A Comparison of the Top 4 Orton-Gillingham Reading Programs for Homeschoolers

by | Mar 31, 2018 | Resources | 124 comments

Teaching kids with dyslexia to read at home has never been easier thanks to the development of more and more user-friendly Orton-Gilligham programs. The programs in this comparison of the top 4 Orton-Gillingham reading programs were chosen because they are affordable and designed to be used by parents at home – and because I have used all of them!

Teaching kids with dyslexia to read at home has never been easier thanks to the development of more and more user-friendly Orton-Gilligham programs. The programs in this comparison of the top 4 Orton-Gillingham reading programs were chosen because they are affordable and designed to be used by parents at home.  HomeschoolingwithDyslexia.com #reading #dyslexia #ortongillingham #readingprograms #homeschoolcurriculum

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What to Know About Orton-Gillingham Reading Programs

What is Orton-Gillingham?

Orton-Gillingham is an approach to teaching reading. Some, but not all, reading programs are based on this approach.  The reading programs in this comparison are ones that are most frequently used by parents teaching their kids at home.

Read more about what the Orton-Gillingham approach to teaching reading is and why it is the most highly recommended and effective approach to teaching kids (and adults) with dyslexia.

How to Choose the Best Orton-Gillingham Reading Program for Your Family

There is a lot of discussion about which Orton-Gillingham (OG) program is the best. The answer to this question will be different for each unique family. Factors like the age of students, the degree of dyslexia, family size, finances, or native language all play a big role in determining which program will be the best fit for each unique family.

There are even times when an OG reading program on it’s own, may not be enough. You can read more about that here.

The factors that I rated each program by are:

  • Cost per level and number of levels
  • Materials included with the program
  • Any extra materials needed
  • Any optional extra materials
  • Format – whether digital or print
  • Ages the program is appropriate for
  • Whether the program covers spelling
  • Whether the program covers phonemic awareness
  • The level of customer support
  • Any money back guarantees

A Comparison of the Top 4 Orton-Gillingham Reading Programs for Homeschoolers

These four programs were selected for comparison for three reasons:

  1. Based on the Orton-Gillingham approach
  2. Affordable
  3. Easy to use

Comparison Orton Gillingham Reading Programs

comparison Orton Gillingham reading programs

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What Other Parents Are Saying

Here are some comments from HWD readers about each of the programs, both pros and cons.

Please note that when I say that all of these programs are affordable, I am comparing the price for the program to the price of paying a professional tutor to teach your kids. Professional tutors can charge between $50-$100/hour and need to be seen 2-3 times per week for several years.

Barton Reading & Spelling

Pros

  • Excellent training and support
  • Very thorough program
  • Easy to use – little prep
  • Can be used with older kids and adults – not childish looking

Cons

  • Price – although levels can be sold easily (or purchased used) when finished to help pay for next level
  • Can be boring – not enough variety

All About Reading

All About Reading

Pros

  • Easy to use – little prep
  • Price – not as expensive as other programs
  • Engaging for kids. Lots of games and hands-on materials make the program more interesting for younger kids (under 12 years old approximately).
  • Spelling is taught separately so kids can progress with reading more quickly.  When spelling and reading are combined, reading progress can be slowed down significantly because kids master spelling much more slowly than they master reading.
  • Readers are excellent. Kids love the beautifully illustrated stories in the readers that are included with each level.

Cons

  • Spelling is taught separately. I know this was on the ‘Pros’ list.  Some people felt that teaching spelling separately was a hindrance. It takes more time each day and it costs more to buy an additional spelling program (All About Spelling).

Posts I’ve written about our experience with All About Reading:

Logic of English

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Includes a lot of extra materials
  • Includes a wide variety of games
  • Includes tons of phonemic awareness exercises
  • Colorful student books
  • Student workbooks are very affordable ($15) which is nice for more than 1 child
  • Handwriting is included
  • Composition is included in Essentials (for ages 10+) levels

Cons

  • None mentioned!

Read my complete review of Logic of English Foundations (for ages 4-7) here.

 

Reading Horizons Discovery (ages 4-9)

Pros

  • Online program is colorful and fun
  • Readers have beautiful illustrations and stories
  • Very thorough with lots of games
  • Excellent parent/teacher training and support

Cons

  • Price
  • Online program moves quickly (may not be best for more profoundly dyslexic kids)

Reading Horizons Elevate (ages 10+)

  • Many reports of kids using Elevate online version loving the program and making significant progress
  • Helpful for ESL parents teaching their kids
  • Good refresher course for kids finished with AAR, Barton, or LOE
  • Reading passages included with the program are excellent
  • 2 kids can use 1 subscription

Read my complete review of Reading Horizons Elevate here: Help for the Older Struggling Reader

Orton-Gillingham Programs not on This List

Wilson: Wilson is an excellent OG reading program but it isn’t user-friendly and requires some kind of training to be able to use proficiently.

Spell to Write and Read: This is a highly regarded OG program but is definitely not user-friendly.

Nessy: Nessy is a fantastic program that is OG based but is best used as a supplement to one-on-one teaching.

What Would You Add to This List?

I’d love your feedback. Are there any Orton-Gillingham programs you would like to see added to this comparison? Which programs and why? Let us know in the comments.

124 Comments

  1. Sarah

    We used the older edition of Logic of English but found it moved too fast for my most dyslexic child.

