Hooked on Phonics Review

October 29, 2018


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“Hooked on Phonics works for me!” Who hasn’t heard that famous tagline before? Whenever I see or hear “Hooked on Phonics”, it immediately springs to mind. However, as a homeschool Mom, I had honestly never considered this program as a “homeschool reading curriculum option.” I think many of us don’t, and I have no idea why! So when I was asked to review it, I paused for a second, then I realized- reading is reading and if it works, it works!

As a homeschool Mom to 4 kids, one who has dyslexia, I have been delightfully surprised with how excellent HOP is! My third child is only just 3, but I have been very pleased with his progress in a short amount of time. Because of his age, we are using the Early Emergent Level that teachers letter names and sounds. I received the full curriculum (all levels) for review, so I’ve taken the time to look ahead into the meat of the program and have been really impressed. 

Disclaimer: I was provided with a free product and compensation in return for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own and not influenced by the developing company and/or its affiliates in any way. Read our full disclosure here.

The complete Hooked on Phonics program has 8 levels as follows:

  • Level 1: Early Emergent Readers
  • Level 2: Early Emergent Readers
  • Level 3: Emergent Readers
  • Level 4: Emergent Readers
  • Level 5: Transitional Readers
  • Level 6: Transitional Readers
  • Level 7: Early Fluent Readers
  • Level 8: Early Fluent Readers

With my third child just having turned 3, we began with the Level 1. I love several things about the program: 
  • Level 1 is not only focused on letter names and sounds, but early phonemic awareness skills like rhyming as well.
  • The graphics are attractive but extremely simple still. Each level has a color, but the program is NOT overly busy or cartoony.
  • It’s completely “open-and-go”, allowing parents to use it not only as a primary reading curriculum, but also as an add-on for struggling readers at the end of a busy school day.
  • The levels build in an extremely logical format, reinforcing skills and adding on.
  • You can work at your child’s PACE. They are leveled based on skill, not grade. 
  • The DVD’s are a helpful little add-on. 
  • There is an optional app (additional cost) with some great, educational games. 
  • It’s just absolutely simple and EASY to use. Mom and child don’t feel overwhelmed at all.
  • My son loves it!
As the mom who has taught her older (dyslexic) child, I feel very confident to state that Hooked on Phonics is a complete program that would be very suitable for a typical learner or a child with a mild reading disability. The simple layout also seems like it would be a good fit for a child with attention difficulties as well, especially in the earlier levels. 

I only have a few simple cons that I would like to share:  
  • The music on the discs is very fast paced for the younger crowd. My 3 year old would never be able to keep up.
  • The flashcards are a bit small, but for the affordability of the program, this is minor.
  • I wouldn’t choose this for a profoundly dyslexic reader. I think this isn’t as deeply instructive when there’s a profound learning disability. Children with more significant levels of dyslexia often need interventions like the Barton program.
  • There is a lack of direct kinesthetic activity that’s gross rather than fine. So that would be on the parent to add to the program IF your child needs that kind of activity to learn.

Overall, I think this is an excellent program, that I think any homeschool mom would be very pleased to utilize with her child.

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