Reading Horizons Review

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Reading Horizons at Home is an online, interactive reading instruction program for all types of learners. For the past several months, we’ve been using the version for struggling readers ages 10 – adult.

(Psst…don’t miss the giveaway at the end of this review!)

Reading Horizons Review

If you’re a regular reader, you know that my son, Josh, has struggled with reading for many years and has recently been diagnosed with dyslexia. I was so excited for the opportunity to try the Reading Horizons at Home multi-sensory, step-by-step approach to reading instruction, particularly when I found out that it is Orton-Gillingham-based. (Orton-Gillingham is one of the most widely recognized methods of instruction for people with dyslexia.)

How does Reading Horizons work?

Reading Horizons starts with the very basics (you can set it to skip alphabet practice for an older student) by introducing letter groups of five – four consonants and one vowel at a time. Students practice blending sounds, marking vowels, and placing diacritical marks that help them decode more complex words.

Screen Shot 1

Reading Horizons uses a cyclical learning approach, so that as more letter groups are introduced, these new sounds are added to those that the student has already learned.

Josh liked that he could customize the program so that the instructor is either a male or female voice. I think he gets tired of being surrounded by females all day. {grin}

Because all of the instructions are explained verbally to the student, even a struggling reader can work on Reading Horizons independently, a wonderful benefit for both mom and student. This gives the child a feeling of independence and provides one-on-one reading instruction while freeing the teaching parent to work with other children.

Students must pass each level with at least a 75% before moving on. A yellow highlight shows them what they can work on next and won’t allow them to move on to the next section or level until they’ve completed each part of the current level.

Additionally, you can access detailed reports from the admin panel that show you how many errors your child had, how many attempts he made on each section, what his score was, and how much time he spent on each lesson. This provides a high level of accountability within the independence afforded by Reading Horizons.

One of the features that I really appreciated was practice with high frequency words to help with fluency in reading. Practice is accomplished in a variety of ways, such as clicking on a named word from a group of words, finding it hidden in a group of letters, or selecting the correct word to fill in a blank to complete a sentence.

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There is also regular vocabulary practice and, once students get past chapter one, my favorite feature – the library!

When they first get access to the library, students do a timed reading of a passage and answer comprehension questions to help assess their reading level. This unlocks a library filled with widely varied reading selections based on their current reading level. As his skill level improves, the student continues to unlock more complex reading choices.

Before he reads each selection, the student is presented with a list of challenge words found in the upcoming selection. He can click on any unfamiliar words to hear them read to him, so that he can more easily recognize them when they appear in the reading passage.

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Reading Horizons also covers things that I didn’t expect, such as grammar and punctuation.

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Who does Reading Horizons help?

Reading Horizons offers a variety of programs options for beginning readers, struggling readers, ESL students, and homeschooling families. As I said, we used the program designed for people ages 10 – adult who are struggling with reading.

Those of you who have a dyslexic child or suspect you may have are probably wondering if Reading Horizons is what you’ve been looking for to help your child succeed. I think that probably depends a lot of the child and the severity of his dyslexia.

Because of the severity of Josh’s dyslexia, I’m not sure Reading Horizons would be enough to help him without the explicit, one-on-one tutoring he’s currently receiving. However, it has been a wonderful complement to his therapy. The order of the concepts taught meshes well with what he’s doing in therapy and the extra practice reinforces skills that he needs for reading success.

I love that the Reading Horizons library provides high interest topics that are continually being adapted to his current reading level. It gives me added confidence in the amount of reading practice he’s getting each day.

You may recall that it was Brianna’s struggles with reading that initially led us to homeschool. While she has never been officially diagnosed with dyslexia, she has struggled with many of the same things that Josh has, though not quite severely as he has.

I wish I’d known about Reading Horizons when she was younger because I feel confident that it would have been an ideal solution for her without the benefit of additional therapy.

Josh Reading Horizons

Reading Horizons Helps

In addition to the online reading program, Reading Horizons offers a several free resources to help you help your child to succeed, including free webinars, assessments, games, and printable worksheets (under the “community” tab).

