Whether or not you aspire to homeschooling your kids, it’s clear that in early childhood you are your little one’s first – and most important — teacher.

You may already do much to enrich your child’s learning environment. Especially if you make it a practice to read aloud, you’re accomplishing more than you know. But it’s easier than you think to help even more.

If you choose books and games carefully, your read aloud time can serve to prepare the way for your child’s future school success. And you’ll be preparing your child well for one of the most challenging developmental tasks she’ll ever face – learning to read.

It’s not surprising that recent studies have affirmed that a play-based environment is ideal for early learners. What you may not know is that reading is widely considered a valuable form of play by many educators.

The National Literacy Trust has collected evidence that furthers our understanding of the value of reading for pleasure as more than just “a ‘cuddly’ activity without further merit.”

In another recent Independent Review of the Teaching of Early Reading, it was recommended that “children are taught systematic phonics at the first instance.” The study also placed phonics teaching firmly within a language-rich framework that fosters positive attitudes towards reading and a love of books. That’s where a tool like ‘Hooked-on-Phonics‘ becomes invaluable.

The Story Behind Hooked on Phonics

The Hooked on Phonics story began just after WWII when the ‘Whole Language’ approach to reading was widely used. The method posed so many problems for some early learners that literacy levels slipped nationwide. One of many – the young son of a musician and educator, had so much trouble that he begged his father to let him leave school.

Instead of giving up, the concerned parent succeeded in turning things around by creating original learn-to-read study tapes, using catchy songs and rhymes combined with a phonetic approach. The tapes were so successful that impressed neighbors began to request tapes for their own children who were also having trouble learning to read.

Since then, Hooked on Phonics has grown exponentially. Over time, it’s been redeveloped with the help of leading educators and award-winning artists using a fun, multi-media approach.

Today, over three million families and thousands of schools have turned to Hooked on Phonics® products. The program has won numerous awards for its unique, learn-practice-play approach:
• Children are presented with bite-sized pieces of information; learn at their own pace and master each new skill before moving on to the next.
• Every learning experience ends with a celebration.