Hooked On Phonics vs.
Sing, Spell, Read, and Write

HOOKED ON PHONICS - Learn to Read Series: has been completely redone! For the better! In the earlier version, you could only buy it as a complete set but now it can be purchased in individual grade level sets or in kits that cover several grades.

The Preschool set teaches the alphabet, letter sounds and phonemic awareness (a fancy way to say the child will learn that words are made up of individual letter sounds blended together). So if your child already knows his Alphabet and letter sounds, you can start with the Kindergarten set and do just fine.

According to the Parent's Guides, lessons should require only 15-30 minutes. The format is Learn, Practice, and Read and the lessons are reinforced with word games on the included CD-ROM. The audio CDs are crisp, clear, and understandable so that many children require little else to follow along in the program on their own or can easily be overseen by older siblings.

The kits have been expanded with more interactive components, for example, here is everything for three full years which is included in the Kindergarten - 2nd Grade Set:

  • 5 workbooks with stories and activities
  • 10 chapter books
  • 10 companion books
  • 30 Hooked on Phonics® storybooks
  • 10 audio CDs
  • 1 CD-ROM
  • 6 progress posters to track learning success
  • 3 sets of fun stickers kids love
  • 3 Parent's guides
  • 18 flash card sets

You can buy Hooked On Phonics at a discount using the link below...

Save 20% NOW with Hooked on Phonics! Enter 'SAVE20' at checkout click here


OR find it in our Amazon aStore

Shop Here

SING, SPELL, READ, AND WRITE (SSRW) from Pearson Publishing has the same basic set up with the Preschool Kit covering the Alphabet and letter sounds but it also includes shapes, colors, visual discrimination, matching, opposites, classification, story sequence, coloring, tracing, letter recognition, letter sounds, auditory discrimination, and oral vocabulary development.

If your child has mastered these reading/math readiness skills you can start with the Kindergarten level.

There is much less information available on the SSRW website about what is covered in each level but the approach seems to differ mostly in that they include spelling, handwriting, and even a little grammar in their program.

The K/Level 1 Combo Kit includes all the materials you need for two full years of instruction:

  • Kindergarten student books
  • "All Aboard" and "On Track"
  • 6 Kindergarten storybooks
  • Kindergarten Instructor's Directions
  • Level 1 student books - Off We Go and Raceway
  • the Assessment Book
  • Level 1 Instructor's Manual
  • 17 Level 1 storybooks
  • Level 1 CD
  • as well as 6 Level 1 audiocassettes
  • the Raceway placemat
  • the A-Z Phonics Song placemat
  • A-Z Pick-A-Sound Card Game
  • A-Z Sound-O Game
  • Letter Cluster Pick-A-Sound Card Game
  • Letter Cluster Sound-O Game
  • Word-O Game
  • clear bingo chips
  • dry erase marker
  • eraser
  • and a Treasure Chest filled with prizes (though these are not of very good quality)!

    The only consumable, the Kindergarten Student Books are available separately.

    You can find SSRW in our Amazon aStore

    Shop Here


    Both HOP and SSRW use a multi-sensory approach and address muliple learning styles though SSRW is especially good for the Wiggle Worm if you have one.

    Materials in HOP are higher in quality and better laid out than those in SSRW.

    HOP incorporates reading comprehension and is easier to use and less time consuming for the teacher. There is no guesswork or training time involved. SSRW on the other hand has teacher training videos which you must watch and absorb in order to teach the program.

    HOP's CD-ROM with reinforcing word games is a much more appealing reward option than the somewhat cheesy prizes in SSRW's 'Treasure Chest (you might want to replace these with your own choices).'

    SSRW's 'Raceway' theme is very appealing and motivating to children who love tracking their success via race car as they complete the 36 steps of the program.

    SSRW's songs are very contagious - children will sing them over and over again and enjoy it! Some of the tapes/voices are not clear and may go a little too fast.

    SSRW's games are not fluff but real fortification of the phonetic skills the children are learning...they are more fun though, when played with more than one child.

    SSRW does include a complete phonetic spelling program that dovetails nicely with the reading one and a complete handwriting program using the ball and stick method.

    SSRW has thick 4 color workbooks that include grammar and creative writing skills.

    Both programs do offer higher levels once basic reading skills are mastered moving students on to multi-syllabic words, etc.

    MY PICK:
    Though I admittedly have not used either program, my choice after visiting the websites and comparing reviews would be Hooked On Phonics. I have seen both kits in my job as a resource librarian and Hooked On Phonics seems to have an easier to use presentation and quality materials at a lower price making it the better value.

    You can purchase this program for a discounted price at the link below...


    OR Find it in our Amazon aStore

    Shop Here

    Reviews From THC Readers

    Lisa from Shanghai, China says:
    We live in Shanghai. My son is four years old. In his school,the students learn English by SSRW books. One day, all the children's parents were invited to attend the class to visit how children learn English by SSRW. All the children were very happy and active in the English class. They sang, danced and read English. In this way,they like English and improve a lot. I like it very much. I like the way to learn English by the song and the picture. But the vocabulary is too long and too difficult for both the children and the parents. And the teacher speaks a little quickly. I hope both my son and I can make progress in English by SSRW.

    Have you used either program? Which one do you prefer and why? Submit your review using the form below and help other moms decide!

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