A few months ago Abby had a playdate with Brigham and Trish’s little girl, Kiria. While we adults talked, I was surprised to find out that Kiria’s school had been teaching Hooked on Phonics as part of their regular program. Her success with it was even more surprising.

Berta and I looked into teaching phonics reading to Abby ourselves because her preschool doesn’t teach it. After looking through some different packages on the web, I settled on the heavily advertised Hooked on Phonics package, and signed myself up for a multi-month payment program.

The HoP kit arrived within a week. Inside the large brown box were several smaller boxes, each containing a different level of reading curriculum. In the yellow box maked “Level 1”, we found the starting point for the program.

Abby hadn’t been learning letters in a stuctured way before we introduced this kit, although we did make the occasional effort to point out letters and ask her to identify them. These days, after spending quite a bit of time with the flash cards provided in the kit, she can identify letters pretty well.

We have probably fallen behind a bit in our reading studies, but Abby seems more into it lately than usual. This afternoon she insisted on practicing her letters.

We have started on the yellow set of cards. The yellow cards teach the letter sounds. By the fourth repetition of the alphabet (certain incentives were provided to get her to practice this far into the tape), she was anticipating the letter sounds quite well. I expect that if we practice the sounds a little every day, she might be ready for the next step sometime next week.

Soon enough, she’ll be reading the little mini-books for her reading level that come with the kit. After that, we might be able to start her on some of the starter books at the book store. I’m sure she would impress herself to be able to read a book that we bought at the store.

I think that reader training books might be a good Christmas item for Abby this year if she continues to be as excited about reading as she is now.