Is Hooked on Phonics Worth the Money?

Updated on December 14, 2010
V.D. asks from Smithfield, UT
11 answers

Anyone tired out the hooked on phonics program. I'm looking into it for the pre-k program.

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answers from La Crosse on

We bought it and used it for about two weeks...not too impressed. I bought the Pre K, K, and 1st grade series.

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answers from Honolulu on

I don't know about that program, but I learned reading by phonics, taught in school.
Now, schools also use "sight words" to teach reading.
The Dolsh sight words.
Here is the link for it:
This is what my Daughter's school uses.... up until 1st grade.

Phonics, is sounding out words.... phonetically. You can do that yourself... too. As you teach your child.
There are so many, phonics teaching 'kits' and what not online too. Maybe probably for FREE.
Try researching it.
BUT there are also at bookstores, Phonics workbooks too.


all the best,

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answers from Portland on

I think it depends on the child and the adult who will be helping the child. I bought Hooked on Phonics for my daughter when she was in grade school and never managed to get her interested in using it. It felt too complicated for me, a single working mother. I didn't get the hang of it either.

I bought a toddler version for my grandson and it's only been out of the box a couple of times. Again, using it needs a dedicated adult who is able to focus and spend time on the kit before presenting it to the child and while working with it and the child. It feels very academic and requires sitting down focus.

I bought both of them at a thrift store and they looked brand new. That may mean something about their usefulness. lol

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answers from Fort Walton Beach on

My mom got the Hooked on Phonics program for us (Kindergarten - 2nd grade) and we love it! My son (5) is reading on a first grade almost 2nd grade level but then again we read A LOT in our house :-) I'm not sure how much it cost since it was a gift but we do really like it & plan on using it with all of our kids since we homeschool so it will get plenty of use. I have a good friend who used the book "Teach Your Chhild To Read In 100 Lessons" (if that's not the name it's pretty close), for 8 of her 9 kiddos & loved it. We have that book also but the phonics has worked better for our son.
As the other's have said - it does take dedication but that is the case no matter what program you are using. Hope you find one that works!
many blessings :-)

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answers from Fort Collins on

I loved the program. I've never tried the pre-k, but I have done the kindergarten, first grade and second grade ones and they helped a lot. I've used them for 2 of my kids and they both loved them. I plan on using them for my 2 youngest as well. They have a map with a set of stickers for every book you read and that really motivated them. My now 3rd grader is a great reader because of the Hooked on Phonics program.

Also, when my kids were preschool age I loved the Leap Frog Letter Factory DVD to teach them letter sounds.

I'm a homeschooler and some of my friends prefer a book called Phonics Pathways to teach reading. You can usually buy that at any book store or even the library.



answers from Salt Lake City on

I don't know what version some of the respondents have that mentioned the program is boring, but my version is lively and fun. Hooked on Phonics has helped my son learn to read and enjoy it. I would recommend the program. We've read BOB books and they are great books but I feel Hooked on Phonics gives a foundation to reading and helps the beginning reader understand why letters sound a particular way in words. I wish I had had this program while I was learning to read.



answers from Chicago on

I checked it out of the library. My daughter thought the videos and workbook were very boring, but we used the little readers and they were pretty helpful with her learning to read. Honestly, I wouldn't spend the money to buy it, but see if your library has it. There are definitely better phonics videos out there, like the Leapfrog Letter and word factory ones. You could try BOB books too (search online if you're not familiar with them).


answers from San Antonio on

I haven't used it nor seen it, but my 2.5 yr old has started sounding out words thanks to the pbs show "Between the Lions" and by my help reading to him.

He reads many sight words thanks to and their sight words videos 1, 2, and 3.



answers from Tulsa on

When it is at Big Lots/Odd Lots for $20 maybe. Or used on Ebay.
I was a teacher and used it to tutor. It is SO boring.



answers from Seattle on

Best AND free. Can't beat that.



answers from Minneapolis on


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