|*National Institute of Child Health & Human Development |
TOUGH QUESTION: If your child hates to sit still, how do you teach your child to read??
EASY ANSWER:Rocket Phonics!
Reading is often a sit-down, sit-still activity, so many active learners (who learn by moving around) have difficulty learning to read, or they just don’t want to do it.
But not with Rocket Phonics!
We have lots of activities and games that get your child moving at every stage, from learning his letter sounds and blending them, to reading single words, phrases, sentences, paragraphs and stories.
Going From Tears of Frustration to the Joy of Success
Your child’s learning style has a huge impact on learning. Look at the example of one of our homeschooling friends: this mom of a 7-year-old very active boy told us, We were doing his spelling words at the table and he missed every single one. He was crying, he was so frustrated.
So for a change of pace, I took him out to the play set so he could climb. As he was climbing, I had an idea: I said, ‘I’m just going to say your words. If you don't know them, that's fine; but if you do know them, spell them.’ And he spelled them correctly every one!
Your children will also really enjoy moving as they master spelling words with our Super Spelling Strategy. All this fun physical action, unique to Rocket Phonics, is a lifesaver for your active kids.
Research shows that all children start as active learners. By age 5 many girls prefer visual or auditory learning, but boys are all basically active learners up to age 7; if that’s so, we need to get them moving while they are learning—and that’s not typically the way reading is taught!
Your active kids face two challenges: not only do they struggle with reading because they’re sitting still, but also the reading rules are inconsistent.
The inconsistencies of English can make learning to read a frustrating guessing game for your children. Kids hate to guess and be wrong; they want consistency.
Other programs deal with this issue by using simple repetitive words, like “cat sat mat”—but this makes reading boring for your kids. Your child wants to read like he can talk. And with Rocket Phonics, your child can.
Depending on your child’s skills and needs, he or she may start with the Big Movement activities to learn all the sounds and letters. Once your child knows the sounds, blending, and phonemic awareness, he or she can progress through Rocket Phonics. Just start in one of our two volumes where your child is ready to begin.
Will Rocket Phonics Be EASY for Me?
Rocket Phonics is very easy for you to use! The basic concept is just progress through the two big Rocket Phonics readers, doing all the games and activities as you go. The Teacher’s Guide is right in the book; we recommend 3-5 lessons a week, no more than 15-45 minutes in length.
As you come to each new activity we tell you right in the book what to do and say. There’s no prep time! Rocket Phonics is easy to use, and everything is included.
At the back of Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 you’ll find a helpful reference guide to when and how to use your free bonuses.
If your active child is just beginning, he or she may start with our phonemic awareness games (which you can do at the park, in the car, anytime). And play active games like Letter Leap, or Play & Read Baseball or Soccer, to learn all the sounds and letters. When he is ready, your child can begin blending sounds.
If your active child is older or already has some reading or pre-reading skills, just play a couple active games to learn our unique helper system. For example, the th sound in thimble is shown as th, and the th in bathe is shown as th.
Once your child knows the sounds, and blending, he or she can just pick up in the Rocket Phonics big readers where he or she is ready to begin. So whether your child is ready to read chapter books or is just reading simple words like hop or pat, your child will succeed with and enjoy Rocket Phonics.
Our thorough phonics and decoding instruction begins with short vowel and consonant sounds, teaches all the patterns of English, and progresses all the way to how Latin and Greek roots and accented and unaccented syllables affect how words are pronounced.
In our 28 weekly bonuses emailed to you, you will find extra helps and extra reading practice at each grade level from pre-K to 6th grade.
How Active Are The Rocket Phonics Lessons?
After All, This Is READING!
Using games like Whack the Sound (your child hits the Play & Read letter card with a flyswatter you provide), we teach 36 sounds: short and long vowels, consonants, and digraphs. The line under two letters shows they make one sound, like sh or oo.
The same 36 sounds on our Play & Read Cards are introduced in our book (Section 1.3 Parts 1-4). In the first section we also introduce blending games your child can play holding our 8 1/2'” X 11” Big Letter Sheets. With these, your active child can begin reading the words right away. To read words in our two big readers, your child can hold our rocket-shaped peeker, focusing on one word at a time. The peeker is especially helpful to active learners, children with dyslexia, and more.
The very first activities we introduce for your kids are phonemic awareness games. Your kids can learn on the go with these simple, fun oral/auditory games you can play with all your kids anytime, anywhere. And phonemic awareness is the #1 skill connected to reading success!
