By Hook or by Book?
If you have ever listened to the radio, chances are you’ve heard the advertisements for Hooked On Phonics. For me, it was right up there with the See Clearly Method in the category of questionably miraculous products. But armed with passionate testimonials from parents and a memorable toll free number, Hooked On Phonics has enjoyed almost two decades of success.
Until very recently, the kits were enormous, with enough content to last for several years of progress. They were also expensive and only available through very few channels.
Last year, Hooked On Phonics was acquired by Educate, Inc. and the new parent company helped to launch a new line of smaller kits, targeted to specific age groups, that could be sold in specialty toy stores. I had a chance to see these new kits at Toy Fair, and I even caught a glimpse of some of their future products.
For the parents who have embraced Baby Einstein or Leapfrog, these sets are a natural next step. The multimedia-based approach of Hooked On Phonics offers a calibrated mix of learning and fun, and by all accounts, it gets results.
We are carrying these sets for children age 3-6, and I plan to try it out with my older daughter, who is almost 4. As always, I’ll keep you posted.