Hooked on Phonics vs. Readability Tutor

October 20, 2023

Hooked on Phonics

When parents are focused on helping their child learn to read or gain reading proficiency, they explore different solutions and research available apps and reading programs. One popular reading program is Hooked on Phonics. This program’s catchy advertisements once proclaimed “Hooked on Phonics works for me!”

Readability is a newer reading tutoring program that offers extensive capabilities beyond Hooked on Phonics. In a comparison of Hooked on Phonics vs. Readability, parents should understand that these programs both help children learn to read but only one program provides tutoring functionalities for struggling readers, and only one of these programs can be used for older children.

Hooked on Phonics: Geared Towards Early Readers

The program Hooked on Phonics is designed for early readers in pre-k through second grade (ages 3 to 8). Hooked on Phonics was founded 35 years ago and teaches children the basic principles of reading, and the program is rooted in phonics education. Sounds, blends, and letter identification are the core of the program.

Hooked on Phonics offers an app that parents can use at home, and a subscription to the program also includes books and learning materials to encourage reading at home. Parents also receive ‘reward stickers’ to celebrate their child’s reading success.

The program’s success influenced the development of other learning apps/programs–Hooked on Spelling and Hooked on Math.

Hooked on Phonics

How Much is Hooked on Phonics?

Access to Hooked on Phonics requires a subscription. The first month is only $1. Each month after the introductory period is priced at $14.99; one subscription can be used for up to three readers. This monthly subscription includes unlimited access to the app as well as workbooks, reward stickers, and tips for parents.

Books and materials support each child’s progress on the app. As the child gains proficiency, they receive more advanced workbooks to further encourage their reading journey and progress.

What is Hooked on Phonics?

Hooked on Phonics was developed around 35 years ago in response to a father’s need to help his son learn to read. Today, the program guides reading instruction for children in pre-k through second grade.

How Does Hooked on Phonics Work?

As technology evolved so did Hooked on Phonics. The program includes ‘practice packs’ that children use at home to further develop their reading skills. These packs include books,  a workbook, support materials for parents, and reward stickers.

Workbooks are designed to help parents go through each phase of the program. Books further encourage the reading journey. In addition, a subscription includes questions about each book to help children work on comprehension.

The Limitations of Hooked on Phonics

Parents who are searching for programs to help their child learn to read might research Hooked on Phonics. While the program promises that children will be reading in 30 days, the program does not offer guided tutoring for struggling readers.

This means that parents must take the lead in helping their child gain reading fluency. What about children who struggle beyond the basics?

After a child reaches age 8 or second grade, Hooked on Phonics is no longer beneficial. Children who continue to struggle will only have access to materials through second grade. Older children who need help with reading do not have access to additional materials.

Hooked on Phonics is primarily designed to help children learn to read. It does not necessarily focus on helping children progress in their reading skills and boost their reading level (beyond second grade reading levels).

Hooked on Phonics

The Reading Journey Guided by Readability Tutor

Is there a reading program that grows with a child? Parents who want a reading program that their child can use and access throughout elementary school will discover that Readability Tutor is designed to help struggling readers continue to progress in their reading journey.

While Hooked on Phonics is designed for children in pre-k through second grade, Readability can be used from pre-k through sixth grade! For children who struggle with fundamental reading skills, this provides years of literacy support.

Parents also don’t need to stress about guiding the reading lessons. Readability’s unique program design incorporates a built-in reading tutor. How does the program work? Here’s what parents need to know about the capabilities and benefits of Readability!

Readability is Available for a Low Monthly Cost

Readability requires a monthly subscription for unlimited access to materials on the app. A subscription costs $19.99 per month. One subscription account can be used for up to three readers. The subscription includes access to all the features and benefits of Readability.

How Does Readability Work?

Readability is designed to adhere to the Science of Reading, reinforcing a child’s decoding skills through comprehensive phonics instruction. Readability teaches children to read via guided reading lessons. At each reading level of the program, children access a library of book titles in the program. Children read these books aloud via the program.

However, children never read alone. Readability’s unique benefit is that it offers a built-in AI tutor that guides lessons. The tutor is programmed with voice recognition software and learns each child’s voice. In this way, the tutor intuitively understands when a child is struggling to decipher a word and needs help. The tutor facilitates each reading lesson, providing guidance, feedback, and encouragement.

As children read aloud, the tutor also collects crucial reading data. The tutor calculates each child’s reading fluency (measured in words read per minute less errors) and leads a quiz at the end of each completed book to assess reading comprehension. However, when children take a reading comprehension quiz, the program teaches strategies to enhance comprehension.

If a child answers a question incorrectly, the tutor shows them a section of the story that provides clues about the answer; the tutor also reads this section aloud. The child receives another opportunity to answer the question.

Readability Emphasizes Vocabulary Reinforcement

Readability focuses on teaching each child the importance of increasing their personal word bank. Each story in the program includes a list of vocabulary words to help children expand their word identification. For younger readers and especially children in pre-k, vocabulary development is crucial to improving school readiness. One study noted that children whose parents read them five books per day started kindergarten knowing more than one million more words than children whose parents never read to them.

Readability helps even the playing field for children who don’t have access to books or storytime. In fact, Readability offers a Storytime feature that lets children listen to books read aloud to them. This feature combined with the vocabulary focus of the program can enhance a child’s reading readiness.

Readability Provides a Built-In Rewards System

Readability offers a built-in rewards system for all readers. As children read books aloud and complete tasks within the program, they collect stars. These stars can be used to purchase fun badges. Children will enjoy collecting stars to earn the badges that they wish to unlock.

Parents Always Understand Their Child’s Development and Progress

Does Readability work! Yes, and parents never have to wonder about their child’s progress. Readability includes a built-in dashboard that is only visible to parents. This dashboard includes all reading data for each child. Parents can view the child’s reading level, reading fluency, and reading comprehension mastery. Crucially, parents also can view how long their child used the program!

Try Readability for Free

Readability grows with a child’s reading abilities. Explore how Readability supports the reading journey from early pre-k through sixth grade. Sign up for a free seven-day trial period today!