TOS Crew was given the chance to review a product called Rocket Phonics http://www.rocketphonics.com/ . This is a phonics product created for kids ages 4-10, and it makes learning how to read FUN! It uses games, jokes, riddles and stories to teach kids how to read. This program is great for all types of learning styles. "Rocket Phonics readers go from non-reader to 5th grade reading in two years or less."
In addition to using games and jokes, Rocket Phonics also uses ITA (which means Initial Teaching Alphabet). ITA is a 36-sound alphabet which is designed to help a child associate a symbol with a sound, by picturing a common word. For example /a/ is for apple. I'm still on the fence on whether I agree with this method or not, because I lean more towards the traditional way of learning how to read.
For my special needs guy I was hoping this would be a good fit for him, but when it comes to reading sentences like the one shown above he got distracted with the letters underneath. He didn't quite get what they were trying to do with those letters. My son has comprehension difficulties so the fact that this didn't work for him doesn't necessarily mean it won't work for other kids. I'm always saying that what works for some may not work for others. We did love the games and the treasure hunt was a huge hit! They really do make learning to read fun, and that is really what I like about this program. It teaches that reading can be fun, which will instill a love of reading in a child.
The cost of Rocket Phonics is a bit pricey ($159 or 3 payments of $54), but it is non-consumable, and takes a child from pre-reading to 5th grade reading level. So it can be used for at least two years, and can be used for other children in your family. Included in the kit are: 2 big Rocket Phonics readers, Two sets of Play & Read symbol cards, Bingo chips, Rocket Peeker, Bingo sheets and Word lists for testing
In addition to purchasing Rocket Phonics they are also offering three bonus gifts:
1) Free 28 supplements: With your purchase, you’ll receive by email free each week for 28 weeks a supplement to your kit. New! Now incuded: Spelling Strategy -- multi-sensory, developed by spelling specialists, and nearly foolproof! Also, 12 Writing Lessons, perfect for kindergarten or first grade. You and your child will be thrilled with each week’s additional stories, riddles, games, beginning reading tips and more. There's extra practice for each grade level! ($69.95 value)
2) Two Rocket Phonics Treasure Hunts: The rhyming clues are written both with and without Rocket Phonics’ unique helpers, so very early readers can read beyond their grade levels to figure out clues and find the treasure. Your children will love these. Prizes, such as sticky hands, kazoos, etc., are all included and ready for fun. ($16.95 value)
Even though this program was a little difficult for my special needs guy, he still had fun with the games. And having my son learn while he plays is always a good thing in my book.