Finishing Hooked on Phonics Master Reader: Success Story
It took 4 years, and we had fun along the way, but yesterday marked the end of our Hooked on Phonics journey. Neil completed the Master Reader program last year, and Alan finished yesterday. Hooked on Phonics has been a pillar of our homeschooling since the beginning. We started with the kindergarten level and went through the 1st and 2nd grade levels, culminating in the biggest challenge, Master Reader (which is one program that approximates 3rd and 4th grade level reading). I’m taking time today to commemorate the milestone. Life is full of milestones, but one that’s frequently overlooked is the transition to independent reading. When the boys were first learning to put phonetic sounds together, every day was a teaching moment; every day was a one on one teaching experience. Every day I’d sit with the boys, they would read, and I would correct them and help them and urge them along. Those days are over (at least with reading). Now, when I send them to read, they don’t need me sitting there anymore. I admit, I’m a little sad about it because learning to read is one of the last vestiges of toddlerhood. They aren’t cute empty vessels anymore. It’s just another reminder that time really flies. I’m also proud. I watched Alan reading yesterday, and I remembered how I wasn’t as good at it when I was 6 as he is. I remember struggling to read a bus schedule when I was 7. Alan wouldn’t have that problem, and Neil…
The Next Phase:
The next phase is going to be reading comprehension exercises, a learning phase that will eventually lead to book reports and, later, real research. They’ve mastered phonics. Now they have to learn to regurgitate facts and interpret the sometimes opaque meanings of stories. Now is when reading will add extra layers to their education and gets fun. They don’t know it yet, but reading is about to become something more than boring, albeit necessary, drills and repetition. Now they’ll get to read about whatever they want, and actually spend time contemplating it. This will open up whole new avenues, like public speaking and rhetoric. They aren’t tiny little kids anymore. That’s sad, but it’s also pretty awesome. Here’s the video of Alan reading the last chapter of the last Hooked on Phonics book from the Master Reader Series. Unless we have more kids, I doubt this program will be opened again until I have grand kids (and I hopefully get to teach them, too!).
Alan, age 6, reading his final Hooked on Phonics lesson from the Master Reader Program