In any homeschool, teaching a child to read is one of the most exciting
adventures. However, choosing the right phonics curriculum to start this
journey can be a somewhat overwhelming task. I know that we have tried
several programs thus far in our nine years of teaching, but have yet to
find something as unique and effective as Rocket Phonics. Created by a
physician and a former English teacher (who are also homeschooling parents)
this complete kit for grades K through third (ages 4-9) has a unique "One
letter, One Sound-No Exceptions" method that gets children reading quickly
and without confusion.
Rocket Phonics has a three step approach: teaching the Initial Teaching
Alphabet, (also referred to as the ITA), sound blending, and then of course,
reading. Instead of using the 26 letters in the English alphabet, Rocket
Phonics has created 36 symbols, or the ITA, made from single letters and two
letter combinations. Your child will be reading in the very first lesson and
by the end of the Rocket Phonics program, he or she will have mastered over
600 sight words and will be reading at a fifth grade level!
It is recommended to have three to five weekly sessions lasting 15 to 50
minutes, depending on the child. We worked daily and didn't watch the clock,
but rather, worked until my son was ready to move on to another subject.
With the games, jokes and stories, the lessons are enjoyable and go quickly
and smoothly. The creators of Rocket Phonics believe that if children are
having fun they will learn more, and from what we have experienced with
their product, we agree! This curriculum has its own versions of familiar
childhood games like Go Fish, Simon Says, Memory and Bingo, and includes
beloved stories like Cinderella and Aesop's Fables.
With this kit you will receive:
The program is easy to use. Each workbook starts out with a Quick Start
page, Teacher Guide and Progress Notes. The Appendix in Volume Two contains
a Rocket Phonics Question and Answers section that is quite helpful as well
as many useful resources for the teacher. The text is in large print and
easy to read. There are "helpers" along the way to assist the student by
using the sounds he or she has already learned.
- Two durable, non-consumable, spiral-bound workbooks
- (This is great for families with multiple children.)
- Two sets of (36) colorful and sturdy symbol cards
- Bingo chips and sheets and a list of several different games to play
- A Rocket "Peeker" (a rocket shaped piece of cardstock with a window that reveals one word at a time to keep the child focused)
- Word lists for testing
- A treasure hunt complete with prizes
- Multiple teaching resources and tips
- Bonus materials: The Rocket Phonics Word Find Treasure Hunt, The
Phrase Game, and various pre-school card games sent through email
The website is also full of resources, including a "Problem Solving" page
and an "Ask Dr. Phonics" section where the creators make themselves
available by email to answer any questions users have. They have also taken
the time to make several videos on YouTube that include an introduction to
the kit, sample lessons, teaching tips and explanations of the games. I was
so impressed with the dedication of this company. They seem so helpful and
truly want you to succeed! Not only that, but they make learning fun.
The kit comes with a treasure hunt complete with prizes ("sticky hands"
small rubber balls, etc.) and uses rhyming clues. The cards instruct the
teacher where to hide each treasure and clue, and then the child reads and
follows them. For example: "Let's start now, and begin the fun. Under the
telephone you'll find clue one." In addition to this game, you will receive:
The Word Find Treasure Hunt, The Phrase Game and Rocket Phonics/Big Movement
Pre-School Games-all free and through your email!
The Word Find Treasure Hunt is a lot of fun and helps the child with word
blending, reading left to right, and recognizing sounds. This game includes
many common household words. When the child reads what's on the card, they
can then go hunt for the matching bingo chip. For example, if the card reads
"keyboard" then you could hide the chip underneath it for him to find. When
all the chips are found, the child wins and you can then reward him. This is
a very effective game with lots of possibilities and challenges. (I added
and combined words as we progressed.) The Phrase Hunt Game is similar, but
combines the words into a phrase. There are a variety of word cards to
choose from. This time, you select three cards, for example, "In the
pantry." You would then hide the chip in that location. Included are several
ideas for variations of play.
The pre-school card games are really great. They are creative and high
energy. Each game uses printable letter cards and introduces letter shapes
and sounds while doing activities such as "Bowling," "Going Fishing," and
"Shopping." The children use their imaginations and act things out. Phonics
has never been so much fun!
If you are looking for a phonics program, whether you have a beginning
reader or a child who struggles and needs a fresh perspective, I believe
that Rocket Phonics would be a good choice. The complete kit costs $160.00
and they believe in their product so much that they offer a 90 day money
back guarantee. With everything that this version has to offer, I think you
will be pleased and will enjoy using it as much as we have in our
homeschool. I am happy to recommend it.
Product review by: Amy Christy, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, July 2008
In addition to the purchased program, you will receive 28 bonuses emailed
one per week.
Some of these include:
A multi-sensory, nearly foolproof spelling strategy perfect for all ages
Additional games (Bingo, Treasure Hunts, and riddles)
Additional reading practice for grades K-6 (fiction, non-fiction and poetry)