Reading Horizons Review


:: this post may contain affiliate links. read my full disclosure policy

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.

How?

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.

yellow

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.

vocabulary lessons

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.

5 sets of sounds
The child then begins to combine sounds, identifying letter groups and forming basic words.

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.

Seriously.

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….

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

Disclosure: I received Reading Horizons at no cost for a review of my personal opinion. Although I have been compensated for my time, all opinions are honest and a reflection of the use of the product by our home.
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Comments

  1. I would love to win this for the simple fact that I haven’t found a good way to help my son. It’s almost a fight to get him to sit down and try to read. He doesn’t like to because he isn’t the greatest at it. I think if I were to win this (since I most definitely couldn’t afford it), it would help my son tremendously and build his confidence up! I HOPE I win!!! =D

  2. I would love to with a copy of Reading Horizons. This sounds like just what my kids could use to improve their reading skills.

  3. I hadn’t heard of this one yet! (Which is surprising to me, as I’ve been researching reading help like mad for the past year or two…)
    I do have one struggling reader who could probably really benefit from a program like this- thanks for the honest review!

  4. I would love to win this for my 10 year old son who isn’t reading yet, thanks

  5. This is great! My little girl has speech delays and my boy is showing slight signs of dyslexia. I would LOVE to have a reading program that would cater to both of their needs.

  6. I would love to win this for my 12 year old son who struggles with reading. This program would fit with his learning style. He learns better with an interactive media rather then traditional books.

  7. My 12yo daughter has severe dyslexia and is only reading at a 1.5 level. I have spent countless hours and dollars trying to find ways to help her. We don’t have insurance and a private tutor is out of the question, so this software could possibly help her gain some confidence and improve her reading level. I just can’t afford to buy it on my own, so winning it would be a huge blessing to us.

  8. Mandy Nelson says:

    This sounds promising for my 8yo DD who gets frustrated while reading and will spews incorrect words instead of SOUNDING THEM OUT.

  9. This might really help my daughter!

  10. my youngest would benefit from Reading Horizons.

  11. I would love to win this for my four-year-old! I have been wondering what to do to help her learn how to read!

  12. I would love a computer reading program for my middle child.

  13. I would love to try this with my struggling reader. We need a change of pace in reading instruction.

  14. I would love to win this for my son. Thanks

  15. What a great program I am headed over soon to start the trial for my middle son D who is a struggling reader thanks for sharing.

  16. I have a struggling reader who’s siblings would benefit as well.

  17. Thanks for sharing. I think this program would work well with my son.

  18. My son was just diagnosed today with dyslexia…would love for him to try this out.

  19. This program would work great for my two daughters. They are both ESL and this would help them with their reading skills.
    Thanks

  20. Great review! I’m all for fun when teaching my kids. I have a son who was diagnosed with dyslexia in January and it’s too expensive to take him to speech which we did for a month and caved ($800 ouch). I could also use the program with my first grader!

  21. Trena Naccarato says:

    My oldest son would greatly benefit from this to help his fluency and his spelling. He is reluctant to read out loud because he can’t always read as well as others, although he knows all the words.

  22. My sixth grade son needs a lot of practice, some with spelling and a lot with comprehension skills. My hope is that Reading Horizons could help him catch up so that his schoolwork isn’t such a struggle for him.

  23. My almost 11 year old son has dyslexia so this would be great for him.

  24. Amy Oliver says:
    • Amy Oliver says:

      Sorry- meant to post that my son has been a struggling reader for years, and I would love to see if this would help him.

  25. I have completely taken granted my ability to read with ease, until I became a teacher/mother. Wow, this program looks incredible! I’m just thankful to have it brought to my attention.

  26. My 5yo is an advanced reader, but was recently analyzed as being a whole-word/context reader. She enjoys online learning, so this could be a really good fit for her?

  27. I have 9 & 12 yr old boys who struggles w/ reading

  28. Would love to win this!

  29. I love this idea! It would be a great addition to our homeschoool

  30. Jacqui Hodgkins says:

    This would be amazing to have for my son.

  31. Thanks for the review! This looks like a great program to help my struggling readers. Of my six children, three have some form of learning disability causing reading to be a struggle and creating lots of frustration. I am really looking forward to using the trial to see if this is the product that will help push 2 of them past the constant frustrations.

  32. Hi! Just wondering if you would be willing to give a progress report on using Reading Horizons. We homeschool our 3 boys who all struggle with spelling but our oldest we believe has dyslexia. If you are willing, I’d really like to know how your child(ren) are progressing with this program. Thank you!!!

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