Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

PocketPhonics Stories

PocketPhonics Stories

Spring 2016 Mobile Apps
Ages: 4 - 7 yrs.
Download Price: $13.99
Platform: iPad

Pocket Phonics Stories, intended for children aged four to seven years, teaches phonics via twelve groups of letter sounds each followed by a set of stories using only those sounds. Within the story, children can tap unfamiliar words and receive assistance sounding out the letters. If still unable to decode the word, they can tap again and hear the word read with a corresponding picture given. This grants children independence and responsibility for their own learning. At the completion of each story, the child's mastery is tested.

The app specifically teaches writing letters in print and cursive, seventy-two letter sounds, and blending of letter sounds to create words. As recommended by both Montessori and many other educational experts, letter names are not presented at this time in the learning process.

According to the app's developers, most children over the age of four who use the app for a minimum of fifteen minutes a day will be able to read the first series of storybooks within ten weeks. Although our review period is not that long, we are unable to support the claims. However, we can report our young testers' sustained engagement. And that goes a long way.

Parents can monitor their children's progress to see which letter groups/stories they have completed, the letters with which their children are struggling, and so forth. And, a certificate is emailed to parents when their children complete a task. Small rewards such as these are great fortifiers for continued use of the app.

This app, which aligns with Common Core and mimics how phonics and reading are taught in school, is an affordable and effective way for children to learn and practice basic phonics and early reading skills.

Sharon Heuscher   ©2016 Parents' Choice
Sharon holds B.A.s in English Literature and Ancient Studies as well as a B.S. in Psychology. She is currently a masters-level trainee in Clinical Psychology specializing in neurodegenerative diseases. For the past thirteen years, Sharon has focused primarily on raising, educating, and nurturing her five children who range in age from three to thirteen.

Look for this product at:
Apps In My Pocket
Available on iTunes

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