You can also follow the Reading Horizons blog, or find them on Facebook and Twitter.

Finally, don’t miss the Teaching Reading Twitter party Thursday night at 9PM (ET). Reading Horizons is the host and you’ll get tips on how to help your struggling reader and you’ll have the opportunity to win one of three subscriptions to Reading Horizons or one of these fun t-shirts:

Read Books shirt

More Reading Horizons Reviews

If you still have questions about what other homeschooling families have experienced with Reading Horizons, check out these reviews:

Reading Horizons Giveaway

You can enter right here to win a 180-day online subscription to Reading Horizons. Follow the directions on the RaffleCopter widget below to enter. This giveaway is open to anyone ages 18 years and older only.

Giveaway ends at 12:01 AM (ET) on Monday, August 27. The winner will be notified via email. The winner’s email will be supplied to Reading Horizons in order for the prize to be awarded, therefore, a valid email address is required to win. If a valid email address is not included in the entry, the prize will be forfeited and an alternate winner selected.

Click to read the complete rules. By entering this giveaway, you indicate that you have read and agreed to abide by these rules.

Oh, and those bloggers who also reviewed Reading Horizons? They’re each giving away a subscription, too! So, be sure to visit their blogs, read their reviews, and enter for more chances to win!

I received this product free for the purpose of reviewing it. I also received monetary compensation for the time invested in writing the review and administering the giveaway. The opinions expressed are my personal, honest opinions. Your experience may vary. Please read my full disclosure policy for more details.

This post contains affiliate links.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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  1. I have a son with Aspbergers and he struggles with reading a lot. I think this would be wonderful for him!

  2. My son struggles with reading. The curriculum that I have found is geared toward younger children and he is 12. It is an added bonus that it is on the computer because this is one of the most used media in our home. He learns better this way.

  3. I’d love to win this, as I’d never be able to afford it otherwise. This looks like a great tool for my struggling reader.

  4. This sounds like a great program to help my struggling reader! She is 11very years old and we are looking for a program to help her with her reading. Thank you for reviewing this program it sounds really good. We will be looking into it! 8)

  5. I would LOVE to use this with my son. He struggles so much with his reading. I’m actually going to go look into it, win or not! Thanks for the review.

  6. I would LOVE this for my almost 8 yr old. She’s dyslexic, too, and is struggling with the emotional aspect of how everyone else can read but she can’t! My mommy heart breaks! 🙁

  7. I am excited about this. One special needs adult, who has taught himself to read somewhat. But sadly, misdiagnosed as a young child…speech disability (how do you teach phonics to someone like that? )
    Love Orton-Gillingham method. Thanks for the reminder. (since my other children are readers. But we have one 14yo. Dx at just one day shy of 6 with Type 1 diabetes. I am afraid that roller coaster that was going on in her body did a number on her brain at the time. just at the age where she was ready to learn, brain cells were fatigued beyond anything. So she struggles. I want to encourage her to read more and want to help her learn.
    would love to win this.

  8. I would love to win this for my DD and DS! They both have struggled for so long. The program sounds wonderful!

  9. I would love to win this giveaway because my 2nd son is struggling to learn to read. It is a real fight everyday and I would really, really like to try something new to help him feel more at ease! I also am just starting to teach my 3rd son how to read and what better way?! Thanks for the chance to win!

  10. Thank you for the review. I have been looking for affordable at home options for dyslexia. We will be looking into this.

  11. ASW I read more and more about reading horizon it looks like a great fit for my 6 year who is struggling with reading. i like the fact that it covers reading from all levels thanks for sharing.

  12. This sounds so promising. I would loved to win this product as my 8 1/2 yo is struggling greatly with reading. He loves to do school work on the computer so I think he would really benefit from this resource. He was just telling me today that he might need to take a class to help him read;-)

  13. I would LOVE to win this for my 12 yo daughter. She has struggled with spelling for years and is now struggling with reading harder materials as she gets older. I think a product like this would help her tremendously!!! Thanks for the opportunity to win.

