Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Rocket Phonics

"There isn't a better phonics program around than Dr. Guffanti's Rocket Phonics. Follow these simple exercises and you will watch a miracle unfold before your eyes."

-- John Taylor Gatto, Best Selling Author
and New York State Teacher of the Year

This quote from John Taylor Gatto, endorsing Rocket Phonics, was my first indication that this was going to be a phonics program I would enjoy. I am an unschooler at heart but not brave enough to really take hold of it myself, so my desire for natural learning translates into a more relaxed homeschool and a preference for real, hands on, fun educational products and experiences. I was excited to receive my kit and my two youngest children joined in when we opened the box and saw playing cards, bingo chips, and prizes! They were anxious to begin.

This program is designed to help your child become a fluent reader as quickly as possible. Helps are introduced which contain the proper phonetic pronunciation. As your child becomes fluent, these helps are slowly removed until your child is reading our often confusing English language on their own. We have used another method in the past that contains helps such as these and have found that the student is able to make that transition between the coded letters and the regular text without issue.

What I love about Rocket Phonics is the way they make learning fun. My seven year old was literally begging to "play Rocket Phonics". The Play & Read cards can be used to play games such as Go Fish. The Bingo games are fun. The Treasure Hunts exciting. The best part is they all reinforce and teach the sounds. Your child is learning as they play and I think that's the best way! Be sure to go and read about all the research they've done in creating this program, but the biggest selling point for me is that your child will have fun with this program and hopefully that will translate into a love of reading.

Rocket Phonics includes two over sized Rocket Phonics readers, two sets of Play & Read symbol cards, Bingo chips, a Rocket Peeker (this helps your child to focus on one sound or word at a time), Bingo sheets, word lists, Treasure Hunts complete with prizes (we had rubber balls and sticky hands, which were a huge hit with my seven year old), and email bonuses. This Reading Kit sells for $160 or they have a payment plan available at $53.34 for 3 months.

If you use this program or if you decide to try it, please leave a comment and let me know about your experiences! This is one I wish I had found several years ago.


Anonymous said...

I gave you a TOS Crew award!

GE is me said...

Lori, what age would you recommend this for? My girls will be 4 the end of March. I also notice one is more advanced than the other-in some areas. How do you a)not compare them & b)tell when they're playing you vs they really don't know the info. To me if they've told me before they should be able to tell me again.
Thanks, -Gail
geisme777 at yahoo dot com

Lori said...

Hey Gail. :-)

I am not usually a fan of formal academics at age four, but I do think you could start using Rocket Phonics with them because of the way it's designed. I would just start playing some of the games with them, letting them become familiar with the sound cards in a natural way, and not working with the book until the next year. The thing I really liked about Rocket Phonics is the way it makes learning fun. It could be a fun, easy intro for your girls. The great thing is too, if you try it and they aren't ready for it yet, you can just put the box away until next year and try again when they're older. No harm done.

Every child is going to have different strengths and weaknesses and learn at a different pace, even twins! :-) That's just a determination made by you to recognize that and allow them to be who they are individually.

I had to laugh at the "if they've told me before they should be able to tell me again" because I have an eight year who struggles with reading simply because she has a difficult time remembering the sounds! She can do the mechanics of reading but we have to go over the sounds repeatedly. (I used the Rocket Phonics games with her too and it was helpful). We have to reteach our kids all the time, which is why I always say the most important thing I can teach my kids is HOW to learn.

And honestly, how many times do I have to be retaught the same lesson? Especially in life? Ouch.

Lori said...

Oops, and thanks TreasureSeekers! I'll have to go check that out!

GE is me said...

THANKS LORI! For the helpful advice- I think I'll have the hubby check this out so we can hopefully start putting $$$ aside for this. And thanks for the OUCH!!!! So how do you teach them to learn? I THINK I HAVE A LOT TO STILL LEARN! :)
Hugs, -G


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