I worked for 20 years in Oregon as a special ed teacher and then as an administrator (most of the time as Director of Special Programs) before moving to Idaho. I had actually retired, but when I got to Idaho, I was convinced to work five more years as a teacher in the small rural district of Bruneau/Grand View. It was there that we had an in-service presentation that introduced Reading Horizons program.
Frankly, after all my years (and two master's degrees), I heaved a huge sigh when told that we were going to be introduced to a new phonics program. I have been around long enough to see many come and go (often more than once) and found that any given program will work well for some students, so-so for some and not at all for others because of differences in learning modalities of individual students. I was honestly hoping that the coffee was going to be decent and plentiful... But I was hooked the first five minutes. It was completely sensible. I really did learn something new. I quickly tuned into the unique sequence and presentation of Reading Horizons. Having had a speech pathology undergrad base, I really like the way the program focuses upon phoneme distinction (as opposed to just pinning single sound to a letter as is done traditionally and then having to explain later why "a" doesn't always say the same sound). Incorporating the structure of phonics generalizations and illustrating them with examples gives the "why" of language structure to contextual learners. The key to success, in my observation, is the process of using the marking system to analyze the words. This appeals to the visual and kinesthetic learners and taps into multiple modalities.