Reading Horizons Elevate and Discovery - A Full Review of the At-Home Reading Program
If you are considering a reading program to teach your child how to read at home, and are looking at the Reading Horizons Elevate or the Reading Horizons Discovery programs (depending on the age of your child), then you've stopped by the right place!
In this article, I'll take you through all the details, reviews, and research I've found to help you decide if the Reading Horizons at-home program is for you.
As an affiliate, I may earn from qualifying purchases from links you click in this article. You can learn more about that here.
First, let me tell you that there is a $10 trial for the Reading Horizons at-home online portion of the program! For 30 days, you can give it a shot, or look it over to see if it is right for you.
I'll talk more about the trial further below, but before I dive into details, you can grab that for yourself for $10 to see what I'm talking about in the article.
>> Reading Horizons $10 for a 30 day trial << (Use THAT link to get the 30 days!)
Reading Horizons At-Home: Elevate (Ages 10 to Adult)
Here is just a quick summary of what the Reading Horizons Elevate program entails:
- Access to online software for one year (each additional year is $50)
- Lessons for reading skills in phonics, decoding, grammar, and alphabet.
- Reading progress assessment materials
- Sight word (high frequency word) lessons
- Vocabulary lessons (over 10,000 terms)
- Library of decodable, leveled reading passages (over 330)
- Student workbooks
- Teacher's manuals (particularly good for parents of older struggling readers)
- Practice cards
- Reading reference posters
What is Reading Horizons?
Reading Horizons is a company that provides instructional tools for teachers in the classroom and at home to teach reading, with methods and materials that are based in research to help teachers and students understand the building blocks of reading. Reading Horizons uses a multi-sensory, phonetic approach to teaching reading.
From their website, their instruction helps activate several areas of the brain for reading by including visual, auditory, and kinesthetic cues that allow students to make the connections needed for meaningful interactions with text.
Teachers love Reading Horizons because the curriculum is helpful for struggling readers, as well as for all learning readers.
In addition to the curriculum they have created for classroom teachers, Reading Horizons now has a wonderful curriculum set for homeschool teaching. These are included on their at-home solutions web page.
So if you are looking to use Reading Horizons for homeschooling, you'll want to know more about their two main products: The Discovery Program (Ages 4-9), or the Elevate Program (ages 10+).
I'll go into details and reviews for each program below, and then answer FAQ's below that. You can jump to any specific questions you have using the Table of Contents (below the video).
You can see in the video below a little more detail about the systematic way that Reading Horizons teaches reading.
Table of Contents
Reading Horizons Elevate Reviews
I'll give you a summary of several areas online where people leave reviews for the Reading Horizons Elevate program, from a compilation of hundreds of reading specialists, to other online reviews I've found, plus all the Amazon reviews.
From Reading Specialists -
I've been a member of several reading specialist groups on Facebook for years now, and I love to hear how different groups of reading teachers look upon various curriculum.
Overwhelmingly, I saw only positive comments from reading teachers regarding Reading Horizons. In the war between "whole language" and "phonics driven" instruction (spoiler alert - phonics wins!), reading teachers love the Reading Horizons program because it is a systematic, phonics-driven system of teaching reading. So that is a definite plus.
The few cons listed from reading teachers on these threads included there being a small learning curve to understand the instruction technique, a lack of resources for phonemic awareness (although the phonics material is good), and perhaps that it can be a little bit dull or monotonous.
From Amazon customers:
I read through all the reviews given by folks who bought individual workbooks that would supplement. All reviews were positive, excepting any who had issues with shipping or product damage, etc.
Other Reviews Online:
There are lots of good reviews for the Reading Horizons Elevate program throughout the internet if you are doing your research before you buy.
Since the Elevate program is especially meant for upper elementary to adult remediation, lots of elementary schools and parents at home specifically use it as a tool to help struggling readers who need to fill in some "gaps" that slow or stop their reading success, and it also is used widely to help students who are learning English as a second language.
Many times I read that parents and teacher who use the program "with fidelity" (meaning that they follow the program instructions as directed), have success with their students.
How the Elevate program works:
When you open the program, you'll be taken to a Login Screen, where you can open the program as the teacher, or as the student:
Your student will first go through a Diagnostic Assessment, so that you'll know where to start in the lessons. As he progresses, he'll be required to score a certain percentage in each lesson (set by you, the teacher) before he's allowed to move on to the next lesson.
Of course, this is just a glimpse. You can enter different students, and for each student you'll set preferences base on where they are in their reading journey.