    Reply
    • Alissa

      For my oldest we used the 1st edition of LOE Essentials , and we went through it muuuuch slower than they recommend, finishing in about 3.5 years. But it was so worth it. My son reads and writes and spells like an ace having such a solid foundation. I’ve done 2 all the way through LOE Foundations and am getting ready to start #4 in Foundations. With some ive moved quicker than with others but in the end it really doesnt matter to me how long it takes because i know they are getting a thorough education in the English language. 2 out of the 3 who have been through LOE so far are dyslexic, and i can say this program is amazing for dyslexic and non-dyslexic alike. Even I, a natural reader and writer and speller, have learned sooo much in its teaching. Highly recommend for all!

      Reply
    • Marie

      I would love to hear your thoughts about the curriculum Foundation in Sounds. I’ve never heard of it before, but I am being instructed that it is the next best step for my 7.5 year old. We are currently doing All About Reading, But were advised that it’s not specific enough for my child’s severe dyslexia. Would so appreciate you feedback!

      Reply
      • Shelley

        Marie,
        One of my kids started with All About Reading and also tried another OG reading program prior to that. We were not making progress and ended up switching to Foundation in Sounds. It was a game changer for us. It helped her be able to learn to hear the difference between similar sounds and be able to sequence sounds better. We moved onto Barton Reading and Spelling after that as she needed the extra work involved in Barton, but she wouldn’t have been able to progress in Barton if she hadn’t first done Foundation in Sounds.

        Reply
        • Julie

          Were you Able to find foundations in sounds used anywhere?

          Reply
        • Cynthia Laura Benavides

          Shelly, would you mind speaking with me? My son is 9, and his dyslexia is severe. He still struggles with ryhming and reads at a beginning of first grade level. He has memory issues which makes recalling the difference in short and long vowel sounds difficult. We seem to be stuck right now and I’m thinking of pulling him from public school to homeschool. But, there are so many programs and it’s difficult to know which to spend the money on for him. I can send you my email and hopefully you will reach out: cindy@clbenavideslaw.com

          Reply
    • Jody Stolp

      The nonprofit organization, the Riggs Institute out of Oregon, also teaches using Orton Gillingham phonographs, and is very thorough, requiring a composition notebook to create an Englush notebook and a pencil. They suggest and have available many helpful resources, including a dictionary using the marking method and a set of phonograph cards and testing set with CD and black line masters. I really like the Resding Teacher’s Book of Lists. Their curriculum itself is written for a classroom setting, and they have a I and II edition. Spelling and grammar are all incorporated into a 36 week format, or you can choose to just utilize the phonograph cards and set of rules to help improve reading l, writing, and spelling.

      Reply
      • Aria

        Have you tried the program Sing Spell Read and Write? It seems to me like it shares a lot of features of other O-G programs, but I dont know for sure if it meets all the criteria to be considered O-G.

        Reply
        • Marianne

          Hi Aria. I used it a loooooooong time ago. I think it may be good for review but not for a curriculum. Kids with dyslexia need more explicit instruction and practice.

          Reply
        • clau

          That’s sound interesting. Is it free.

          Reply
      • Valinda

        We use Teaching Reading at Home by Wanda Sanseri. It’s a homeschool version of Writing Road to Reading by Spalding. I thought that was also an Orton-Gillingham approach, but maybe I’m wrong. I think it’s out of print, though. I have my mom’s from when she taught me.

        Reply
  2. Karrie

    My 8 year old is profoundly dyslexic. We have had success using AAR along with the Dianne Craft sight words and readers.

    Reply
    • Kristie

      If I’ve used AAR with my 1st grader and he has plateaued, what do you suggest to do next?

      Reply
      • Marianne

        Do you mean that he isn’t mastering the concepts? I would keep working on reviewing concepts. Also try to add in some multi-sensory or hands-on activities for review.

        Reply
      • Kelsey Schmidt

        Where are you at in the lessons? My son seemed to start struggling about 1/2 way through the second book on splitting up words. We took a break for a minute but then just went on with the next lesson. We review breaking up words into syllables before every new lesson. He is now in book 3 and excelling.

        Reply
  3. Sally

    You ask if there are any other Orton-Gillingham programs to add to the comparison. I’d like to submit a program that I’m writing for consideration. It’s a series of free YouTube videos that teach kids letter sounds, phonogram sounds, and syllable types. Kids write along with me as they learn. Most lessons include studying the concepts that they’ve already learned in short passages of text from classic children’s literature. Each lesson ends with read-aloud recommendations so that kids aren’t just learning the mechanics of reading, but are getting exposed to great stories and poetry that will help them want to read. I call it Story Hour Academy. The playlist of free video lessons is here:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SH7x8G1bcUM&list=PL7be6Dn_-FcpFdG7JTfS6Zq17nmdkONce

    There is also a website for it that will eventually include all the lessons. I still have about another 40 lessons to record to be finished, so the focus right now is getting the YouTube playlist of lessons completed rather than updating the website.

    Feedback is welcome!

    Reply
  4. JR

    My daughter, who’s homeschooling 4, and I agree that Logic of English was confusing for my 1st grade grandson who is moderately dyslexic. He needed a program with a slower logical, cumulative sequence for phonemic awareness and time to acquire the auditory skills he needed before moving to phonics. She used a good phonemic awareness program until he heard sounds clearly. Then she moved into Level 1 of Barton Reading and Spelling. They are in Level 5 and as a 3rd grader, he’s easily reading chapter books and writing good paragraphs using IEW! I was surprised that you didn’t mention that after Levels 9 & 10, Barton students are ready for a 9th grade Biology text because of the advanced language skills taught. She’s found it to be very good. Spelling Success has some excellent games to go with Barton.

