by Judy Perle Wilcosky
(Fort Mohave, Arizona)

I've used many different homeschool resources, but the one that I like the most and that my son enjoyed the most was the Hooked on Phonics and Hooked on Math series.

I personally do not know any other homeschoolers who have used these resources, but they are wonderful and they WORK. The series seems to be a forgotten or overlooked resource amongst homeschoolers. They are, indeed, worthy of review.

When you purchase the entire set, you receive a parent
s box, which has helpful information for teaching the program. The Phonics set comes with learning tapes, flash cards, workbooks, game pieces and all of the reading books necessary for the program, which later become your child's personal reading library. Each tool is used in unison to accomplish the task of teaching your child to read while building confidence in his/her ability every step of the way.

Once your child starts to write, the lessons learned are a beginning foundation to spelling. I started using the program when my son was of preschool age, he is now 12 and is an avid reader several grades above his level and he's a good speller.

The program is set up in competency levels, each of which has its own box of goodies (workbook, readers, flashcards, teaching tapes and game pieces). You and your child use the tapes together along with the flash cards to learn letter recognition, letter sounds, letter combinations and more. Later, these flash cards are used in the spelling word games found in the workbook.

The workbook continues the learning process then goes a few steps beyond with constant reinforcement of each lesson, stories and games that use recently learned and previously learned material for repetition. It then ties in the story books for further reinforcement and before you know it, your child is reading. It's like magic and the best part is everyone has fun along the way.

To further boost your child's confidence, each level has its own chart of progress and stickers that your child can place on the completed sections of the chart to mark his/her progress. The chart can be hung on the refrigerator, on a wall in your school room or anywhere that suits the family.

The workbooks can be written in and the early picture books can be colored in. The program can easily be used for one child or for multiple children of different reading levels.

This and the math program, which is designed to work in the same fashion as the reading program, was the BEST investment in learning resources that we've made thus far, bar none, throughout our homeschooling adventure.

This is the only "complete package" series that we've purchased in which every part of the program was usable according to our standards and our personal situation. Other complete programs we've used had to be picked over for one reason or another, or something didn't apply because our son had surpassed a level or he just did not find enjoyment in it.

I wish all core subject learning resources were designed like the Hooked on Phonics and Hooked on Math programs. These programs, sold separately, are affordable, enjoyable, multi sensory, multi learning level, and they have a proven method that instills a life long love of learning. These are definitely "complete" programs. I highly recommend them, especially Hooked on Phonics.

Reading is the first step in the learning process. As parents, we want the very best for our children, for us it was Hooked on Phonics.

My Comments: We have enjoyed some of the Hooked on Phonics resources as well. You're right. They are often overlooked by the homeschool community. We are now enjoying the Hooked on Phonics Master Reader series. My son loves working on the computer and will do this program first before anything else.

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