Hooked On Phonics

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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Getting your child hooked on phonics early on is one of the keys to his or her academic success. Some parents worry that it's too early to foist reading on their youngsters, but this represents a basic philosophical problem. Reading should never be thought of as an imposition in a child's life but rather as a key to his or her happiness.

If that sounds like an exaggeration, consider that, by some estimates, as much as 40 percent of the adult population in the U.S. has at least some difficulty reading. According to the National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS), illiteracy in America accounts for about 225 billion dollars in diminished productivity. Most people can extrapolate from there, but suffice it to say that level of education correlates strongly with income, which in turn correlates strongly with career satisfaction, greater fulfillment, and many of its monetary markers.

How To Get Kids Hooked on Phonics

Time and again, studies have shown that the key for getting children hooked on phonics is to start early. How early? Some educators say kindergarten is the perfect time to introduce phonics education to give kids a jumpstart on their reading. Certainly, no harm can come from a child's early exploration of letters and sounds. In the best-case scenarios, these children will enter elementary school already up at a second- or third-grade reading level.

Getting a child hooked on phonics requires a deliberate and studied approach, which is why it's best for parents either to work with a counselor or to purchase a phonics package from any of the leaders in educational materials. The writers and illustrators who design these manuals have years and years of experience in teaching children to read, so they can be trusted as authorities (unlike some school systems). Many phonics companies show remarkable levels of success, frequently as high as 85 or 90 percent as measured by the parents themselves.

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