    Reply
    • Cathie

      Absolutely agree, Spelling Success and others (including Cardinal Concepts, ISee ISpell ILearn, and TeachersPayTeachers) have great games that “mix it up” with Barton. For those who suggest Barton can be ‘boring’ I suggest adding in a card game or two. We have used cards games for reviewing sight words, practicing sounding out nonsense words, and fluency. The kids look forward to having a chance to play these games (matching, slap-it, and simple board games). An extra purchase is not necessary, since many free games are included in the Barton tutor materials and in the Google Barton Tutors group.

      Reply
      • Marianne

        Thanks for this input Cathie. I think all OG programs can benefit from outside sources for games and review.

        Reply
    • Heather

      I find myself in a similar situation.
      Could I ask what pheonomic awareness program did you use? Thank you for your help

      Reply
  5. Susie

    We have found Wilson Fundations to be a good fit for our homeschool.

    Reply
  6. Tonya

    I would suggest adding Sonday System to the list. It has 2 levels, Sonday 1, which starts with phonemic awareness, and covers CVC, diagraphs, blends, silent e, trigraphs, and common vowel teams. Sonday 2 covers syllable division, less common vowel teams, prefixes, suffixes, and common roots. Each lesson switches back and forth between decoding and spelling every 5-7 minutes. Each level is about $550, available at http://www.winsorlearning.com. The author is an Orton Fellow, and past president of the International Dyslexia Association. The program compares favorably with Barton for depth and pacing. It includes directions on how to customize lessons if mastery tests are not passed. I used it with two of my children, and found it very easy to follow, and more engaging than Barton.

    Reply
    • Marianne

      Thanks Tonya!

      Reply
    • Larissa

      Tonya,
      I went to the link and it was about $1000 for level one, but it is for professionals/classrooms. Is there a place I can find it for $550 like you mentioned? Thanks~

      Reply
  7. S Franks

    My 14 YO dyslexic child is on level 4 Barton. I’m tutoring her and the company wasn’t sure it would work for her because of her social pragmatic language disorder and receptive/expressive language disorder. we went for it because she’s been through level 2, 3, and now on 4 just this school year . Being her Mom, I can really guage how she’d doing and when she needs breaks, etc. We started out doing only 5 mins a day because that’s all she could handle. Now she can go up to 20 mins 5 days a week. I think it can work for some of these kids but must be customized for them. I highly recommend the program.

    Reply
    • Diane

      How did you break Barton into smaller segments? Thanks
      Diane Inskeep

      Reply
      • Melissa

        We do 30 minutes of Barton 4x’s per week. My twins are both dyslexic so while I work with 1 on Barton the other is working on Nessy and then we switch. The combination of the two has been a game changer for both my twins. One is mild and the other is profound.

        Reply
  8. Valeria Ramos

    Just a note of encouragement , today we finish our long adventure with Barton. My son was diagnosed to be profoundly dyslexic . We being working with Barton over 6 years , I loved it and he like and hated it altogether. Some levels were hard and some were not so hard. But I notice huge improvement after he mature a bit and understood the importance of reading. As a young teen he put a lot effort in our time with Barton . Today is a very happy day for me and him , because I know how much he had to work extra hard to be able to finish. He is finishing 8 grade and yes he is reading, not perfect but well. Still takes his time, but accomplish any task that is given to him. He is doing some of his school on his own , without any help from me. And that is amazing to me, because I used to help him with every subject. I am glad that we used Barton over the years , also helped me to understand the English language , since English is my second language.

    Reply
  9. Rebekah

    My 11 year old son just received a diagnosis. He can read, although it is slower than average and takes him more effort to comprehend. Can any of these programs help with that or are they more basic phonetic programs?

    Reply
    • Marianne

      Hi Rebekah. It sounds like he needs to fill in some gaps and work on fluency. Reading Horizons Elevate would be excellent for that.

      Reply
      • Heather A

        My 6yr old is finishing up kindergarten. He has struggled all year with reading. We recently had him tested for dyslexia and ADHD. (Waiting on results) Which, the teacher and I, believes he has. She originally recommended him repeating kindergarten. However, we are pushing him to 1st. He knows all his letters and individual sounds. He know the first and last sounds. So repeating probably would not have helped him. ( Hopefully we are making the right decision). I was looking at the pride or the All about Reading. Does anyone have any suggestions.

        Reply
  10. amy

    I LOVE Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW)’s Primary Art of Reading and Primary Art of Writing with the Phonetic Farm and incorporates All about Spelling when the child is ready. Andrew Pudewa developed this program for his son who is dyslexic. It is fun and so well developed. It provides plenty of review and games to keep it exciting for the child.

    Reply
  11. Jane

    We have been using Lexia’s Program, Power Up. It is the version for older kids. We really like it. Check it out if you haven’t seen it!

    Reply
    • Terri

      Hi Jane, I bought Barton and did the tutor test to make sure I hear the sounds accurately to teach it. I feel like, what if I’m wrong. haha Gotta love mom guilt. A friend who taught in our local public school told me about Lexia. I would to hear more about it from a mom with a dyslexic child. I do not like that their website does not allow me to view the program. I have contacted them, but would rather look myself than speak to a sales associate. Thank you!

      Reply
  12. Becky

    I would like to know if anyone has used Foundation in Sounds. I’d love to hear any pros/cons on using this for an 11-year-old.

