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Reading Horizons for Struggling Readers

Today's post is a review for Reading Horizons. In my last post I told you the story of how we discovered Laurent's dyslexia and how we are dealing with that in a homeschool learning environment.

Reading Horizons is the program we are currently using to help our dyslexic son learn to read.

What is Reading Horizons?

Reading Horizons is a full spectrum English language literacy program, i.e. reading instruction. The company offers software and direct instructional materials to support reading instruction from beginner to struggling adults in both school and home settings.

The program we are using specifically is the Reading Horizons At Home Ages 10 to Adult online software.

Our Experience with Reading Horizons

I was asked earlier this spring to try Reading Horizons and potentially write a review. This was an interesting development since I don't normally use a lot of packaged materials for our elementary homeschool curriculum, which I explained in this post. Nor do I write a lot of product reviews.

It's very ironic then that at the time I was asked to try this product I was looking for something to help Laurent with his reading.

Even so, I was hesitant. I had never heard of Reading Horizons and wasn't sure exactly what I'd be getting myself and Laurent into if we agreed to try it.

I'm glad I decided to give it a go. And very pleased this program landed in our laps, quite literally, when it did. It's just what we needed and at the right time.

Program Specifics

We are using the online version of the Ages 10 to Adult software. Reading Horizons also offers hardcopy software.

All you need is an internet connection and the online software does all the teaching and record keeping for you. Each time we login the program remembers where we are and guides us through the lessons. I don't have to plan, prepare or otherwise teach any aspect.

Our subscription gives us access to the online software for a full year. I can set up accounts for multiple students but we're only actively using the program for Laurent. Brienne follows along for fun.

I'll let you explore the Reading Horizons site for yourself to see what the program actually teaches. That's beyond the scope of this review.

What I like about Reading Horizons

1. It's working.

The most important thing in my mind it that Reading Horizons is working for our son. What do I mean by that exactly? Laurent's reading skills, both in the sessions and in day to day living are improving, noticeably.

I can't say Reading Horizons will work for your struggling reader. There are so many other factors in helping struggling learners, including excellent nutrition, overall home environment, adequate physical activity, etc. I can't guarantee Reading Horizons will work for you like it has for us but the company offers a Free Trial as well as 100% satisfaction guarantee. You can't lose.

2. Great support.

I had a lot of reservations about using Reading Horizons. Most of my reservations relate to the fear and uncertainty I feel as parent helping my dyslexic son learn to read. It's scary and unknown territory. So add an unfamiliar computer program on top of that and ack! I was very cautious.

The Reading Horizons representative I've worked with has been very helpful. Maybe it's just because I'm writing this review! I like to think this kind of support is available for all their customers - I sure hope so.

Reading Horizons also offer free webinar language training for parents. I was all set to do a dyslexia specific training session this June but our Montréal plans got in the way. I like having access to this support, especially as a home educator with limited access to professional development and training. 

3. The program does all the work.

This is huge benefit for a busy homeschooling parent. I've tried for years to help Laurent learn to read. I chronicled all that in my previous post. I reached the point where I needed help.

With Reading Horizons, not only do I get help, but I don't have to research, prepare, or teach any lessons. I do however, sit down with Laurent for each of his sessions, to watch his progress for myself and to guide him if he's confused with the user interface.

4. Learner-directed pace and parent overrides.

I was really hesitant about using a computer program because it's important to me that Laurent goes at his own pace. Reading Horizons totally allows for that. Our strategy is to do 1/2 hour sessions, four times a week. We haven't kept to this strictly with all our traveling and our move this summer but because the program requires no prep on my part (yeehaw!) and is online, we can pick it up whenever and wherever we have an internet connection.

What I also appreciate about Reading Horizons is that I can override sections. Now, this isn't recommended and I've only done it once but this is important in my mind. The program has to fit the learner, not the other way around. Reading Horizons is very structured and I want Laurent to proceed sequentially through all the lessons, but I also feel as the parent I should have control to do what's best for my child. This is why I homeschool after all!

5. The choice of online or hardcopy.

I like using an online version because it's less clutter in my home and less stuff I have to store and maintain. However, this limits me to one year of access. I'm not sure about renewal fees. I'm pretty sure we'll be through the program within one year though.

6. The technology works.

Call me quaint but I am amazed that the technology to deliver such high quality instruction right into our home actually works. I love the internet. We haven't experienced any problems with the software, which I appreciate considering I don't need to complicate this process any more than necessary for my struggling reader.

Giveaway

I'm so excited to partner with Reading Horizons to offer a giveaway of the online reading program for Ages 10 to Adult. The same product we've been using.

The winner of this giveaway will get a 180 day subscription to the program, a value of $179! This is fabulous deal.

If you decide to buy the program I think the one year subscription is a better price, for just $20 more you get a whole year of access to the program.

Because this is an online program this giveaway is open to residents all over the world. Yippee for online resources!

To enter your name in the giveaway just leave a comment.  This giveaway is now closed.

Want more chances to win?

I am writing this review in collaboration with some other wonderful homeschool bloggers. There are ten of us all together, sharing our experiences and offering the giveaway.

Each of these homeschool bloggers offer her own unique perspective on Reading Horizons. So, if you're not sure this is the right program for your family, check out what the other homeschoolers have to say. And be sure to enter their giveaways also!

If you're a social media person there is a twitter party happening August 30th. This is an online gathering hosted by iHomeschoolNetwork and sponsored by Reading Horizons. There will be discussion about motivating reluctant readers, ways to boost reading comprehension, and strategies to help struggling readers. And there's prizes (smile).

