Sunday, January 29, 2012

Letter of the Week and Hooked on Phonics

We have been doing "Letter of the Week" combined with "Hooked on Phonics" for almost a month now. I am shocked at the progress my son is making! Each week he is really learning! I knew that he knew a fair amount of letters before we started, but now he is working on learning sounds too. He did not know many if any sounds before we started.

I am still only using 2 of the "Hooked on Phonics" books, "Letters" and "Letter Sounds". The other books are for counting and practice coloring. I think the coloring book is going to go out with some other stuff, but the counting book is certainly going to get some use! I am just waiting for my son to get  a little more comfortable with letters, because he still sees numbers and tells me that they are letters! The "Hooked on Phonics" pack came with a DVD and a game disk. I had hoped that there would be more interactive phonics games on the game disk, but the entire disk is about counting. My son has played the disk a few times and he enjoys the alien/outer space theme, but he is not "getting it". A lot of it is counting alien eyes or legs and they teach the method of counting on. That is a great way to teach adding, but my son, having turned 3 at the beginning of December, is not ready for that yet. There are different levels of the game though so he could do the easiest game, but he doesn't seem to like it and always wants to do something harder.

To supplement the phonics and letter part, we have been using the phonics sections of . I am also using some poems to help reinforce the letters and letter sounds.

It seems like at the rate we are going, he should know just about all of his letters by June. I'm not certain that we will know all of our letter sounds by the end of the year.

Does anyone know of some other websites that are of the same caliber as starfall?


  1. I am not even kidding when I say that the Leapfrog videos are AMAZING. Phoenix went from not knowing a single letter sound, to knowing all of them after one viewing (this was a few years ago). My 2 year old (Sev, the younger boy who turned 2 last week) watches the video now in the car on long car trips and knows a bunch of letter sounds even though we haven't started formally teaching them to him at all. I'm not traditionally a big fan of having the TV teach your kids stuff, but the progress was so immediately noticeable that I tell everybody. Math Adventure to the Moon and Letter Factory are the two most specifically helpful, and if you want them I can give you the DVDs since we have them on our leapsters and don't actually watch them on the TV ever anymore.

    On-line, there is an education game subscription called nick jr boost that we have for Damlen (it teaches multiple subjects using dora etc.), and he also likes Starfall and Reading Eggs. Reading Eggs is a little old for him so he just plays in the play area, he doesn't actually do the lessons. Once he starts aging out of star fall as an older 4 or younger 5 year old, Reading Eggs will be AWESOME. I have the subscription now because my older kids (6 and 7) love it, but I don't know if I'd pay for it just for Damlen. We do pay for the extra subscription on starfall and that is totally worth the money.

    Dreambox is also pretty awesome when kids hit kindergarden age. It's an interactive math story world but would be far too difficult for a younger child. It is WELL worth the money. I don't think there is anything as good as starfall for math that is free.

    1. Thanks for your thoughts! I forgot that we do have the Leap Frog movies and he has seem them a handful of times....after you mentioned that, it makes sense the he's doing so well with letter sounds having been exposed to them already! Darn....I thought I was just doing an amazing job of teaching him! :)

      I actually used the Leap Frog movies with my first graders when I taught and I lent them out to my ESL students. I thought that having those videos for my ESL students might help them and their parents to understand the language a little better.