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Jenny

      I would also like to hear reviews of Foundation in Sounds. Marianne, do you think the Barton student screening is appropriate for all OG programs? My 8 year old son did not pass the Part C of the Barton test. We have been using AAR and separate phonological awareness lessons. He also has been going to speech therapy for years. He is progressing with all of those things, but it is slow. I’m wondering if Foundation in Sounds would fill in some of his gaps, but not sure how well it would transition with other OG programs like AAR.

      Reply
      • Marianne

        I’m looking in to reviewing it now!

        Reply
        • Angie

          Foundations in Sounds is wonderful!!!!! It took us 2 months to get through but so worth it! My 6 yr old daughter learned how to shape her mouth and break habits…of the “m” sound coming out like “n” etc. It has fun games and so worth it. My daughter is moderately dyslexic and now she is in level 1 of barton. It is a struggle…but there is no way she could have done Barton level 1 without Foundations in Sounds. It’s expensive but so worth it. We use foundation n sounds cards for the games in level 1 of Barton at the back of the manual.

          Reply
      • Sheila

        We have found Foundations in Sound to be an excellent preparation for Barton. It is comparable to what a student gains through LIPS training, but is designed for parents to use with their children. I would highly recommend it.

        Reply
        • Marianne

          Thanks for the recommendation Sheila!

          Reply
  13. Shelley

    I made the expensive decision to purchase Sonday System 2 for my 12-year-old dyslexic daughter. The product is not listed here but after an extensive amount of research and based on the recommendation of a language pathologist, I concluded it was a superior product to the usual ones you see online. It is a complete, comprehensive program that you teach your child yourself. The materials include everything you need including access to videos that show you how to introduce new material. It is time consuming but if you stick with it, the results are incredible. We have been using it for 7 months and my daughter has gone from only reading graphic novels to reading full-on fiction and non fiction appropriate for her age. Her spelling has improved tremendously as well. I don’t see much discussion or reviews of this product online, maybe because there is not an affiliate program, and as a result it may be underutilized by homeschoolers.

    Reply
    • Marianne

      Hi Shelley! Thank you so much for sharing. I will definitely check this out. 🙂

      Reply
  14. Posie Boggs

    Hi,
    I do not see MindPlay on the list of online OG instructional tools. I started asking my families to add it to their routines and it cut down on my ours by 30 – 50%. It is so inexpensive and covers k-1 grade to adults. The local literacy center is using it with English language learners after their oral language is pretty ok. It is picking up on the student’s phonemic awareness problems and remediating that at basic and advanced levels. I’m pleased to save my families with complex students with dyslexia and my adult students at the literacy center.
    Posie

    Reply
    • Marianne

      Thank you for the recommendation Posie!

      Reply
    • Heather

      I agree. We use Mindplay and love it. Very prescriptive and effective.

      Reply
  15. Denise Arnold

    Sound Bytes Reading or Blast Off to Reading??

    Reply
  16. Dorrie

    My 11 year old son was recently diagnosed with dyslexia, both in reading and writing. Reading is severe and writing is moderate. What program would you recommend that could accommodate both? I am new to this research and am definitely overwhelmed with the options. My budget is limited so I want to make sure that whatever I buy is what would be best for his needs.

    Reply
    • Marianne

      Dorrie, Reading Horizons Elevate is for older kids (10+) and is done on the computer. It involves typing rather than writing so would likely be an excellent fit!

      Reply
  17. Monica Danielson

    We have been using Logic of English Essentials with our profoundly dyslexic daughter. We started with her last year when she was 8 (3rd grade). We had spent K-2 knowing something wasn’t right, trying to get tested, and trying a few different reading/spelling programs (Abeka, AAR/AAS, Sing Spell Read and Write, Explode the Code) and had zero progress with those. When we first started LOE is was hard–a lot of work for her and very tiring. We would divide out the 5 days worth of material that make up 1 lesson into more like 2 weeks, often reviewing what we did the day before and then moving forward a little more. A year later of hard work, she has progressed so much. She had zero phonemic awareness when we started and can now hear and segment out sounds and is getting better at writing/spelling those sounds. The practice of learning phonemic awareness, phonograms and how/where they’re used, the grammar, writing, reading, are all laying a solid foundation for unscrambling written language for my child. I highly recommend LOE for anyone, and find it to be a very good fit for a dyslexic child.

    Reply
    • Marianne

      Thank you so much for that positive feedback Monica! I love how you tailored the program to meet her needs and, with consistency, had success. 🙂

      Reply
    • Ashley

      Has anyone seen the ten minute tutor program that is now being advertised on Facebook? I have spent so much money on tutors and I just hate to spend more money on something that won’t work for my son who has been diagnosed as dyslexic. It can’t be anything that takes too much time a day because he considers it torture. Thanks.

      Reply
  18. Jennie Weaver

    Hi! New Homeschool mommy here of a 6 and 8 year old. My 8 yr old son is profoundly dyslexic like his father and struggles with CAS( childhood apraxia of speech). I feel very over whelmed with which o-g system is best having both these diagnoses. He also has a really hard time with his memory when remembering sounds or letter recognition. I would love a push in the right direction. Any suggestions are highly appreciated. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Marianne

      Hi Jennie. I would choose Logic of English. It has the most multi-sensory method of all the programs. Good luck to you!!

      Reply
    • Kris

      You basically described my 8 year old son. I’m just wondering which program you use/d and whether you had any success?