Reading Horizons Discovery
Now, on to the Discovery product! Perfect for ages 4-9, I found that this reading program is perfect for the homeschool parent to help a child get a good grasp on the basic fundamentals and components of reading.
The Reading Horizons Discovery bundle focuses on three strategic areas for your student:
1 - Decode and Pronounce Multisyllabic Words
2 - Improve Spelling Skills
3 - Strengthen Comprehension Skills
Sounds like a good plan! Let me list for you below a summary of all that is included in the Discovery bundle:
Reading Horizons Discovery (Ages 4-9)
- Built in assessments for each chapter and lesson
- 85 lessons for alphabet sounds, phonics, decoding, and sight words
- 74 full-color stories to match skill levels
- Vocabulary word wall
- Administrative access for parent/ teacher
- 6 volume teacher's manual
- 132 decoding cards
- Reference posters for your wall at home
Reading Horizons Discovery Reviews
These reviews are all similar to what you see above in the reviews for the Elevate program, because both operate from a similar philosophy of teaching reading, and with similar software and materials.
The Discovery at-home program is more tailored to a younger learner. From reviews, I find that the kids love the interface of the software - with games, tokens to win, and with fun graphics, it's fun and engaging.
How the Discovery program works
First, you'll be directed to a login screen, like the Discovery program, but it will look different, as it is tailored to younger kids. You can choose whether to login as the Admin, or as the student.
You'll need to login as the Admin first so that you can add your students to the program.
Once you are in the Admin panel, you'll have a ton of options to tailor the Discovery program to fit your student. You can add your child, and then select which lessons/ assessments you want your child to go through, and what percentage correct she must achieve to move on to the next lesson.
Once your child logs into the system, they'll have lots of options to choose from in the "Club House" room, including lessons, games, videos, reading library, or vocabulary.
Lessons will include all kinds of different lessons to match skills kids need to know to become proficient readers, with phonics, alphabet and sight word lessons (plus more!)
Another feature of the Reading Horizons At-Home Discovery program is the fun option for kids to earn coins as they go! Once they earn coins, they can head over to the little virtual shop and redeem for fun things to add.
Reading Horizons FAQ's
Is Reading Horizons Orton-Gillingham based?
Yes, the Reading Horizons program is considered to be Orton-Gillingham based, with opportunities for multi-sensory instruction (visual, auditory & kinesthetic) , teaching the foundational pillars of reading (phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension.)
Does Reading Horizons have a money-back guarantee?
Yes, the Reading Horizons program does have a 60 day money back guarantee for their at-home products.
Is there customer support available to those who have purchased the program?
Yes, there is free customer support service available to those who purchase. There is also a community forum to seek answers for help.
Is Reading Horizons good for dyslexia?
Yes, Reading Horizons is good for those with dyslexia in that it teaches systemic phonics with Orton-Gillingham methods. You will need to assess your student to see how strong they are in phonemic awareness skills, and if they need help in that area too, you will need to supplement that, as it is not included with Reading Horizons.
You can do this for free or very cheap with resources for phonemic awareness online. (Try these phonemic awareness cards!)
If your student has dyslexia, I would include reading assessment and instruction with a good reading specialist in addition to the Reading Horizons program at home to make sure you are getting your child all he needs.
Is Reading Horizons for homeschoolers?
Yes, the Reading Horizons at home program (Elevate or Discovery) is perfect for the homeschooling parent to make sure their child is getting a good reading foundation.
Is Reading Horizons good for ESL (English as a second language) learners?
Yes, it is a great choice for ESL learners. Additional language packs are available for the Reading Horizons program in Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, and Haitian Creole. The program is auditory as well. So as the student goes through the lessons, they are hearing the instruction in English as it goes.
How much does Reading Horizons cost?
There are two separate programs available for at-home instruction. The Elevate software is $199, at-home materials is $379, or the full bundle at $525. Additional language packs are $35.
The Discovery software is $199, at-home materials is $399, or the full bundle at $545.
Final thoughts on the Reading Horizons program
Usually when I do research on a reading program for kids, I have to sift through a lot of negative reviews to get a really good picture of whether or not the program is worth the money.
This program just really did not have a lot of negative reviews, though. Instead, lots of glowing reviews from parents, teachers, and reading specialists alike.
As a parent, I have two kids who are former struggling readers. Had I been focusing on them long-term at home in a homeschooling situation, I would easily have bought this program for them and felt very confident about it.
I think they would have liked it, too. Good luck as you decide which program will best fit your journey. You can also look into other reading program reviews on this site, such as the Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons book, or the All About Reading program, plus more.
Enjoy the reading journey with your child!