Monday, November 30, 2009

T is for Table

Kamiya Design has come out with this interesting table and chairs set:


While this certaily has its limitations (only 3 seats, the 'le' only works from one side, only one backrest, etc.) what a great alphabet conversation piece!



We tip our hats to abc aficionados everywhere, and now we're on the lookout for some xyz place settings.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving Traditions--What Will You Read?

As we approach Thanksgiving and the holiday season, it has me thinking about traditions. I spend the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving thinking about my favorite tradition: what book I’m going to read. Since I am not the host for my family Thanksgiving (or perhaps not a very good guest), I get a lot more down time than some people. Once we’ve eaten our big dinner and taken our naps, while everyone else is huddled in front of the TV rooting for their favorite college football team or sifting through the paper to find the best sales for Friday shopping, or—forgive me, Mother-in-Law—cleaning the kitchen—I am sneaking away to a quiet room to read. There aren’t many times during the year that I can spend hours on end devouring a good book from start to finish, but for me, Thanksgiving is one of those times.

By definition, the holidays are a time of traditions. Many traditions are common, but it’s the personalized traditions that really create the sense of close friends and family that make up a holiday. One of my sister’s traditions is giving each of her daughters a book first thing in the morning when they wake up on their birthday. I love the idea that reading is a holiday tradition. Reading is one of my favorite indulgences on any of the major holidays, and the tradition began with my parents. In addition to eating, napping, watching football, and shopping, I always saw my parents sitting down with a good book. Even in a household of nine children, a recipe for chaos, there were quiet moments where everyone was tucked in a corner or chair with a good book.


So this Thanksgiving, take a few moments to incorporate reading into your family tradition with your children. Things can get pretty hectic during the holidays. Set them up with a lifetime of good habits and a few moments of quiet, imaginative peace. Give yourself a moment to escape from what can sometimes turn into holiday madness—and read a book. It might just become your favorite tradition.


Have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Hooked on Phonics.

Monday, November 23, 2009

T Song - Hooked on Phonics Learn to Read Pre-K

The T Song is part of Hooked on Phonics Learn to Read Pre-K and is designed for children ages 3 to 4. Hooked on Phonics Learn to Read is a reading program designed to help children learn how to read and improve reading skills using phonics. Follow us on:
Hooked on Phonics Learn to Read
Hooked Phonics Learn to Read Blog
Hooked Phonics on Facebook
Hooked Phonics on Twitter
Hooked Phonics on iTunes
Hooked Phonics dot com

Sunday, November 22, 2009

E is for ENGAGE!

In the spirit of celebrating the alphabet--wherever and whenever the opportunity presents itself--we share with you Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart, of course,) singing 'A You're Adorable' on the bridge of the Enterprise.



...and a happy intergalactic alphabet to all of you!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Take Our Songs With You On The Go!

New Hooked on Phonics alphabet songs available each week on our iTunes channel. Get the Q Song today!

Hooked Phonics on iTunes

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Hooked on Phonics Learn to Read wins the 2009 MITX Best Educational Website Award

We are very proud to announce that Hooked on Phonics Learn to Read has just won the MITX Best Education and Learning Website Award for 2009. The MITX Awards is the largest and one of the most prestigious awards competition in the country for interactive and web innovations and celebrates the best creative and technological accomplishments emerging from New England.

We'd like to celebrate with our readers by offering a 40% discount on the new Learn to Read Pre-K to 2nd Grade system. Just go to our (award winning!) Learn to Read website and enter the following code: HOP40

MITX Awards

Monday, November 16, 2009

Celebrity or Teacher?

In developing infomercials for Hooked on Phonics in years past, the company was encouraged to find a celebrity host. After all, what makes people stop channel-surfing to watch a 30-minute commercial? An actor? A popular actress? A star football player? But what happens when the best person for the job is a teacher?

Joel Steingold, the host of the new Learn to Read infomercial knows the value of reading. He’s a teacher who sees high-school kids who are paying the price for not learning to read when they were just starting out in school.

Joel was a pleasure to work with at the infomercial shoot. He was patient throughout a very long day on the set. He was good natured, telling jokes between takes. He is professional and cares about kids. Who better to talk to you about Hooked on Phonics, really?



Webster’s defines “celebrity” as “a famous or celebrated person.” We put much of our child’s future in their teachers’ hands. Perhaps we don’t “celebrate” them enough. Actor? Actress? Star football player? Teacher? You decide.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

S Song - Hooked on Phonics Learn to Read Pre-K

The S Song is part of Hooked on Phonics Learn to Read Pre-K and is designed for children ages 3 to 4. Hooked on Phonics Learn to Read is a reading program designed to help children learn how to read and improve reading skills using phonics. Follow us on:
Hooked on Phonics Learn to Read
Hooked Phonics Learn to Read Blog
Hooked Phonics on Facebook
Hooked Phonics on Twitter
Hooked Phonics on iTunes
Hooked Phonics dot com

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Fresh, New Hooked on Phonics Infomercial

Who would’ve thought after 20 years that people would still be saying “Hooked on Phonics worked for me!” It’s a phrase ingrained in many of our minds from the first ground-breaking infomercial back in 1990. It’s amazing to think that those kids are now college age!

