- Begin at the beginning. Start your child on Step 1 of the app. That’s the only way to be sure your child knows all of the sounds (phonemes) and words he will need to know in order to read. Plus, it gives him a boost of self-confidence by starting on a level that may be a little bit easy for him.
- Practice makes perfect! Hooked on Phonics is a comprehensive learn-to-read program. It was designed to make kids WANT to play the games, listen to (and sing!) the songs, and read the eBooks multiple times. The more they play it, the more they will learn.
- If you’re anything like the rest of us, you’re always on the go. We sometimes get caught up in thinking that if we can’t do something important (like doing a reading app with our children) every day, we shouldn’t do it at all. But Hooked on Phonics was designed with busy families in mind. You’ll be amazed what as little as 15 minutes twice a week can do! Stealing a line from a well-known hair color commercial from the 80s, “And [my child’s] . . . worth it!”
- Your child thrives on praise from you. Encourage your child to read the eBooks aloud to parents, grandparents, friends, family members . . . even your dog! Learning to read is a huge accomplishment. The more your child practices reading aloud, the more fluent he will become. Showing interest in your child’s achievements tells him that reading is important to you and you are proud of her accomplishments.
- . The Trophy Room and White Board activities in the Learn to Read app were designed as places for kids to let their creative juices flow! In the Trophy Room, kids customize their own reward. The White Board encourages budding writers to practice spelling words and even writing their own sentences and stories.
Thursday, June 11, 2015
Wednesday, June 10, 2015
1) Oh, the Places You'll Go by Dr. Seuss - (ages 3 - 13) This is the last book that was published by Ted Geisel (aka Dr. Seuss) during his lifetime, and it is arguably one of his best. The book is often given as graduation gifts, it's also the perfect book to help kids transition from one phase of life to another--such as starting kindergarten.
Friday, January 23, 2015
|Hooked on Phonics Learn to Read BOGO event helps parents raise readers.|
If you, dear Reader, would be so kind as to allow me stand on my proverbial soapbox for just a moment, I'd like to present my Top Reasons Why National Reading Day Deserves to Be a BOGO Holiday: (A word of caution: This list is a total "Debbie Downer" in the beginning, but, please, stay with me--the news gets better.)
- Reading aloud is the single most important thing parents can do to help their children with School Readiness, yet more than half of the children in this country will not hear a bedtime story tonight.
- Almost two-thirds of low-income Kindergarteners don't even own a single book.
- More than three-quarters of low-income students are behind in reading by the end of third grade.
- Children who are behind in reading in third grade are 400% more likely to drop out of high school.
- High school drop outs are considered unqualified to do 90% of jobs.
- They cost the US economy over one million dollars in lost tax revenue each year.
- Read every day with a child. Call it Snuggle Time, Lap Time, Cuddle Time, whatever. Reading aloud is one of the most satisfying ways we can bond with our children. I don't care if your children are in Middle School. Trust me. They may protest at first, but deep inside, your Seventh Grader will LOVE it!
- Be a reader yourself. Monkey See. Monkey Do. If your child sees you enjoying reading, he is going to grow up thinking it's a fun activity to do.
- Have books and reading materials available everywhere! In your child's room, in the car, on a tablet or smartphone. Your child can't become a reader if she doesn't have anything good to read.
- SPREAD THE WORD that Hooked on Phonics is going to help! After teaching more than 3 million kids learn how to read, we want to do more. We're calling it BOGO - Buy One - GIVE One.
--Julie Temple Stan
Tuesday, January 6, 2015
If you want your child to get a head start in reading, here are the 7 skills all good readers need to have and how your child can develop them.
- Predicting—Ask your child, "What do you think will happen next?” before turning the page when reading together, It’s a great way to make sure she is following the story. It also helps build suspense and can make it more playful for the two of you.
- Wondering—Good readers look for clues. While reading, encourage your child to stop and ask himself, “I wonder why the author did this or that.” Asking motivation questions will teach your child to always be on the lookout for hints that the author may be planting for the reader to find.
- Picturing—Help your child use the words in the story to create a picture in his mind. Remember your 5 senses! If you were a character in the book, what would you see, hear, smell, touch and taste? Picturing will also help your child become a good writer as well as a good reader.
- Connecting—Help your child to connect personally to a story through conversations. Start by modeling it for your child: “This story reminds me of the time we went to the zoo. Do you remember that?” Try to get kids to relate to a character in a book. Encourage kids to find something in the story that reminds them of another story, or (better yet) of an event in the story reminds her of something in the world. Congratulations! That's a connection! Like most of us, in order to love reading, a child needs to not only read the words on a page, but she also needs to be able to relate to what she reads. That’s when the magic truly happens.