  14. My son was just diagnosed today with dyslexia…I am overwhelmed and would love to win to see if it would help him.

  15. This is perfect for my daughter adopted from China. Since she is ESL this program would be great to improve her reading skills.

  16. We used this program when my boys were little but would love to continue on with the older computer program for continued progress!

  17. I have a 12 year old struggling reader and a beginning reader (6 yo). I think this would be a great help to both of them.

  18. I would love to win this curriculum. I have an 8 year old who has been diagnosed with dyslexia. She uses Barton Reading, but this looks like it would compliment it nicely.

  19. My sweet 10 yo daughter adopted 2 years ago from Africa is struggling with her English and her reading. This looks like it might help her improve both.

  20. I’d love to win this program. My sixth grade son continues to struggle with reading and spelling, and I honestly don’t know what else to try.

  21. I’m looking for something for my 7 yr old daughter. she doesn’t do well with “sit down and do worksheets” type of learning. So most of her learning to read has come from us reading together. I would like to have something so that I can see what she still needs work on, and possible progress a little faster.

  22. I would like to win because my 7YO daughter is stubborn when it comes to learning to read. She acts like it’s boring and she doesn’t want to do it. I know that she can read, just not to the best of her abilities.

  23. My daughter loves to use the computer. I think this would be something she would enjoy and help her with reading strategies.

  24. I have a 10 year old who has really struggled with reading. I suspect dyslexia but have never had him testing. Would love to find a curriculum that helps him learn and gain confidence in reading!

  25. My son is showing signs of dyslexia and I’ve heard great things about this program. I would love a chance to try it out!

  26. 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. Thanks for the wonderful review!

  27. I’ve already spent all of my curriculum money for this year! Boo hoo! I want to give this a try with my son. I’ve decided to not have him diagnosed, but I suspect he has a low level of dyslexia and I would love to see him be able to read better thanks to this program!

  28. I am interested in winning this because I also have dealt with a child with dyslexia and am always looking for products to help my child. We have 7 children and a family history of dyslexia (Dad, Grandpa and Aunt) Only one of our seven has shown signs of it, but I still have a 2yo and would love to have a good resource ready when it comes to teaching her to read. Thanks!

  29. Besides struggling with dyslexia, my granddaughter and her dad both have “scotopic sensitivity” which also makes reading a challenge. Many dyslexic adults have this and don’t know it. It is also called Irlen syndrome. Colored transparencies over the book pages help. Also changing the font and background settings on a computer screen can make a big difference. She reads with a black background and whilte lettering. We have a great tutor and have seen a big improvement in my 10 yr old granddaughter’s reading skills over the last year.

  30. I’m curious to know which other system of tutoring is/was your son receiving? My son is dyslexic and is tutored with the Barton method. I had wanted him to use this as a supplement to his tutoring as well, but someone at Reading Horizons said it might be confusing for him since Barton and RH use different methods of marking words. I’d appreciate a quick response if possible, since RH is having a sale that ends 9/1….tomorrow! Thanks!

    1. Hi, Janine. That’s been so long that I don’t recall exactly what all we were using at the time. We’ve used a lot over the years, trying to find what would work best for my son. Reading Horizons is an excellent program, as is Barton. We ultimately found great success with Lexercise. My son is severely dyslexic and tutoring with Lexerise is what finally flipped the switch for him. You can find reviews of the service on my reviews page (linked in the tab at the top of the page) if you’d like to learn more. I hope that helps.

  31. I have recently purchased the Elevate at Home program for my two oldest sons (13 and 14), who have always struggled with spelling and writing (reading is fairly decent for both.) We have not had them tested yet (to diagnose their learning challenge- which is possibly APD) but I believe that this method of laying a strong foundation by learning (re-learning) phenomes and sounds will help them both. They took an assessment “test” on site, and I assume it will help with placement (or where the program begins)?! However, they both had to start at lesson 1, and while I think it can’t hurt to “review the basics”- they both think they are learning preschool work again! I try to tell them that this is just a “review” to make sure their foundation is strong, and it will build up from here, but they are still being resistant. Any suggestions or ideas to help make this a positive learning experience?

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