This blog is my attempt to document our busy but BLESSED lives. A child of God, wife to one, and mom to 6 fabulous kids. We are in our 8th year of homeschooling using a Classical approach.

Come along for the good, the bad & the ugly.



Monday, September 29, 2014

Horizons: Kindergarten Phonics & Reading ~ a review

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A few weeks ago I was in the final preparation phases before we started up our sixth year of homeschooling, when I was blessed to be asked to be apart of the Alpha Omega Publications Promotion Team!

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This came at a perfect time as I was trying to figure out a phonics program for McKenzie to use. McKenzie, who just turned 5,  has always been stronger in math skills and a little weaker in the phonics area so I decided to focus on a program that would provide a solid phonics instruction. To help me do that I was able to choose Horizons Kindergarten Phonics & Reading Set.

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Alpha Omega Publications (AOP) is a Christian curriculum company who has been around for over 30 years helping to  meet the needs of homeschooling parents and students all over the world. In the past we have also used products in their LIFEPAC and Switched-On Schoolhouse lines for Spanish and Health with great success. With this opportunity I was able to choose any curriculum published by Alpha Omega Publications from one of their product lines including Monarch, Switched-On Schoolhouse, LIFEPAC, and Horizons. AOP has covered all the bases in home education from electronic-based or print-based curriculum to hands-on unit studies, there is truly something to fit the needs of everyone!

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The Horizons Phonics & Reading program uses a spiral learning approach to help students master concepts taught through introduction, review, and reinforcement in 160 lessons. The highly colorful workbook format of Horizons Kindergarten Phonics & Reading Set retails for $159.95 and includes:

~ four student workbooks

~ four teacher’s guides

~ four brightly illustrated readers

~ an alphabet floor puzzle

~ a wipe-off tablet

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In the four teacher’s guides you will find a daily lesson planner with clearly written instructions for the days work along with specific goals to work on and supplies needed for engaging hands-on activities. Also included within the guides are helpful teaching tips, duplication masters of the pages inside the student workbook, answer keys, and additional worksheets to make learning more fun.

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Horizons Kindergarten Phonics & Reading is a phonics-based curriculum and uses a consonant-vowel approach (ex. ba, be, bi, bo, bu) to systemically teach consonant beginnings and endings sounds, along with vowel sounds, syllables, diphthongs, digraphs, and non-phonetic sounds. The four student workbooks contain four to six fun-filled work pages per lesson and are easily removable. In addition, the four colorful readers correspond to each workbook feature easy-to-read stories that pertain to the primary concepts taught in each lesson.

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We were able to jump right in with book one on our first day of school and do lessons 4 days a week, spending anywhere between 30 – 40 minutes on each lesson. To prepare myself for the lessons, I make sure to read the teacher’s guide lessons and prep any supplies needed. McKenzie is an eager learner so I had no trouble getting her to complete a lesson. In fact some days I needed to curb her eagerness when she would have to wait for me to finish lessons with her older siblings.

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McKenzie loves workbook  pages so this is right up her alley. I like the approach this curriculum presents and the brightly colored pages hold her attention.  However, I believe the program moves a tad bit fast for her and we have hit a wall on lesson 27 because I am not fully confident that she knows all the letter sounds to begin the blending process. Since McKenzie is a young Kindergartener and this is technically her Junior Kindergarten year, next week we will be going back through lessons 1-26 that teach the beginning alphabet sounds again. I am fully confident that this approach will help her get the firm foundation needed to be a successful reader.

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McKenzie and I have enjoyed using this Phonics & Reading Set so much that we will continue to use it the rest of her Jr Kindergarten year and into her true Kindergarten year. It provides a strong foundation for her learning style and I am truly grateful to be able to use it with her. My goal is to raise strong readers and I feel this curriculum will help my daughter be just that!

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Be sure click the banner below to enter the amazing giveaway from Alpha Omega Publications Homeschool Division for the choice of one subject from each of the main product lines, plus a $50.00 Amazon gift card! With so many levels and subjects to choose from you are sure to find one that is just right for your child! Also, be sure to scroll down and read the reviews of the other 24 members of the promotion team.

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Alpha Omega Publications is proud to partner with members of the U.S. Armed Forces and serve families like yours throughout the world and are offering a 30% discount for military families. Click the image below to find out more details.

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