      Reply
      • Marianne

        We have used all of these!! If I was starting over with an 8-year olf boy, I’d go with Logic of English Foundations. It is an excellent program!!

        Reply
  19. Cindy McClung

    I would be interested to hear your thought on the S.P.I.R.E. program by School Specialty Publishing.

    Reply
  20. Cherie

    Explode the Code is a good supplement for any OG program.

    Reply
  21. Lisa

    I have a 13 yo child with mild to moderate dyslexia. He struggles with phonemic awarenes, poor decoding skills and atrocious spelling. He has dysgraphia, so if the program helps with handwriting, that would be a plus, but it’s not a deal breaker. He also has slow processing, so I need something that can be paced appropriately if it’s an online program. Would you recommend LOE essentials or Reading Horizons Elevate?

    Reply
    • Julie Dearyan

      I would definitely go with the Barton System in this case. It works well with children with dyslexia. A lot of these programs work with dyslexia but the Barton system goes at a pace that makes it easier for the child to absorb the information.

      Reply
  22. Kelli Poll

    I have spent the last 5-6 years working with my severely dyslexic son and using 5 different OG and/or research based programs – Spell to Write and Read, Sound Reading, Joyfully Read, All About Reading, and Reading Horizons Elevate. I have appreciated all of them and they have each helped him make some progress. With each one he has eventually hit an insurmountable wall, thus more research and trying another approach – spelling first, phonemic awareness skills, reading first, more independence.

    Since even using all of these phenomenal products has brought limited but precious progress, I went looking again at Barton. He could not pass part C of the student screening. He has not learned all of the phonemic awareness skills he needs to really progress; I hope that is the issue, the barrier, that we have been running up against with everything we have used. So I am waiting for Foundation in Sounds to arrive and I am hoping that this will be a major turning point for him.

    Reply
    • Marianne

      Hi Kelli. Has your son been tested? It sounds like he may be on the more severe end of dyslexia. Not a huge problem (we have 3 severely/profoundly dyslexic kids). For our profoundly dyslexic kids, we went with educational therapy through NILD. http://www.nild.org
      NILD addresses the underlying weaknesses in addition to systematically teaching reading. You may want to see if there is a provider near you.

      Reply
    • Dale

      Kelli, my heart goes out to you. It sounds like you might do well to have a tutor work with you on at least a few lessons. In some states there are some really good programs offered for free. Can you tell me where you live and the age of your child? Perhaps I can do a little research for you.

      Reply
  23. Deborah

    There is also “Up-Words” curriculum. It is OG and written by a speech language pathologist. I think it is only about 4 years old so not as well known. It goes slow and repetitive which is good for my profound dyslexic. It comes with a lot of readers which is an ongoing story and letter tiles. It teaches spelling at same time. I know many families using it that don’t have dyslexic kids and they love it. (Although for my non-dyslexic kid, it would be too slow).

    Reply
  24. Laurel Louk

    Could you compare Calvert School’s Verticy program

    Reply
    • Marianne

      I haven’t looked at that program in quite a while. I’ll make a point of looking at it again. I know that it was a lot of content for dyslexic kids. Can’t remember what they se for reading. I feel that you’re better off putting together your own curriculum choosing programs that are of interest.

      Reply
  25. Meg

    I get so overwhelmed when looking at programs, so thank you for this comprehensive comparison. My 8yo, 2nd grader was diagnosed this year. He started going to a Reading Clinic that uses Lindamood Bell about twice a week in October and they suggested we get formal testing done. I am not happy about what the school offers so I am homeschooling next year. He is very strong in math, but I cannot decide on what reading program to do with him. I used to be a teacher so I am comfortable with many of the curriculums and wouldn’t mind extra training if needed. What would you suggest? If I did AAR or LOE should he continue with Lindamood Bell as well? Thank you so much!

    Reply
    • Marianne

      I would finish up with LB before choosing another program. If I were starting over, I would begin with LOE.

      Reply
    • Marianne

      I haven’t done a complete review yet but from what I’ve seen it is very good.

      Reply
      • Camaree

        My nine year old was recently diagnosed and we are looking into the PRIDE program. I am also Dyslexic so I am really worried about tutoring her myself but the school sped teacher looked me right in the face and told me they don’t know what to do for her! And private tutors are so expensive. I was diagnosed in third grade and caught up by sixth; I managed school ok, went on to college and worked as a professional for several years before having kids. Still I’m nervous.

        Reply
        • Marianne

          Pride is a good program. If you have a good program to follow, it really isn’t hard to teach. What is hard is watching the learning take so long. You may actually have more insights into how your child learns because you probably learn the same way! I would not worry. All parents worry some about teaching their kids but that’s what makes us good teachers.

          Reply
        • ang

          Did you end up using pride? I am looking into it…

          Reply
          • Marianne

            I didn’t. I like the program but I am using and loving All About Reading so we didn’t want to switch. 🙂

  26. Paige

    My 14 yr old son (8th grader) was just diagnosed with Dyslexia. High IQ and high academic achiever overall–which apparantley masked the Dyslexia for years! He is a very slow reader and reads on a 6th grade level. Struggles with fluency, spelling, grammar, and this year, Algebra 1(says he can’t remember what to do). What OG program, specific materials/level would you recommend to use at home? I saw a recommendations for Reading Horizons Elevate. Does this use the OG approach and does it address grammar and writing to help him? Thank you for any help!

