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Let me start by emphasizing that I am not a doctor, speech pathologist or el-guru of anything of the sorts. I am a mom. I am a mom who feels I know my children better than anyone, and who has great accountability and counsel in my life. If I have learned one thing by homeschooling, it is do not press a child to do anything he is not ready for.
A few months ago, I was asked through the iHomeschool Network to take a look at Reading Horizons.
I have shared that Maggie-Peyton was a late reader. Years of speech therapy and a dash of maturity, she speaks more clear than she once did, but it is still ‘different’ -
Her speech and her delay in reading? Yes – they go hand in hand.
We have had her hearing tested a number of times and all tests were within normal range.
When I first glanced at Reading Horizons, I was intrigued. While I am not a huge fan of ‘let us fix it’ programs, this was different.
Their site stated that Reading Horizons is written to tailor to children with any learning style – visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and tactile modalities.
Visual – It offers large visual screens and images.
Auditory – It offers a human voice audio. Choose the voice of Andrea or Jay.
Tactile - The child uses the mouse while participating in the program.
Kinesthetic – The child is doing everything at once.
After launch, the child must move through the lessons sequentially. Once a lesson is complete, he may review any or all of the lesson, but never move ahead until progress is shown. The instructor, or in our case Mom, may override a lesson at any time. I read there is an option to test-out; I want Maggie-Peyton to review as much as possible. Regardless how simplistic many of the beginning lessons may have seemed for her.
If anything, it helped to build confidence.
According to their website, Reading Horizons is a great option for students with special needs, such as those suffering from dyslexia.
Two cons I have found with this program thus far::
1. The user must have a microphone on his computer. While most laptops have a mic built in with the camera, desk tops are another story.
2. I would like for the replay button to be extended. Or better yet, the option to drag the cursor to the exact point of the video I would like to review and not be limited to the program’s default.
What’s offered in addition?
Vocabulary lessons. And for grades 4-12, a library with more than 225 fictional passages that are followed by reading comprehension questions. You can see a sample of them here on the Reading Horizons website. Phonetic games and activities and free vocabulary lists are also offered.
Each chapter throughout the program has a test at the end to evaluate progress.
The program begins with making the child thoroughly understand the alphabet. Five letter sets are introduced.
You will notice the letters C and K are introduced in the fifth letter set, as it is emphasized that one must first learn all of the vowel sounds first.
C – is always followed by a o u
K is always followed by a e or i
Why I was most intrigued by this program?
To sum it up – Blends.
That is one of, if not the, biggest struggles we have.
When asked how she feels she learns better, Mag said hearing. She rather hear something from me than read it. Which makes it even more important that what she is hearing is clear and concise.
Maggie-Peyton spells words like she hears them.
Since this program uses all of the senses at the same time – it makes it very visually friendly when teaching a blend such as TH, as well as auditory.
Not only does she hear it pronounced correctly, she sees the letters on the screen together. Her brain coordinates the two.
As intentional as I am (or try to be) when emphasizing certain words to her, I speak Arkansas. With a twang.
Maggie-Peyton needs Reading Horizons.
To sum up Reading Horizons in Mag’s words, It’s fun. I like doing it.
And in the life of a ten year old? What is better than that?
Now, who wants to win a subscription to Reading Horizons? Use the Rafflecopter below to enter….
Join Reading Horizons for a free webinar on August 26 about spelling and vocabulary instruction and for a Twitter party on August 30 at 9p EST.
For more info about this great program, check out their website or join Reading Horizons on Facebook and Twitter.
Visit these other sites for more reviews of Reading Horizons::
Rebecca at Mom’s Mustard Seeds
Aadel at These Temporary Tents
Renee at FIMBY
Connie at Smockity Frocks
Kris at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers
Jamie at See Jamie Blog
Kela at Pursuing What is Excellent
Richele at Under the Golden Apple Tree
Marianne at Abundant Life