Alpha Omega Horizons Phonics & Reading

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  • Reviewed on Tuesday, December 31, 2013
  • Grades Used: K, 2
  • Dates used: 2012; 2013-2014
I had a brilliant review that I lost! but hopefully this will be shorter at least.

Overall: I cannot see how this program teaches reading or phonics. The K program is very challenging. Could be good for review or summer work? After a year with another program my son is flying through 2nd grade first workbook. A good transition from decoding to more language arts based program. I think tailored a bit to mimic public school criteria (why the macron and breve? only reason I can think of is teaching dictionary skills; how to pronounce a word in a dictionary).

I initially started it with my 5 year old, non-reader, last year but dropped it for another program. Now that he knows most of his phonics he is flying through the first work book of grade 2: almost completed in 2 weeks. I'm letting him go until find his place, which might be second workbook as he will be challenged by syllables.

One reason I started him now in 2nd grade level, even though only 6 and otherwise kindergarten level is because the phonics seemed so repetitive to start at K or 1st grade. The writing is a bit challenging but I help but many second graders will be able to do worksheets on own (if skip the boring rules at top and just figure out from the lessons). My son loves workbooks and is catching on quick.

I only bought the first Robinson Crusoe reader and the two workbooks. I have not needed a teacher guide. For confusing pictures, my son might say what is that (and I figure think it is 'out' but he will say 'umpire' and I just let it slide). A couple of times the meaning is clearer later on and we just shrug and move on.

My son is very slow and halting reader, but seems to understand what reading. the previous program I used was given to me free. I didn't realize until I was nearly through and she told me that it was a remediation program, which makes sense given the edgy story content (although it did say appropriate for ages 4 and up). That program was Dancing Bears Reading Program. We did 3 books in ~7 months and it covered a lot of phonics BUT Horizon has covered some rules not in the other program which is good.

Because my son reads so haltingly and has very little staying power I was particularly interested in the reader. He was NOT a fan of some free readers I found online. Plus he likes to have 'a book' and since our previous program used a long story/book with short chapters style (read same story through 3 books but slowly growing in complexity, not more than 3 large print pages) the Robinson Crusoe drew me in. He is LOVING it!

I saw the older review wondering why the dated language and being annoyed over why they used it. The version used in Horizon is an actual 'real' book as noted in the reader. I saw it in the sample page footers: "Robinson Crusoe written anew for children" by James Baldwin. It was written in in 1905. You can read it free online at Baldwin Project but I recommend getting the Horizon reader! Because my kid at least loves to have a real book vs online reading, more modern colorful pictures; and gives it a more kid friendly feel.

Although I like the 2nd grade program so far, I can't imagine moving on to third grade since seems to be a lot of repetition. Hopeful that my child will be able to move on after this grade.


  • Reviewed on Tuesday, October 29, 2013
  • Grades Used: 2nd
  • Dates used: 2013
This is our first year homeschooling, and we are using Horizons Math & Reading/Phonics for my 2nd grader. I do NOT like this curriculum. The math is long and burdonsome, and the phonics is so confusing that I have to look at the TG all the time for the answers. Sometimes she asks questions, and I just have to tell her that "I don't know what that word means." And I have a Master's degree. Also the reading is written in "older" language, so it has a lot of outdated and complicated words. We will not be continuing this next year.


  • Reviewed on Saturday, March 10, 2012
  • Grades Used: K -2nd
  • Dates used: 2001-present
I've used this curriculum with all three of our kids. I did try another program with my eldest daughter when we started and quickly moved over to Horizons. We both found out we really liked it and she was reading in no time. I decided to stick with it with my next two kids and they also enjoyed doing it and learning from it. The really great thing is that all three of my kids absolutely LOVE to read, even my 7 year old son. So the local library is frequently visited by our family.

I have to say, the pics are the only thing that are hard to understand at times, and I too, use the Teacher's Manual for it.

We use the Horizons Math as well, and I'm excited to see that there is now a Level 3 Spelling & Vocabulary.

Thank you Alpha Omega for this curriculum. AWESOME!!!


  • Reviewed on Tuesday, November 8, 2011
  • Grades Used: 2nd
  • Dates used: August 2011- present
I was looking forward to using this curriculum this year. We used Horizons math last year and I think it is wonderful.
I have been disappointed with Horizons Phonics and Reading to say the least. I find the lesson overviews at the top of the page to be confusing and had to understand for a second grader. The "name the picture" section is confusing and I find myself having to look at the answers in the teachers manual just to figure out exactly what the picture is.
I am moving on to something else next year.