My sweet middlest is beginning kindergarten this year, and I’ve been stuck on a language arts curriculum to use with him. An opportunity came up through the Review Crew to try the Horizons Kindergarten Phonics & Reading Set from Alpha Omega Publications, and I was curious to see if this would be the solution.
See, Heath is already almost 6. According to the local school system, he would be starting Kindergarten this year even though he turns 6 at the end of September. They have to cut the age off somewhere, right? While the school requirements don’t really effect us, I sort of adopted them for our homeschool as well because I wanted to be more gentle with our instruction and not push him before he was mature enough to handle sitting down and doing coursework.
I think this was a wise decision, because he has naturally calmed down a bit and has been eager to get started on “real school” like his older siblings. Never did I think he’d be begging for school work!
Horizons Kindergarten Phonics & Reading Set
When we got the box with this set, I was pleasantly surprised to see just how much was included! When you order this curriculum, you get 4 full-color student workbooks, 4 corresponding teacher’s guides, and 4 full-color readers filled with easy reader stories for your child to use to practice independent reading skills. It also came with a wipe off sheet to use as a white board and a handy alphabet floor puzzle to use to play phonics games with.
The student workbooks provide exercises to learn and practice use the alphabet, get handwriting practice, and then moves into spelling concepts like double vowels, blends, and suffixes. Since we’ve only been using the curriculum since July, we have only gotten through alphabet recognition, letter sounds, and a few consonant digraphs. The set provides a total of 160 lessons, so it spans the entire school year if done one per day.
We have been using this set as our only language arts curriculum for my son and will continue to throughout this school year. He completed one lesson per day on school days, which included 4 pages of workbook work (two pages front and back) and a one page story from the reader.
A lot of times, he would go grab the books before I could even tell him to because he was eager to get started. For him, this is what “doing school” is all about and he was excited to work on this every day!
The teacher’s guide is so simple to use and includes everything needed to successfully teach the program. It is VERY open and go, which I love.
What I love about the Horizons Kindergarten Phonics & Reading Set:
- The student workbooks and readers are in full color with fun pictures.
- Every concept is introduced slowly.
- My son got plenty of handwriting practice, and even got to do some copywork.
- The teacher’s guide is scripted and had an answer key, so I always knew exactly what to say and what to look for.
- Each lesson is short enough that it can be completed in a day, but is still challenging.
- This set uses multiple methods to get kids to practice their phonics, reading, and handwriting skills.
- While the activities may change from day to day, they are similar enough that my son got into a routine using it. He knew about what to expect each day and was eager to get started.
- Concepts are taught thoroughly, so there are no gaps in learning.
- It uses the spiral technique to teach new information and also review previously-learned concepts.
- My son felt a sense of empowerment because he was quickly able to read the stories in the reader and sentences in his lessons.
- Lessons took about 30 minutes to complete each day.
- The exercises in the lessons are all brief, so it kept my son’s attention most of the time. He would get to move from writing to crossing out letters to circling pictures to reading and so on to keep his interest level high.
- There are 4 student and teacher books, so no single book seems daunting in size. It’s easy to focus on one book at a time – and what a sense of accomplishment to finish one and move on to the next!
- This provided my busy with a gentle introduction into seat work for homeschool.
- Best of all, he loves it and is excited to get started every single day!
I really like this curriculum. I didn’t know how I’d like it at first, but when we started using it, I knew it was the one for my son. It provided him with some gentle instruction and structure for his first formal year of homeschool. It is giving him the chance to practice handwriting without using a separate program. It has introduced him to tons of stories that he can actually read, which has given him so much confidence! It is perfect for my almost 6 year old son to use for kindergarten.
The lessons are to the point, but still provide plenty of practice. Basically, we both love it.
We’ve used other Alpha Omega Publications products in the past, like Monarch 4th Grade Language Arts. and are currently using the LIFEPAC for 5th grade language arts If you’ve tried other programs from them before like Monarch, Switched-On Schoolhouse, or LIFEPAC I can tell you that Horizons is another high quality program from a company you already love.