Sweet Critique: Reading Horizons

I, fortunately, began homeschooling after Babydoll had learned to read.

Of course, I helped her, and I went into her classroom each week and listened to all the students in the class read to me.

But, actually having the responsibility of teaching her?  I don’t know if I could have handled that.

Then again, I also didn’t know about programs like Reading Horizons.

Reading Horizons is a web-based program that utilizes a multi-sensory approach to teach the “42 sounds of the alphabet, five phonetic skills, and two decoding skills.”  It also makes use of the Orton-Gillingham approach, which utilizes all three types of learning: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic.

While the program seemed intense to me at first, I actually came to love how much the program teaches.  Even though Babydoll has been an excellent reader for years now, she still learned quite a bit.

The core skills of phonetics and alphabet sounds are a great foundation for any reading program.

I enjoyed all the information and delivery of the opening video to the program, and it has an excellent user interface.  The program utilized a fun font, and I thoroughly enjoy that they describe the child’s dashboard with the reports and stats.

If you have a child who needs to learn to read, one who is a struggling reader, or just want to hone their skills even further, this is a great program to use.

Reading is one of those subjects so personal and different for each child, that it really can be hard to determine if something is right for your family before trying it.  Reading Horizons gives you a free trial so you can test-drive it.  How sweet is that?

You can visit the Reading Horizons site, linked above, or learn more about them on Facebook and Twitter.!

True Confessions:  I was provided with access to the Reading Horizons program in order to facilitate my review.  All opinions are my own.


August 8, 2012


August 6, 2012

Thank You

Back to School 2012!


Today we started our fourth year of homeschooling.

I’ve said it before:  I never thought I’d see this day.  I thought for certain that Babydoll would be going off to school by now.

I also didn’t think I’d enjoy homeschooling this much.  I can’t think of a better way to enjoy my child…

To kick things off, we made our back-to-school yeast doughnuts, complete with a “5th” for pictures.

I know this isn’t a “good” picture, but a} had I taken the time to get the lighting right and the focus and the plating-it would have been awesome {but we were too hungry…} and b} it’s still cool!

This is our third year doing the doughnuts as our kick-off breakfast {we were transient the first year}, and let me tell you, we’ve perfected these…

After we devoured our doughnuts, we went outside for first-day-of-school pictures!

We documented Babydoll’s fifth grade interests.

And she filled out her fifth grade back-to-school booklet.  It took me about two hours to make this thing, but it’s pretty awesome, if I do say so myself.  I totally heart KPM Doodles & her great artwork!

I wanted to show you what was inside the booklet too.  Each successive page was slightly longer than the one before it, so she had a nice little tiered booklet.

You can take a look at it below, but please keep in mind that due to the conversion into SlideShare, some of the spacing is slightly off and the markers on the cover are not displaying properly.

And finally, a look at my student over the past four years.

We’re so excited for this year to start!  Hope you have a great one too!

Our 2012/2013 Curricula


I am so excited to start this school year!  We start tomorrow, as a matter of fact.

This will be our fourth year homeschooling, as as each year passes, I’ve felt more and more comfortable with a more eclectic approach to curricula.

Some of what we’re using I was fortunate enough to receive as a review product last year.

I know what you came here for, so I’m going to stop talking and give it to you:


Life of Fred {I’m taking a leap of faith and trusting in the author.  We’ll see if you really can just use this for math.}


myWorld Social Studies Grade 5


Growing with Grammar Level 5


Artistic Pursuits Book 3


WriteShop Junior Book D

Letters to family members


Hands-On Archaeology:  Real-Life Activities for Kids {So excited about this one!  I’m pretty much using this as a guide and developing an archaeological dig for us this year.  More info to come!}




Top Secret Adventures

Which Way USA?

Creek Edge Press Geography and Culture Task Cards


Letterboxing North America


Our Best Bites

And to organize it all, the My Well Planned Day software.  Loving. It.

What will you be using next year? I wanna see!

Be sure to check out what others are using at the Not Back-to-School Blog Hop this week!