The Old Schoolhouse® Lab
Compiled and edited by Kate Kessler,
Product Reviews Director
Horizons Kindergarten Phonics
& Reading Set
Alpha Omega Publications
My sweet middle child started kindergarten this year, and I had 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.
You see, my son is already six. Ac-
cording to the local school system, he
would start kindergarten this year even
though he turned six at the end of Sep-
tember. They have to cut the age off
somewhere, right? While the school re-
quirements don’t really affect us, I sort
of adopted them for our homeschool as
well because I wanted to be gentler 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!
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 four
full-color student workbooks, four
corresponding teacher’s guides, and
four 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 that can be used to play
The student workbooks provide exercises to learn and practice the alphabet and handwriting and then moves
into spelling concepts like double vowels, blends, and suffixes. Since we’ve
been using the curriculum since July,
we have 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 do so throughout this school year. He has completed
one lesson per day on school days,
which includes four pages of workbook
work (two pages front and back) and a
one-page story from the reader. Many
times, he will grab the books before I
even tell him to because he’s eager to
get started. For him, this is what “doing
school” is all about, and he’s 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 gets plenty of handwriting
practice, and even gets to do some
• The teacher’s guide is scripted and had
an answer key, so I always know 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
• 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 has gotten into a routine using it. He knows about what
to expect each day and is eager to get
• Concepts are taught thoroughly, so
there are no gaps in learning.
• It uses the spiral technique to teach
new information, and also review
• My son felt a sense of empowerment
from the start because he was quickly
able to read stories in the reader and
sentences in his lessons.
• Lessons take about 30 minutes to
complete each day.
• The exercises in the lessons are all
brief, so it keeps my son’s attention
most of the time. He gets to move
Hello! Are you buried under snow? Grab a warm mug, and join us for the winter issue of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine’s Lab! You will find an awesome reading program, a new online math program, educational games, a science product, a
historical fiction audio book, and some things just for mom. Join me?