Wowsers. Yesterday morning, I went to the Albany Library used book sale and found a complete (and nearly unused) set of Hooked on Phonics. I'll date it to the late 80s or early 90s because it had cassette tapes and a VHS video instead of CDs and DVD. It's an amazing program that gets kids reading right away.
Maylin has known her alphabet for a long time, and has recently learned her letter sounds at school. Perfect timing for this phonics program. From the first page of the level 1 workbook, Maylin started putting together letter sounds to make -at, -an, and -ad. Within 15 minutes, she was reading her first book. Hooked on Phonics includes storybooks for every step of the learning process so the rewards are immediate for both child and parent. The program has five levels, going from kindergarten to second grade. But if Maylin keeps up this frantic pace, she'll be done in maybe a year or less?
Right now it's quite a novelty for her, but she loves books so I don't see her slowing down too much. We worked in the workbook for quite a while and I noticed her fatigue because her concentration was going down. I suggested taking a break but she insisted on going on because she wanted to read the next book and put a sticker on her progress chart. Maylin's motivated!
I was so proud of her when she finished her first book. She just blew me away with how quickly she was able to make words. I'm sure she felt the same way about herself. What a joy to see her excitement in learning. The program requires that the parents guide the lessons and now that she sees me as a teacher, I hope I can carry this on into her violin study which I hope to begin teaching her soon. (No, Maylin doesn't want to learn piano. Just violin right now.)
By the way, I looked online and found that the Hooked on Phonics program is nearly $200. I was lucky enough to find this older version for $30. My lucky day!