- Inferring—Inferring is being able to figure out the author’s meaning using the clues the author has left for you. It is the natural next step after Wondering. Model this skill for your child. Remind him of the hints he has found from the author. That will sometimes lead children to making an inference on their own.
- Monitoring Comprehension—As important as it is for children to be able to sound out words, it’s also critical for them to understand what they’re reading. Encourage your child to ask herself, from time to time, if what she is reading makes sense. This will help her learn the valuable skill of correcting mistakes on her own, rather than getting to the end of the book and saying, “What was that about?”
- Reflecting on Reading—Most children don’t realize that good readers have silent conversations with themselves about what they’re reading. We can help improve our children’s reading skills by modeling that behavior and simply starting conversations with their children as they read aloud together. Try asking:
- Did I find answers to my questions?
- What do I know now that I didn't know before?
- What's the most interesting or funny thing I read?
- Can I restate the main point in my own words?
- Is there a lesson in the story?
- How do I feel about what I read?
Good luck and happy reading!
Julie Temple Stan
Friday, November 14, 2014
I sit across from my 8-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter, patiently waiting for our dinner to be served at a well-known chain of family restaurants. My mom has joined us for a quick bite to eat, but the service is taking longer than expected. My stomach growls impatiently. I’m surprised because my children seem unaffected by the delay. Usually by now one of them would be voicing a complaint by kicking the other under the table.
Friday, March 30, 2012
It’s that time of year again: the long-awaited, and often dreaded...Report Card Season! As a child, I remember leading my parents (usually my mom) through the familiar halls of my school, introducing them to my teachers, waiting for the inevitable “Julie’s doing well in school, but she’d do so much better if she didn’t talk so much in class.” I was always puzzled. Wasn’t that what school was for? To share your feelings on the latest episode of the Brady Bunch and play Cat’s Cradle under your desk with your best friend while stuffing wads of Bubble Yum in your mouth?
Unlike parents nowadays, my parents didn’t have an email relationship with my teachers. Back in the Stone Age, parents relied on phone calls, face-to-face meetings, and hand-written notes pinned to our coats with straight pins (of all things!), which inevitably stabbed you in the cheek by the time the note reached its intended recipient.
Now, as a parent of two elementary-age children, parent-teacher conferences take on a whole new meaning for me. In some respects, I feel like my kids’ grades are a reflection on me and my husband (although he would probably disagree with that statement) and how well we’re doing as parents. I know that’s ridiculous, because children are their own people and it’s just my mommy guilt (okay, with a touch of narcissism) coming through. I do believe my job as a parent is to help my children learn to be responsible for themselves and take pride in doing a good job for its own sake, rather than to make someone else happy. But that’s often easier said than done, especially when your kids are little. And, of course, sometimes there are extenuating circumstances preventing your child from learning effectively.
Fortunately, our daughter has taken to reading like a fish to water. However, as much as I love her 3rd grade teacher, I think we all made a mistake. At the beginning of the year, she told Katie that she was the best reader in the class. While that made us proud, it also seemed to give Katie permission to take it easy and coast a bit. As a result, at Katie’s recent conference, her teacher told us that Katie is losing ground compared to her classmates and her grades went down. She’s also spending too much time “chit-chatting with her friends during class.” Hmmm...I wonder where she gets that?
Recently, I read about a study that showed that children who were praised for “working hard” did better in school than those who were praised for being “smart.” Researchers found that praising a child’s behavior (studying, thinking, discussing, etc.) positively affects school outcomes more than telling children that they’re intelligent, which is considered a fixed characteristic and doesn’t encourage them to work for good grades. Here’s a link to an extract of the research: http://psycnet.apa.org/index.cfm?fa=buy.optionToBuy&id=1998-04530-003
After reading this research, and seeing it first hand with our daughter, my husband and I decided to start Katie on the next Hooked on Phonics reading program, Master Reader. We’re hoping that the interactive computer-based games will make it more fun for her to work on improving her fluency, comprehension, and flow. Now, all I have to do is figure out how to get my daughter’s friends to come over and chit-chat about reading (instead of Pokemon) at the same time then I’ll have the perfect solution. I’ve got it: a kids’ book club! As long as food and friends are part of the equation, it’s sure to work for me—I mean!—her.
How did your child do on his last report card? What feelings did it bring up for you as a parent?