, beginning as early as 3 years old! I’m sure that many of you are probably familiar with the name, if not the program itself. For those of you who aren’t familiar with how it works, let me explain so that you will gain a better understanding. I’ve included a short video testimonial from a mom that will, hopefully, shed some light on just how well the Hooked on Phonics Learn to Read Program really works. Enjoy!
How Hooked on Phonics Works, and Why it is So Successful
The Hooked on Phonics Learn to Read program was created many years ago by a number of concerned parents and educators. The philosophy of Hooked on Phonics is simple: 1) Learn 2) Practice 3) Read 4) Celebrate! Over the years, it has been improved upon, making it more geared towards the reading success of children.
It offers several different reading program levels, beginning with Pre-K, and ending at the completion of 2nd grade. Each level builds upon the one before, thus giving the child the much needed foundation he/she needs before moving on.
For instance, the first 2 levels are designed with Pre-K kiddos in mind. They teach the alphabet: letters and sounds, matching uppercase letters with lowercase letters, rhyming words, and more!
The Pre-K box set includes 1 DVD, 2 story books, 1 bonus book, 1 workbook, 2 sets of stickers, 2 sets of letter/picture flashcards, and online access to all video lessons to show you how to best help your child read.
As your child advances to the next level, the kit will still include the basics, such as the DVDs, story books, bonus books, 1 or more workbooks, stickers, flashcards, and the quick start guide. I have used the Hooked on Phonics program, and have found it to be such an easy way to either teach a child to read, or supplement what was taught in the classroom. After all, the more reading practice a child gets, the better reader he/she will become!
The Process Of the Hooked on Phonics Learn to Read Program
As I stated before, the philosophy of Hooked on Phonics is Simple.
1.) Learn– The child starts out learning letters/sounds and words by watching lessons from a DVD that combines different letters/sounds together to make words. In addition to watching the DVD, they will also complete work in their very own workbook!
In the Pre-K lessons, they will be learning the letters of the alphabet and the sound/s that each letter makes. Beginning in Kinder., the lessons will deal primarily with letter/sound combinations, also known as “word families.” In the 1st and 2nd grade kits, the children will be delving more deeply into phonics.
2.) Practice– Next, the child will again practice what he/she has just learned in his/her workbook. The lessons in the workbooks are great because they reinforce what the child has just learned, thus making the skills that much easier to remember!
3.) Read– During the 3rd step, the children will use everything they have learned to read a story/stories. This is where the fun begins as you watch your child’s face light up as they realize that they can read! This was always my favorite part as I watched the “light bulbs” go off!
4.) Celebrate– This is where your child gets to celebrate all they have learned! And, they should!
My Review of the Hooked on Phonics Learn to Read Program
In my opinion, Hooked on Phonics is one of the most wonderful ways to get your child up and reading! It is so easy to learn to use, especially if you’re a single parent, or extremely busy as you try to juggle the responsibilities of everyday life!
I like the way it progresses from learning letters and sounds, to putting these letters together to make actual words that your child can read.
The flashcards and story books are added bonuses because they deal with whatever phonics skills your child has just learned.
And… the terrific part is that in each set, Hooked on Phonics teaches the necessary phonics skills that your child will need to be a successful reader, such as: consonant blends, suffixes, 2 syllable words, vowel teams, and much more! It is truly a wonderful program to help your child learn to read!
I would love to hear any comments or questions you may have! Please feel free to leave a comment below, and I will be more than happy to get back with you! And, as always…Happy reading to you and your child!