Reading Horizons Discovery

After Raven used Reading Horizons Online this past summer I was asked to serve on a blogger review panel for a product in development/refinement.

This product was geared towards Denna – an intensive phonics curriculum based on the same Orton-Gillingham method.

Today I am reviewing the new and improved Discovery-At-Home phonics program.  Look for a giveaway at the end of this post that includes the soon to be released Discovery software!

Denna reading Discovery reader

Discovery-At-Home: Phonics for K-3rd grades

So many of you who read this blog know that Denna {7} has never had any formal phonics or reading lessons.  She basically taught herself to read with online games and through just being exposed to language.

And since we are unschoolers, reviewing this product had to be a democratic decision between the two of us. She loves phonics and language, and so thankfully she eagerly agreed to try out this curriculum.

Discovery curriculum materials

The kit we received included what you see here. There are 6 “chapters” of teacher’s manuals that build on one another. We received a pack of readers, posters of the phonics blends, skills, and sounds, transfer cards to be used in a group or one-on-one, and a games supplement.

When I first started browsing the material I could tell that this was previously designed for a classroom setting. Most of the games wouldn’t work for us because Denna was my only “student”.

However, after setting up an account on and finding useful information there, I felt confident that we could give the program an honest try.

Just as a note – when you start the program it is essential that you go to the website  and view the supplemental videos, direct-method instructions, and other resources there in order to fully grasp how it works. The Lesson Center has printable worksheets and videos that are pertinent to each lesson.

lesson center

Using The Discovery Program

Denna passed most of the assessments in the first two chapters of the program, so we started in chapter three where the phonetic skills are introduced.

At first I tried staying to the script (which is great by the way – it walks you through how to teach each lesson) and using a white board for the examples. As we went through the lessons we started to relax on the couch and work through the examples together.

Most days we used just a simple notebook and took turns writing the words.

phonics lesson

What We Liked About Discovery-At-Home

While it took some time for us to get used to it, we really like this program. It doesn’t just teach a child how to read. The program is designed to show kids how to decode words and know why something is pronounced or spelled the way it is.

Denna likes the phonetic skills so much that I overheard her one day trying to teach them to Raven.  Of course, Raven has already used a similar program so she already knew.

Here are some other things we like about Discovery-At-Home:

  • The scripted lessons. While we don’t always follow them exactly, they give you a direction and a voice if you’ve never taught phonics before.
  • The readers.  Denna loved the little readers that corresponded with each chapter.  There is an option to purchase a larger set of readers than what comes in the standard package.
  • Logical, solid phonics instruction. As with Reading Horizons Online, this program is based in decades of research.
  • Marking the phonics rules. One of the key activities in Discovery is proving the phonetic skills. The teacher demonstrates, and then the student marks each word to show how to tell what sounds will say what.

For example, here is a teacher demonstrating Phonetic Skill #1:

And here is Denna proving some words:

Denna working on Discovery materials

I have really enjoyed working with the developers at Reading Horizons. They wanted to know how they could refine their program for home educators and so they went straight to the source – a group of homeschooling bloggers who could give them real opinions while working through it with their kids.

They were right there to answer any questions or concerns we might have – so I am confident that the new and improved product will be very homeschool friendly!


The Discovery-At-Home program will be released February 4th in the online store. To celebrate it’s release (and the upcoming release of Discovery-At-Home Online), Reading Horizons is holding a giveaway!

You can enter a chance to win one of ten subscriptions to the new Discovery-At-Home software.

One lucky person will win a bundle pack worth over $400 that includes all of the Discovery-At-Home physical materials PLUS an online subscription!

Pricing for the new materials are:

  • Discovery Online Software (1 year) $199
  • Discovery Instructor Materials $299
  • Software and Material Bundle $439
  • Discovery Online Renewal $50

The program may seem a little pricey, but the physical materials can be used year after year with each of your children.  Reading Horizons also offers a payment plan for the online software – 3 payments of $66.34.

You can connect with Reading Horizons and find all their great free resources for reading instruction on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclaimer: I was provided a free product in exchange for my participation in the review team. I was not required to post a positive review (in fact – we were encouraged to give our honest opinion even if that included frustrations).

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3 Responses to Discovery-At-Home Phonics Program {Reading Horizons}

  1. Becky Marie says:

    Thanks for the great review. This looks like something that we may use in a few years.

  2. tereza crump says:

    I am teaching my 5 y.o. to read and I got 2 more children at 7 and 10 y.o. struggling with spelling. this would be so helpful. I did sign up for the newsletter, but I don’t do facebook. So I hope I win with just one entry!! 🙂

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