Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Horizons Phonics and Reading Grade 1 AOP *Review

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Alpha Omega Publications has been a constant in our homeschool career. We started out with their Life Pac program and moved into Switched on School house. Alpha Omega Publications is multi faceted with a variety of programs to help the homeschool family. I had never tried Horizons and was excited to try it out with Maverick, who is struggling with his reading.

We opted to try Horizons 1st Grade Phonics & Reading Set even though Maverick is just starting 2nd grade. I'm really glad we didn't aim further because this was enough of a challenge for him. He is behind, but the repetition in Horizons is extremely helpful.
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When I first saw the reader, and the amount of words for him I panicked! Then I read in the teacher guide that the student doesn't read it on his own until about the 40th lesson..(wipes off forehead). Had me worried there because there weren't too many words he would know. I chose to pick out 2 words in each story that seemed repeated and had him read those words when my finger was under it. He enjoyed it and it kept his interest in the story. The story is only 2 or 3 pages long, very short. There are comprehension questions at the end as well. This helped me see if he was paying attention.

The teacher guide has everything you need to teach your lesson. Horizons is very teacher friendly. For those who enjoy the traditional kind of schooling, this really will match up perfectly. Very similar to what they use in traditional Christian schools. We don't tend to be traditional in many things, but with our struggles in reading I found that we needed to go back to 'old school' methods to work on phonics and reading with a lot of repetition.

Each lesson has several worksheets. The student starts out writing beginning, ending and middle sounds of the objects. Using upper and lower case letters. Then we started learning short vowel sounds and moving into long vowel sounds. The lessons were colorful and had a variety that helped Maverick stay engaged. We weren't always able to get through the 3 or 4 pages in the lesson so we would just continue the next day. I didn't want to overwhelm him and sometimes 4 workbook pages was a bit too much. For the first 10 lessons, only 2 pages involved writing, and the other 2 would be reading pages using the new sounds that were learned. We tried to do at least one written and one reading one per lesson. There were days when he seemed more focused and we could get through the entire lesson. Other days his mind was off somewhere else so we did half and came back to it either later the same day or the next day.
Later after lesson 10 there were typically 3 or 4 pages of written work. He scoffed at that so we had to scale back some. He isn't a big book work kind of kid. Sometimes I would do the writing for the last page to give him a break, and so we could get through the lesson.

There are 160 lessons and 16 tests so 176 days if you do one daily. We have a 180 day school year so we need to try to work through an entire lesson per day.

There are 2 student workbooks and readers along with the teacher guide. This gives you a full year of Horizon Phonics and Reading. The workbooks are consumable but you would be able to reuse the readers and teacher guide for further students.

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