Reading Program Product Review: Discover Intensive Phonics (Reading Horizons Discovery®)

April 29, 2010, David Clark

Reading Program Product Review: Discover Intensive Phonics (Reading Horizons Discovery®)

Reading Horizons Discover Intensive Phonics for Yourself (now called Reading Horizons Discovery®) reading program was recently reviewed by Old Schoolhouse Magazine.

***After you read the review (below) you may want to take a look at other Reading Horizons reviews: Reading Horizons Review given by Goodlett Elementary SchoolReading Horizons Review of social content from the state of California, and Reading Horizons Review given by Haleyville Elementary School. ***

The entire product review can be found by clicking here: Old Schoolhouse Product Review of Discover Intensive Phonics

Old Schoolhouse overview of Discover Intensive Phonics:

Discover Intensive Phonics is a comprehensive, multisensory, direct instruction program designed to teach students decoding and word attack strategies. The program was designed for classroom instruction, but it can be readily adapted for homeschool learning. It would work well for typically developing students, gifted students, and learning disabled or developmentally disabled students, with individual or group instruction.

Discover Intensive Phonics is based on the Orton-Gillingham approach to teaching reading, so it makes extensive use of multisensory activities. The more senses a child uses to learn, the more easily he will remember and be able to apply what he learns.

From reading the review I pulled the following pros & cons:

Pros of Discover Intensive Phonics Reading Program:

  • The most common activity is to have the student work through particular exercises standing at a whiteboard (great for fidgety kids!)
  • I generally don’t like a scripted program, as it can seem condescending. But these materials were positive and encouraging. The scripts seemed to aid the learning process rather than talking down to both teacher and student.
  • The system has several reports available to help you keep track of your child’s [or student’s] progress. It automatically controls which assignments are available next, although you can override the program as needed.
  • The students keep a notebook where they practice writing letters and words as part of the program, not just extra assignments later. That’s something I’ve never seen in a software program.
  • I love that Discover Intensive Phonics is structured on solid research and years of classroom experience, a combination that usually produces a product that is academically sound and practical.
  • It is very comprehensive, and I believe it would give a child a solid foundation in phonics in an interesting and multi-sensory way.
  • Clear directions, excellent organization, and many teacher’s aids make the program very workable with little teacher prep time.
  • The program incorporates handwriting, spelling, grammar, and many other skills that are so important in learning to read.
  • The entire program has a very positive, upbeat tone that encourages the parent and child as they are learning.
  • It is also helpful that everything you need is included, not just all of the materials but also all of the information.
  • It should also be noted that there are extensive resources available in the included CD as well as online to help you understand the materials and how to best use them.
  • I love that each skill can be approached from several different angles with different types of activities. Because of this flexibility, Discover Intensive Phonics can be tailored for you child’s needs. It is rare to find a comprehensive curriculum that is so flexible!

Cons of Discover Intensive Phonics Reading Program:

  • The volume of materials is a bit overwhelming at first, and it all seems complicated. However, I found that the program is well organized and thorough, and it provides many options that can be tailored to your particular needs.
  • Reading Horizons recommends laminating and cutting the large stack of Reverse Listening Cards. It would be nice if that was all done at the factory to save parents [and teachers] the time.

Learn more about the Discover Intensive Phonics for Yourself (now Reading Horizons Discovery®elementary reading curriculum

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