    Reply
    • Marianne

      Hi Paige. Yes, Reading Horizons is OG. It helps with basic writing but not composition. Try making a cheat sheet for your son for Math. Write down the procedures and any other details he needs to reference.

      Reply
    • Marianne

      I have looked over it bu never actually used it. It is a good, solid OG program. 🙂

      Reply
  27. Anna Buskirk

    I appreciate your chart. Another thing to add would be how easily you can share resources with your teammates. Barton has these rules that make it hard to share your resources with others. Does all about reading have the same problems?

    Reply
    • Marianne

      Thanks for your feedback Anna. AAR doesn’t have any restrictions that I know of.

      Reply
    • Dale

      I’m a dyslexic who was taught by my mom using Barton until she could no longer afford it. I was bored to death by the boring reminder cards and stories which were often grammatically incorrect. However, I’m now looking at all of these programs for teaching my own son and can honestly say that I think that Barton is a good, solid system, just not for me unless it gets spruced up for fun. I have decided to try out All About Reading. If I were you, I would not waste the big bucks on Barton unless you decide the other, more exciting programs with better pictures and stories just won’t work for your child.

      Reply
      • Elizabeth

        Can AAR readers be used with Barton? I can’t imagine there would be a big difference in the order concepts are introduced.

        Reply
        • Marianne

          Hi Elizabeth. They may not match up exactly and I’m not sure how to match them up but with some prep on your part, you could figure out which readers to use and when. They truly are amazing readers!

          Reply
  28. LCL

    Any thoughts on Reading Lessons throughout Literature and English Lessons through Literature from Barefoot Meandering? It’s OG based.

    Reply
    • Marianne

      It has been a while since I looked at them but I found them to not have enough review or teacher instruction. Definitely not my first choice.

      Reply
  29. Lisa

    What about Saxon Phonic Intervention? Can you compare those? Im looking at the convenience of the Horizon program vs. the Saxon program for my 11 yo son. He can read but his spelling isn’t good. We learned to read on AAR and did AAS to level 3 already…

    Reply
    • Lisa

      I should say I’m comparing the online program for Horizons (homeschooling) for recently diagnosed dyslexia.

      Reply
  30. Sandina Stallard

    I am a reading specialist in the public schools. We have been using “Really Great Reading” and have found much success.
    I like how it teaches Open and Closed syllables near the beginning. It teaches long and short vowels at the same time.
    I have taught Barton, Payne Education SLB, All About Reading, and I have found that “Really Great Reading” brings a lot of the strategies together in a more simple, straightforward approach. There are no rules for Open and Closed Syllables and has a very unique way of teaching the syllable types.
    Really Great Reading was developed by a dad for a son with dyslexia. The program uses letter tiles and offers online tiles also. Their program continues to listen to teachers working with students with dyslexia and adds things we suggest to make their program more teacher/parent friendly.

    Reply
    • Marianne

      Thanks Sandina. I’ll check it out!

      Reply
  31. Firefly Tutoring

    I’m really surprised that Wired for Reading hasn’t been mentioned in this thread. It does a particularly wonderful job of connecting sounds to letters linguistically to build a strong foundation. We like to pair it with the Spalding program, and find it works for a wide range of learners. You should definitely check it out.

    Reply
  32. Katherine Williams

    Has anyone tried or had experience with Bonnie Terry’s ScholarWithin program? I’m in the process of trying to find a program for my 10 year old son who is roughly 3 grade levels behind in reading and writing. Otherwise he has excellent comprehension, great math skills, etc. His school is recommending that he use the Orton-Gilligham method and that we find a tutor (none available thus far). Other reading support programs both inside and outside the school have not worked. We are currently waiting for a psych-ed assessment that the school is arranging.

    Reply
  33. Heather Gilmore

    Just wanted to say that this is a wonderful article. I love the chart.

    Reply
  34. Nancy Brad

    We completed Wilson reading and more recently Reading Horizons for my 15 yo son with Dyslexia. Reading is grade level but I want to do more with fluency & comprehension.
    Any recommendations?

    Reply
    • Marianne

      One of the best things to do is to have them read, read, read.

      Reply
  35. Laura

    I have used Barton Levels 1-7 with my profoundly dyslexic son who is 16. He doesn’t want to be tutored by me anymore and we cannot afford an outside tutor. Is Reading Horizons Elevate something that would be helpful for him?

    Reply
  36. Misty

    My child (10) has not been diagnosed, but I suspect possible dyslexia. We have used OG curriculum, but feels frustrated with tiles and such. Reading level is a little over a year behind. Struggles with breaking multisyllable words into decodable chunks. Doesn’t remember which vowel sound to use or that the vowel can change consonant sound (democracy). Will Reading Horizons help?

    Reply
  37. Damian

    Hi Great article and website with golden information nuggets. Thank you for that.
    My son is 12 years and struggle with reading, Spelling, Vocab, Comprehension and Writing
    I have a few questions to ask:
    1) I am evaluating Linda-mood Bell vs the Programs mentioned in this article. Do you recommend Linda-mood Bell?

    2) For Comprehension and Writing, which program will you recommend?

    Rgds
    Damian

    Reply
  38. Katie

    Am I understanding correctly that All About Reading is great for dyslexic kids & non-dyslexic kids learning to read? I have 3rd grade twins that are dyslexic and a a kindergartner who’s not dyslexic. I’m thinking I can use AAR curriculum for all 3 kids from my research? We’re brand new to homeschool! Thanks for your help! ❤️

    Reply
    • Marianne

      Yes, you can use with all kids!

