Now you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to teach your child how to read. I have received a lot of emails and comments from concerned parents who have a strong desire to teach their children to read but cannot afford a Hooked On Phonics system.
While I believe “Hooked On Phonics” to be an excellent program, I can understand the reservations parents can have about spending that much money. There’s the rent, food, clothes, and all the other necessities of life that must come first before one can depart with their hard earned money. Even if it’s for a great cause like education.
Taking this matter to heart, I decided to do some research and find the best alternative to Hooked On Phonics without the costly pricetag. I thought it would be easy, but it wasn’t.
There are plenty of reading programs out there, that’s for sure, but I could not find one that was both affordable and fun for the child. I found some that was just as expensive as Hooked On Phonics, I found some that were lower cost but they were just workbooks and a cassette without the fun activities it takes to keep children’s interest level up. Yes, it was hard to find an appropriate program.
Then I came across a company called Click-N-Kids that produces an online, interactive phonics based reading program called Click-N-Read Phonics.
The program does not require a software installation. Accessed over the Internet, ClickN’ READ Phonics is a fun interactive Learn to Read program with 100 lessons for $59.85, which covers the school curriculum for kindergarten to third grade. The lessons take place in a futuristic setting with a “space dog” instructor, which guides students through each exercise, so they require little supervision.
Although ClickN’ READ doesn’t provide extra workbooks or reading books, we feel the quality of the lessons and the price of the program outweigh the need for additional Learn tools.
ClickN’ READ Phonics divides each lesson into four progressive exercises: The Letter Sound Chamber, The Listening Cube, The Reading Room and The Speed Chamber. Each exercise introduces new material and reviews key concepts from previous lessons. After a series of correct responses, the program allows the student to progress to the next exercise of the lesson.
After the introduction of new material in each exercise, ClickN’ READ Phonics becomes interactive. The program prompts students to click on or type correct responses for the remainder of the exercise. The program will instruct the student where letters are located on the keyboard and will provide hints if the student is having trouble during a particular exercise. The lessons may also be repeated at any time.
The Letter Sound Chamber introduces new letters and their sounds or combinations of sounds. Students learn visual recognition and proper pronunciation.
The Listening Cube incorporates the newly introduced letter sounds into words where they appear at the beginning, middle and end of words. The exercise teaches students how the same letter can sound different depending where it appears in a word.
The Reading Room focuses on spelling and sounding out words that contain the newly introduced letter sounds and incorporates the words into sentences. The exercise also teaches how words contribute to the meaning of a sentence.
Finally, students progress to the Speed Chamber to practice the new letter sounds and words at higher speeds. The student must respond with correct answers within a specific amount of time to pass this last level and move on to the next lesson.
After each lesson, a progress report can be printed for the student’s records.
While not necessary, printed workbooks and learning activities that kids can do away from the computer would be a great addition to the program.
Ease of Use:
To access the program, log on with a username and password. (ClickN’ KIDS promises that they will keep your information secure on their server and they will not sell it to other companies). The animated instructor “walks” students through each lesson, so they can use ClickN’ READ Phonics with little supervision.
Ease of Installation/Setup:
ClickN’ READ Phonics does not require installing software and the program is accessed through the ClickN’ KIDS website. You should at least have Windows 98 or Mac OS 8.6 installed on your computer. Students can use ClickN’ READ Phonics from any computer that has access to the Internet. If you’re unsure about a computer’s ability to support the program, the ClickN’ KIDS website also has a link to test the computer’s compatibility.
To sign up for ClickN’ READ Phonics, order on the ClickN’ KIDS website with a credit card. Your order confirmation is immediately emailed to you and the program can be used right away. ClickN’ KIDS also offers a 60-day money back guarantee. They also offer an unlimited time satisfaction guarantee if you complete all 100 lessons are are not satisfied your child learned to read.
The ClickN’ KIDS website has a list of FAQs and you can contact them by telephone or email. We emailed them with several questions and they answered within 24 hours.
ClickN’ READ Phonics is an entertaining program that effectively teaches Kindergarten to 3rd grade reading. The interactive program is accessed through the ClickN’ KIDS website and can be used from any computer that has access to the Internet. The program is designed so kids can use it with little supervision and with 100 lessons, the price is reasonable and any upgrades to the program are free.