The Best Phonics Programs for 2016
Research has long demonstrated that the earlier a child learns to read, the better success he or she will have with reading long term. This is due to the nature of the human brain, where a child’s mind is going to be better able to absorb and learn basic language skills, including recognition of sounds, letters and words. Learn to read programs have long been a parent favorite, as they provide the tools necessary for an early (and fun) introduction to the phonics system that can begin in the home, before a child ever sets foot in a school.
Phonics programs are typically reviewed based on their effectiveness alongside their value (the cost of the program versus what you get). Another thing to consider when choosing a program is the nature of the materials: whether you and your child will be working with traditional workbooks or if the program is computer-based and needs an Internet connection. Here are some of the top-rated phonics programs for 2016.
Hooked on Phonics continues to rank in the top phonics learning programs available today. Developed in 1987, this award-winning program is designed to help children develop reading skills through a variety of different approaches: workbooks, games, storybooks, interactive computer forums, flash cards, and audio CDs, to name a few. The program is divided into three parts: children ages 3-4, children ages 5-7, and children ages 8 and up. The good people at Hooked on Phonics offer several different reading packages to meet your price point. If you want to jump in with both feet, however, then the basic reading set retails for $199. Not only do you receive in this package all the program materials, but also three parent guides and reward incentives (such as progress posters and stickers) to motivate your little one. And the program is risk-free, as there’s a money-back guarantee.
If you are looking for an online forum for your child to learn phonics, then CNK Digital’s ClickN Read program is a great resource. This unique phonics program consists of 100 lessons covering kindergarten all the way through third grade, all online. The price is quite affordable: a lifetime membership for $59.85 (which can also be paid in three installments of $19.95). In addition to price point, another advantage of this program is that while learning phonics, your child will also be learning basic computer skills at the same time. And if you’re looking for a program with a solid reputation, consider this: the program is used in over a thousand schools nationwide. ClinkN Read also offers a 60-day, no questions asked money-back guarantee. They also offer a guarantee that if your child complete the entire program and has not improved in reading, you can get a full refund.
If your child would do better with a multisensory approach, then this is a good option. This program is packed with 50 phonics games, plenty of easy-to-use workbooks, and audio CD, and over 90 decodable stories. This is a direct instruction program, where parents follow a prescribed sequential plan for teaching the phonics. The program is especially helpful for those children struggling to read or who really need a more hands-on approach for the phonics program to be effective. In terms of cost, this program is the most expensive. The Home Edition Kit with 50 Phonics Games set sells for $375, or you can invest in the “Home Edition Basic Kit” (that only includes the Level 1 games) for $210.