      Reply
  39. Sarah

    I so appreciate your wisdom, Marianne! We are homeschooling my 8th grade son this year bc of the pandemic. He is mildly dyslexic. I’ve already bought Reading Horizons (and he likes it), but since we only have a year before he goes to High School, I’m starting to wonder if we should add Logic of English into our schedule? We’re focusing primarily on reading and spelling this year, so we have most of the day to work on it. Would it be confusing (or pointless) to do both at the same time?

    Reply
    • Marianne

      It’s usually not a good idea to do 2 programs. Try contacting Reading Horizons to see what they recommend to make the program more intense. They are wonderful and have a wealth of resources available!

      Reply
  40. Lynn

    I enjoyed looking at this overview of the OG programs. I have 2 dyslexic boys. We tried AAR with the older one, but got stuck partway through level 2. He could not break through a barrier. I switched to Barton, and he is now finishing up level 7! I have used the readers from AAR to supplement since they are controlled text. My younger son is severely dyslexic has has other diagnosis including weak working memory and slow processing. We have slowly been working through Barton, and now at 9 years old, he is slowly reading and is doing level 3. Another component that I don’t see mentioned much and I believe has made a huge difference in the past year for my 2 boys is phonemic awareness. We have used David Kilpatrick’s book “Equipped for Reading Success” with great success. Surprisingly, my older son, although he was 5 or 6 levels into Barton and did fine with their phonemic awareness activities, struggled terribly with the 1 min activities in Kilpatrick’s book. He has made great progress this past year, and I attribute much of his current success with fluency to the Kilpatrick activities. There are a number of videos on YouTube with Kilpatrick presenting his research which will give you an idea of what he covers in his book.

    Reply
    • Cece

      Hi Lynn,

      Thanks so much for your comment. I’m a Barton tutor with some experience with Logic of English, lots of experience with Foundation in Sounds, some experience with Kilpatrick’s PA material, lots of experience with Heggerty. It’s reassuring to see one post that lists so many materials I’ve had experience with.

      It’s really wonderful to hear your experience with using Kilpatrick with your son who had had PA in Barton. I believe that it is one common criticism of Barton–that it does not adequately cover phonemic awareness for many dyslexic people.

      I will take your story to heart and ensure that students can pass the Kilpatrick screening, especially when their pace is slowing.

      Reply
  41. Meredith

    I know this blog post is a few years old, but my daughter is 9 and recently diagnosed with dyslexia. She is reading but can not spell and definitely reading below grade level. For LOE it was recommend Essentials for Struggling readers based on her age. Would that still be an OG approach? From what I can see the essentials is not quite as multisensory?

    Reply
    • Marianne

      Hi Meredith. LOE does recommend Essentials for kids 9+. I would contact their customer service and ask. I used the Foundations level with my 9-year-old a few years ago because he was young for his age and needed the kinesthetic activities.

      Reply
  42. Terri

    I have a 14 year old son just diagnosed with dyslexia. In reading these reviews, I am no closer to figuring out which curriculum to use than when I started. He has to get ready for high school and all these programs take 2-3 years to complete. What would you recommend for an almost high schooler with ADD (so I’m reticent that Barton will be too boring and wrote) that is both intensive enough to get him ready and still easy on mom to prepare and use? I still have 7 kids at home that I homeschool that also need mom. I also have a younger 10 year old son that also appears to have dyslexia, too. Ideally, I’d like a program I can use for both boys due to cost, but I realize there’s a big gap between their ages.

    Reply
  43. Cecelia Bockenstedt

    What a great article, and a great thread! I’m a Barton tutor who’s familiar with Logic of English, Heggerty, and very experienced with Foundation in Sounds.

    This article has helped me get a better sense of where I stand in the tutoring world, and has introduced me to resources that seem wonderful. I’m about to purchase the All About Reading readers–they seem like a wonderful addition to my tutoring practice.

    Thanks to you, Marianne, and all who shared their experience and thoughts.

    Reply
    • Marianne

      Thank you for your kind words Cecelia! The AAR readers are wonderful! My kids were so curious to learn what happened next that they would push through their reading difficulties to get to the end of the story. And now they are in color!!

      Reply
  44. Randi Timmons

    Hi! Has anyone used or evaluated The Good and the Beautiful Language Arts program for Level K, 1, and 2?

    Reply
    • Marianne

      I have not but would be curious to hear if others have. Often these programs don’t quite fit for teaching reading to kids with dyslexia even though they are excellent for other subjects.

      Reply
  45. Lisa

    Thank you for this information. My son is in 5th grade, reading at a 2nd grade level. He is scheduled for a neuropsych in August. We dont know yet if he has dyslexia, but a lot of things do point to that. He also has trouble writtting. We want to get him started on a reading prigram as soon as possible, espically for over the summer. After the test results, we can readjust but we realy dont want to wait and start him on a prigram. Is there a program you would recommend for a child in this situation? Thank you!

    Reply
    • Marianne

      Since he is older, it may be best to use the Reading Horizons At-Home Elevate program. It is online and very solid in its teaching. It is designed for older kids so there are no puppies or butterflies. Just straight-forward reading instruction.

      Reply
  46. Allyson Nealy

    Although Spell to Write and Read is not an open and go curriculum, it is not impossible if you put in some work. She does have a seminar on DVD called Hidden Secrets to Language Success that is extremely helpful. I think this program is phenomenal as teacher training. I learned how the English language works and can now teach without a curriculum. It is reasonably priced as well. I learned the program over a summer while my dyslexic did Nessy. My dyslexic is reading Tolkien and Shakespeare in middle school because she wants to. I think it’s because of SWR.

