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"Hooked on Phonics" and Homeschooling

Homeschooling Expert Advice from Isabel Shaw

Q: I am thinking of buying the "Hooked on Phonics" system to teach my child to read. Can you tell me if this or any other program works?

A: Parents have given me very mixed reviews of the Hooked on Phonics program. As a homeschooling parent, it would not be my first choice. I don't know your child's age or particular situation, so for now I will assume you are teaching a young child to read.

Phonics Pathways by Dolores G. Hiskes is an excellent reading and spelling text. Geared to the homeschooling parent, Hiskes' clear, step-by-step instructions will guide you through the teaching process. I would review Hiskes' book before I purchased an expensive phonics program.

There are many theories and ideas about the "best" way to teach reading. Experience has shown me that the methodology for teaching homeschooled children to read is quite different from that used for teaching a traditional classroom filled with 20 or 30 students. As a homeschooling parent, you have the luxury of trying different approaches and discovering the method that works best for your child. Stressing phonics is an important component, but don't lock yourself into the school model of using only one learning method. Experiment, have fun, and allow your child lots of time to learn.

For more ideas, read our article, Helping Your Homeschooler Learn to Read.

Good luck!

More on: Expert Advice

Isabel Shaw is a freelance writer and homeschooling mom of 15 years. She and her husband Ray homeschool their two daughters, Jessica and Amanda. Besides being a contributor to FamilyEducation.com, Shaw has written for Home Education Magazine, The Link, Homeschooling Horizons Magazine, The Homeschool Gazette, and other publications.


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