March 01, 2019
Reading Horizons Review: Penelope Steward
I found that when Reading Horizons was used in a first grade classroom, we had more kids’ progress consistently and in step with the other students than with any other program because it hit on all of the modalities. The sight learners and context learners weren’t left behind, but it still appealed to the auditory learners. The few kids that did lag a little were able to easily go back and review the program.
I used Reading Horizons with emerging readers--truly the most sensible approach to introducing phonics--and found that all the students in a class profit from this approach (in contrast to most traditional phonics programs). Most surprisingly, I took older students (upper elementary through adult), and went through the program with them, as well. For most, it finally provided a way to make phonics "make sense" in ways that multiple other methods simply requiring them to memorize sound/symbol associations did not. I saw dramatic improvements not only in their reading decoding skills, but also in their spontaneous spelling. When they learned the vowel rules, they would look at their own spelling and say “no it can’t be spelled that way.” I could eliminate a lot of spelling errors just by teaching the 5 phonetic skills. I saw a lot of improvement in spelling and reading just with the first few basic concepts we taught. I think it’s a fantastic program. I’ve worked with students of all ages with the program and it works for everyone.
I believe that Reading Horizons is enormously powerful and easy to integrate into any grade/skill level. It is really one of the most genuinely effective programs in the ever-widening (and often confusing) sea of methods and materials competing for precious financial resources. I applaud your continued evolution of this program and hope others will find the same success I have with it as I have.