    Reply
  47. Heidi

    I just wanted to chime in here with my two cents’ worth of our experience with Reading Horizons Elevate and to request input from others who have older children/teens.

    I have a 15-year-old son who has autism and probably (undiagnosed) dyslexia. We did Reading Horizons Elevate up through lesson 93 (out of 95). My son didn’t mind it at first, but grew to dislike it and eventually at the tail end decided to quit altogether, which may very well be a measure of his impatience and personality as anything.

    I am a former high school English teacher and there were a number of things I liked about RH. I liked that it included some grammar modules but also gave me the option to opt out of lessons that I didn’t care to have him focus on. However, the one aspect I didn’t like was there was too much focus on the marking or coding method they used to indicate sounds, syllables, etc. Sometimes quiz questions required purely knowing RH’s code, not what the code meant. I’m all for scaffolding, but the scaffold is not the goal. Not sure if I would do it again if had the choice just because of the coding/marking issue that frustrated by son, but I liked that it was online easy to access (I do work outside the home so I don’t have tons of prep time) and was very well-organized with excellent reporting capabilities, so I knew exactly where the problems were.

    I wish I could say, having gotten 98% of the way through RH, that our problems are solved. My son reads okay, but not well and his spelling is not great, but not terrible anymore. He is an avid journal keeper, so I am particularly pleased with the fact that he writes often. I have always tried to make reading fun at home (let the “have-to” reading happen at school), so I’m thankful that my son enjoys reading too, though it does tend to be more comic books and audible books. At his (special) school, they recently did standardized testing and he complained that he is a really slow reader. We are currently reading the new version of the Hardy Boys novels and he seems to comprehend them well, but when he reads out loud to me, l notice that he misses some words altogether and mispronounces others. He also has speech challenges too, so it’s hard for me to tell sometimes whether his challenges are speech or reading/spelling related.

    My plan now is to do either an abbreviated version of Sequential Spelling (I can’t do all 7 because he only has a little over 3 years left of school) and/or Essentials of Reading and/or Really Great Reading. I’m self-taught as far as understanding the basics of phonemes and phonics and decoding and such, so I’m not sure if his issues are decoding/phonics/phonemes/fluency/comprehension or speech or some combination thereof. I can probably do 10-15 minutes a day max given his temperament. I sure wish it were easier for us parents to figure the puzzle out; it seems that so much time is lost in the search. Oh well, so it goes.

    Thank you for keeping this thread going. I’ve learned a lot from the experiences of others and would welcome any input others may have!

    Reply
  48. Laura

    Which one of these programs would you say is the most open-and-go? I guess I want something that I can begin immediately while I learn more about dyslexia and dysgraphia. If it helps here’s a bit of info: My kiddo is finishing 4th grade, has not been diagnosed (though I’m certain something is going on). He can read and sound things out but never improves in fluency. Handwriting is a HUGE struggle. He spells well orally, but writing anything is painful for us both. I don’t want to let this go any longer, but I find myself drowning in all the information about each program and can’t seem to figure out which to use.

    Reply
    • Laura

      I apologize. I found a very similar comment just above. It sounds like Reading Horizons Elevate will be the way to go. Thanks!

      Reply
    • Marianne

      They are all open and go. They all have a variety of moving parts because they include hands-on activities that help with learning. Once you get the swing of things though, it’s not too much to handle. 🙂

      Reply
  49. Sheryl

    Would like a recommendation on LOE vs RH Elevate for the following:

    Child 1: Soon-to-be 11th grader (16) can read mostly well. Longer, difficult words are a problem. Spelling is challenging and I have only sporadically taught spelling rules. Would like to focus mostly on spelling and fill in any gaps for reading.

    Child 2: Soon-to-be 6th grader (11) might be profoundly dyslexic. Recently discovered that he probably has significant auditory processing problems (previously thought to be mild and have been working on it). We have spent 2 years getting through Level 1 of AAR. Didn’t think it would take this long but we end up needing to spend a week on each lesson that presents content which really slows it down. I’m not sure if I should just keep plugging along or switch to something else. He is making progress, it is just really slow. He does not like the stories (feels they are long and somewhat childish). Has done zero spelling because he is not reading enough yet.

    Reply
    • Sheryl

      I was also wondering how LOE and RH Elevate compare in content. LOE is very comprehensive in it’s coverage of phonograms. It says it teaches 75. RH Elevate says it teaches 42 “sounds of the alphabet”. Did you find RH Elevate lacking in any way as far as scope of content taught?

      Reply
  50. Mel

    I wish these would be compared against the severity of dyslexia. I’ve tried all but LOE, and Barton is the only program that works for my severely dyslexic kiddo. I would say AAR is only for mild dyslexia. There was no way for my severely dyslexic child to progress in that program.

    Reply
    • Marianne

      I think this idea is a misnomer. My profoundly dyslexic son did not make significant or adequate progress with Barton. He needed educational therapy through NILD. There are many factors that cause a program to be successful or not. Namely the age of the child, the severity of the processing lag, tutor relationship, level of stress in the child, etc. Barton would have worked for my son but very slowly. He needed to work on the underlying weaknesses of dyslexia. Here is a post I wrote called When Orton-Gillingham Isn’t Enough.

      Reply

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