I’ve “lived” Hooked on Phonics almost that long as part of the product development team on many Hooked On™ products. Yes, the Learn to Read program has evolved and been improved over the years, including the brand-new product with a fresh new infomercial. I never get tired of hearing how the program touches people. In fact, at the infomercial shoot a few months ago, someone behind the scenes had been involved in filming an earlier infomercial and still remembered the people and success stories from years ago. The a-ha moment is just such a special milestone.

One thing I love about the way the product has evolved is that it’s so much more than just about learning to read—it’s about loving to read. And it’s a bonding experience that no parent should be without. Watch the infomercial, and you’ll see some of those special moments for yourself. Here’s a parent that says it better than I can.

Reading is more than just about sounding out words. Fluency is a big part of reading. Without it, your child might “fall off the page.” It’s like learning to ride a bike. If you pedal too slowly, you’ll fall off. Likewise, if you read just one word at a time, by the time you get to the end of a page, you won’t remember what you read at the beginning. Take a look at one clip from the infomercial that shows how the program can make the difference between falling off the page and happily riding (I mean, reading) away.

You’ll see other stories like that one throughout the infomercial. One child, however, struck me in particular. You know how kids learning math don’t understand how they’ll ever use it? “When will I ever use algebra?” I hadn’t thought about how that could be true for some children learning to read. After all, we read every day, whether it’s the newspaper, street signs, or nutrition facts at the grocery store. But Hannah’s story made me think twice.

I have to be honest—I don’t usually watch infomercials. But this one? It’s worth watching. The milestones are priceless.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

R Song - Hooked on Phonics Learn to Read Pre-K

The R Song is part of Hooked on Phonics Learn to Read Pre-K and is designed for children ages 3 to 4. Hooked on Phonics Learn to Read is a reading program designed to help children learn how to read and improve reading skills using phonics. Follow us on:
Hooked on Phonics Learn to Read
Hooked Phonics Learn to Read Blog
Hooked Phonics on Facebook
Hooked Phonics on Twitter
Hooked Phonics on iTunes
Hooked Phonics dot com

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Another great review of Hooked on Phonics Learn to Read!



So you all know we've been sending our new Learn to Read to different mommy bloggers to see what they think.


Take a look at the great things The Bragging Mommy is saying about us.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Learning Activities at Home

Last week was the latest in our series of Virtual Coffees, where we chat with some of our favorite parent bloggers about topics related to reading, learning. This month's topic was learning activities to do with your children at home. Our participants included:

Amy Mascott – Teach Mama
Nirasha Jaganath – Mommy Niri
Allie McDonald –
No Time for Flash Cards
Brian Frank –
Book Dads
Whitney Hoffman – LD Podcast
JoAnn Ramussen
The Casual Perfectionist and Mile High Mamas
and me, Amy Kraft Media Macaroni

These blogs are already chocked full of great ideas for indoor learning activities, and in the call we highlighted some of our favorites.

Teach Mama has a great game called Action, Action 1, 2, 3! With a stack of index cards and some dice, Amy transformed a rainy day afternoon into an active day indoors. Roll the dice and do the action written on the chosen cards that many times. It's reading, it's writing, it's counting, and it's lots of fun!



Allie at No Time For Flash Cards looks for crafts that feed into her son's natural interests. When he took a fascination with car models, Allie made this amazing alphabet wall craft out of old issues of Car and Driver magazine. H is for Honda!



Brian, Niri and I are all particular fans of cooking with our kids. Not only does cooking involve equal parts of learning and math, with a dash of science to taste, but cooking can also expose kids to different foods and cultures. I'm a fan of the Handstand Kids cookbooks, and Brian of Book Dads mentioned Mollie Katzen's cookbooks which I'm anxious to check out. Both offer illustrations to go with the text, a great help to young chefs just learning to read.

Other great activities ideas that came up are having your child go on a junk mail hunt, circling letters and sight words; spotting letters and numbers on license plates; and transforming one of your child's bedroom walls into a chalkboard for endless creative possibilities. Check out all of these blogs for more great learning game ideas.

Letting your child play and have free time is crucial for learning and development. For more reading on this topic, check out Whitney's reviews of the books The Red Rubber Ball at Work and Play: How it Shapes The Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul at LD Podcast.