What I like about Reading Horizons is that it teaches the fundamentals of reading. As high school teachers, we are told that HS students just need better vocabulary or improved comprehension to be better readers. I know I was turned down for many phonics workshops and trainings because I was a high school teacher and "didn't need" them. But if students have gone to school for 8+ years and still haven't matured as readers, they are probably missing fundamental skills, the decoding and spelling skills that allow a student to READ the word or write the word. Reading Horizons provides practice in these skills.
The second thing I like about Reading Horizons is that the computer does the individualization for me. It also allows the students to repeat and practice as many times as is necessary for mastery. I'm not great at either of those things. I have a huge range of abilities in my classroom, so to reach each student individually every day is an overwhelming task. Fortunately, the computer does that for me. I'm also not the world's most patient teacher. I don't want to repeat and practice skills as much as certain students need. Again, the computer program saves me.
The most important reason I love Reading Horizons is what they call "Reverse Listening." Every day the students must stand up, listen to, and write words that correspond to that day's lesson. It gets high school students out of their seats, making the learning more active, and it makes it impossible for any student to hide. I can look around the room and see immediately who is writing correctly and who isn't. Adjustments and corrections can be done immediately and easily. Often the student next to them will nudge his neighbor to fix something. The students like to hear from each other why they marked a word that way, and how they knew to do it. We are all standing along the perimeter of the room during this activity, so we're more equalized than when students are sitting and I'm standing and instructing. This is the most valuable part of Reading Horizons for me.
As you know, reading and writing require many skills. So I use different programs in my class to address those various skills. But a solid foundation in phonics underpins all other reading and writing skills. So for that, I heartily recommend Reading Horizons.
Students like Reading Horizons because they feel like it explains hidden rules to them. Most are embarrassed about being poor readers and terrible spellers. They really respond when they find out they can apply the rules and spell multisyllabic words perfectly. They are still not happy about reading out loud, but they are more confident readers after having worked in this program. At the end of each year, and we did a trial of RH at the end of last year, I have students describe what they like and don't like about the programs I use. It helps me know which ones to lobby for when next year's funding decisions come up. Reading Horizons gets a lot of positive responses from the students. They like learning the rules, playing the games (and this has worked well with some very low students) and that there are lots of topics in the library they can choose from. Some even tell me that they don't want to stand up and spell, but that if they just try they end up learning. ELL students really like that part, since it gives them a chance to refine their listening. (Those short vowels are hard to discriminate among.)