Rocket Phonics is a program to teach – yes you guessed it – phonics and reading for children. Created by a husband-and-wife team, this program was used to do a UCLA study with homeschool children. The 2001 UCLA study found the students using Rocket Phonics learned about 4 months of reading skills for every month they used it! That is impressive coming from a brand new program created by an MD and a former teacher.
Geared for children ages 4-10 the curriculum of Rocket Phonics is research-based and scientifically proven as a method to teach reading. It uses games and a multi-sensory approach to encourage the child to read. My son, who will be 5 years old at the end of the month, is now asking me regularly to do Rocket Phonics. He loves the bingo games and the cards. We use the cards to make the words and he is able to read them. Before I was wondering how I will approach reading with him. Today, I feel confident that we can make it. I also discovered since September that he is more a kinesthetic learner which means he likes to move when doing something or hold a toy. He is very interested in learning how to read as many 3-5 years old. He sees his older brother reading and even playing with the Wii and now he wants to be able to do it. He would like it if it could happen overnight but this is not the case. At first he was frustrated because it wasn’t happening fast enough. With Rocket Phonics, he is having fun at the same time and doesn’t complain as much anymore. He is so happy to tell his dad that he learned new words at the end of a day!
It doesn’t take a long period of time to use Rocket Phonics. All it takes is about 30 minutes a day! Mind you, I am not doing it diligently every day since we also do french as well as math and having 4 kids under the age of 7 is quite demanding. But the lessons we did so far are fruitful. I like to see what it will be in 6 months and even 1 year from now! According to the creators, Rocket Phonics will help the child to go from non-reader to a 5th grade reader in 2 years or less.
I had a bit of trouble with certain sounds at first but after e-mailing Maureen Guffanti, one of the creators of Rocket Phonics, she strongly suggested that I check out the YouTube videos which give some tips on how to use the program. You can get some ideas on how to use this phonic program on YouTube.com as well as on their yahoo group at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/rocketphonics/ .
The price is 160$ US plus shipping. It is a big chunk of money during this difficult time in the economy but let me list you what you will get when you order it.
2 big Rocket Phonics readers
2 sets of play & read symbol cards
Rocket PeekerBingo sheets and Word lists for testing
Free 28 supplements via e-mail a 69.95$US value
Free 2 Rocket Phonics Treasure Hunts a 16.95$US value
Free Rocket Phonics Word-Find Treasure hunt
Rocket Phonics Phrase Game a 19.95$US value
So far our experience with it is quite impressive. Dominic is enjoying learning how to read. In 6 months from now, I will give another review of this product to let you know how he is progressing. Then again, I will be reviewing Rocket Phonics in February 2010 which will be a year later to give another update. By then, maybe my 3rd son will be starting learning on it as well… Right now, he sometimes sit with us and repeat as well. He is also enjoying the Bingo games but I do it a bit differently with him as I show him the card and ask him to show me the same letter in the Bingo card. At 3 years old, he is quite good at spotting the proper letter.
I discovered a great product with Rocket Phonics and I enjoy it a lot. I also learn personally as I discover the real sounds behind the letters… (you see I am French Canadian from birth and picked up English from school and never did phonics!) We shall see if there will be an improvement in my own learning when we are done.