The giveaway for the 180 day subscription ends Monday, August 27th. 

Giveaway now over, but you can still get a trial version of Reading Horizons. 

As I mentioned already, I was given Reading Horizons for review. I was also compensated for my time in writing this review. I just signed on as a Reading Horizons affiliate. (I was pleasantly surprised to find out they had an affiliate program. I love being an affiliate for products and services our family uses and recommends.) You can read my full disclosure and privacy policy here.

Resources: 

20 August 12

Comments

This would be a great program

This would be a great program for my struggling 12 year old son. He would like to read better but we have not found a program that would work for him. This looks amazing and would be right up his alley.

I could really use this for

I could really use this for my youngest daughter (aged 13) that I homeschool. When she was in public schools, nobody knew how to help her and all they would give her were 1st and 2nd grade books...mostly 1st grade (even in 3-5th grade) they would get mad when she checked out books not at her level and she would get upset that they wouldn't allow her to get the books she wanted to "read" from the library.Since out of school and at home,she has learned to read b/c of my allowing her to get whatever books she wants to read,I don't care if they are adult books, but she still struggles with reading comprehension and has speech problems,so I would love to win this to have my daughter get the help she needs to gain even more confidence in reading and being able to tell us what she read so that we can enjoy the books through her.This sounds like such a great program and I hope that whoever wins it really benefits from it!

It's been such a comfort to

It's been such a comfort to know that I'm not the only homeschooling mom with a struggling reader. I've been trying a few new things with her, but I'm willing to give yet another product a go!

Thank you for continuing to

Thank you for continuing to share your resources Renee. My husband would love to try the adult program as reading is continually a struggle for him. Thanks for the opportunity to win!

Great post and review! I have

Great post and review! I have used 100 easy lessons and Ordinary Parents guide on and off lol. This curriculum looks very easy to use. Would help jump start our fall semester.

Thank you for sharing such an

Thank you for sharing such an in-depth review. This sounds like an excellent program. I have one older child who was a delayed reader & still struggles with spelling and comprehension, and a younger child who is just learning to read. We'd love to give this a try - thank you for the opportunity!

We were going to a speech

We were going to a speech pathologist for a month or so. It was a continuation of the work the on-line school was paying for. The drive was all the way across town and insurance denied our claim which means that we are out the $800 we paid for their services. We need to try another program and I totally trust your opinion. Solomon turned 10 in April. I am going to put my name in all the other blogs for a chance to win too! I'm hoping! Thank you Renee! xo

My oldest son would really

My oldest son would really benefit from this. He has some reading struggles and I was not sure what I was going to do to help him, and then I saw these reviews. Thank you for taking the time to review this so that we can see how it is working for you.

I would like to see

I would like to see documentation about work with teen and adult readers. It sounds like a hopeful solution for those students who come to school with few skills. I am looking for an internet alternative.

I'd really, really like to

I'd really, really like to try this program with my sixth grade homeschooled son. He's still struggling, especially with reading comprehension and spelling. I don't really know what to do to help him anymore. :(

I have a 10 year old who has

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!

Thanks for reviewing! This

Thanks for reviewing! This looks like a great program to help my struggling readers. 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.

Really interested in this

Really interested in this program seems like something that would really help with the homeschooling process in are family. We have 6 children so are always looking for things that make school easier.

Pingback

[...] days I do reading and spelling instruction with Laurent using Reading Horizons. Almost always someone has a question we will research an answer to. Every week, or every other [...]

If this has not already been

If this has not already been given away I would love to win this program to work with a 12 year old who has an acquired brain injury and is struggling to read. I believe that it would be a great supplement to his program.

Renee, thank you SO much for

Renee, thank you SO much for taking the time to write this and for testing out this programme! My middle son is 13 years old and Dyslexic. We are constantly frustrated at how Children's Literature authors just don't seem to write for struggling readers... the level vs content for Dyslexic kids are so disjointed and 'baby' books are the last thing requried to inspire the love of reading!!! As we're a year late, I guess there's no chance of winning LOL but I'm going off to the site now to have a squizz and hopefully (prayerfully) this is the answer we've been searching for...

From one Moma to another..... T...H...A...N...K    Y...O...U <3 Hugs from South Africa xxx

 

So glad to hear about the

So glad to hear about the success of this program!  We've had amazing success with our son by changing his diet (glad you alluded to it in your post).  We started a special diet 18 months ago to see if we could recover our son from Asperger's (BEDROK = Body Ecology Diet Recovering Our Kids)... It sounded too good to be true, but thought we'd give it a shot since I didn't find any families online testifying that it was a quack cure, instead finding a number of testimoninals of dramatic life change. I'm thrilled to report that it has worked for us too!  But what we didn't expect was an added bonus: cultured vegetables combat his dyslexia.  If he eats too much natural fruit sugar in a given day the dyslexic tendencies come back and reading is almost impossible... he reverses lines, letters, words jump around the page, or when writing he mirrors entire lines of text then argues that it is correct.  But if he eats about 1/4 cup of the cultured veggies that we make (very inexpensively), he comes back in 90-120 minutes and is able to read and write fluently.  As a certified teacher with Special Ed qualifications I could hardly believe what I was seeing first hand - but we've had consistent success with this nutritional trick since we realized back in August it was the reason for his fluctuating reading abilities.  He is now one of the most prolific writers in his class, and scored an A- in reading on his report card!?!  I wish I'd known about this years ago!  Just had to share in case it's helpful for others too.

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