I was reading the Reader 1 that is included with this set and "boom" right out of the blue was the donkey word that starts with an "A".
In this day and age, a child cannot call a donkey by it's original name in an elementary class. Can you picture them being in Sunday School and your child cries out in his/her innocence, "Oh that's Jesus riding an "a**" in front of the kids of today. That's a beepity-beep that just doesn't work because the meaning has changed in this millennium. I am disappointed that Horizons hasn't come to this understanding.
Also, some of the other stories at the very beginning were weird and obnoxious so I skipped them. I unfortunately feel I wasted my money here.
My daughter really enjoyed this curriculum. Each lesson is fairly short so it doesn't take too long. There were plenty of fun activities with the word list and she always wanted me to copy her the supplemental worksheet in the teacher's book because she wanted to do those too. Also, I loved the option of adding three of your own words every week. I used these words to really challenge her and she really liked it. I used words from her science, history, and Bible lessons. However, if your child is a really good reader, I think you could use a grade level higher. Each week starts off with a pre-test before going over any of the material, and she usually knew how to spell all the words already. So the actual spelling wasn't really that challenging but there were still useful vocabulary elements to it. And she loved the dictionary. I got her a recipe box and wrote the words on index cards and had her file them alphabetically each week. She loved her box of words when she was done. Overall, thsi is a fun curriculum, and there is a lot to be learned from it.
I had a 4th grader who struggled with spelling and I bought this program as a "last ditch effort" before seeking a tutor. I cannot even describe how much he has improved in spelling. He recently took a standardized test and placed well within grade level in spelling! I credit his improvement to this program. It incorporates all aspects of language arts with a natural flow. I also really like the spelling lists. They are thematic but not rhyming. So no list will just be bat, cat, sat, mat, etc. One list may be contractions or compound words, etc. The books are very well designed for teacher and student. My kids especially enjoyed that each lesson starts off with them just guessing how to spell each word. That was fun for them! The only thing I would say as a word of caution - I do believe they are a little on the challenging side for a true grade level experience. My 2nd grader used the 1st grade level and it was a perfect challenge. I do not think he could have done the 2nd grade level as an average 2nd grade speller. I also credit that 1st grade level with helping the 2nd grader become a more proficient reader!Overall I wish I could give this program more than 5 stars!!!