Your child gets lots of practice reading short, phonetic words. And we have fun thinking skill game pages on which your child reads simple phonetic words and looks at colorful pictures to spot how the words are depicted. It’s a fun, rich activity, and the child quickly progresses to reading short phonetic phrases. We include games finding rhyming pairs and “What Belongs” activities. Note that our clever activities prevent your child from just looking at the pictures and guessing at the words. Our activities build all the skills of successful readers.
Soon your child progresses to reading non-phonetic words with our unique Rocket Phonics helpers.The helpers are a big key why Rocket Phonics’ readers learn so quickly and so easily. You tell your child, “You have helpers in Rocket Phonics. When these 36 letters are printed in blue or under the letter, they always have the same sound.” No more guessing, no more questions, no more frustration. Consider the words table or one. These can be hard words for a beginning reader to read (From the beginning reader’s point of view, why wouldn’t the first part of table be tab, like in tablet? Using traditional reading methods, how could he sound out one?)—but words like these aren’t hard with Rocket Phonics.
With Rocket Phonics, once your child begins reading non-phonetic words, we show your child how the word is pronounced as he sees and reads the word. He reads the same material with helpers and without. As he reads, we teach him complete phonics instruction, the patterns in English.
Our phonics instruction is so thorough that we include Greek and Latin roots, and accented and unaccented syllables, and how they affect words’ pronunciation! We basically immerse your child in reading. As he progresses, we gradually drop off the helpers, and very quickly, your child is an independent reader, able to read far beyond what they normally could at their age.
To play the Word-Find Game, you hide a bingo chip (included) on the table, then give your child a slip of paper with the word table on it. He can read the word with helpers, or without. He reads the word, then runs off to find the chip, and comes back for another. It’s his reading lesson, but he’s playing a fun game! He’ll want to play over and over. He’s incorporating all three learning styles at once—he sees the word (visual), hears the word (auditory) as he uses the helpers to say the word, and he runs to that object (kinesthetic), so his learning is maximized! He quickly connects the printed word to its meaning, since he runs to the couch when he reads couch—his learning is accelerated. It’s so much better than a drill of reading a list of words!
Your child goes from reading words to phrases: Next you can play the Phrase Game, in which your child reads phrases like behind the chair and under a telephone. It’s played like the Word Find, so he gets to run as he reads, and can read the words with or without helpers. At this stage, your child will have fun reading phrases in Section 1.5 of the thinking skills pages also.
Quickly he begins reading short sentences, starting in Section 2.1 with Simon Says. Your active child gets to move and you both get to do silly actions, like, “Pretend to walk like a duck and quack.” Again his learning is accelerated because as he reads the words, he acts them out.Here he also reads jokes and riddles. Your kids can read you the joke they learned, and your job is just to laugh. Kids love them!
Soon we begin the transition to independent reading with our First Common Word List. This is the first of seven lists, each with 100 common words (from standard grade lists). From here on in the book, these words will no longer have helpers. These 700 words = over 75% of the words your child will use in all his reading. Your child has practiced and read these many times; they’re now learned words, stored in the child’s visual memory. Learned words help build fluency (this means reading at roughly the speed he talks).
Next your child begins reading engaging short stories, starting at first grade level. For many of the stories, we use Aesop’s Fables. He will be thrilled to read these rich, character-building stories that all ages enjoy. Here is the format for the story lessons: First, a phonics tip showing your child the patterns of English. Next, a story illustrating that tip. Your child reads the story with and without helpers. Some stories start with a glossary to introduce challenging words, so as your child reads he builds a great vocabulary. Each story includes comprehension questions and questions for discussion.
Depending on your child’s reading stamina, a lesson might go like this: “You have your helpers, so read this sentence (or paragraph, or story) on your own, and then read the same sentence (or paragraph, or story) without helpers. Then you come and read the story to me.” Notice it’s built in that the child will have repetition in reading, helping the child learn the words and reading skills more quickly. And your child can read on his own!
Our bonuses include additional stories at each grade level. As your child nears completing Rocket Phonics we provide important decoding helps: a reference showing all the sounds each letter makes; a tool to know all the sounds of vowels in words from Latin or Spanish roots; and helps using prefixes, suffixes and roots. In just two years, when your children complete Rocket Phonics, they will be reading at 5th grade level!