Reading mastery lessons were designed for direct instruction in reading. There are several main reading mastery curricula that teach a combination of phonics, word recognition, spelling, vocabulary, comprehension and fluency. As opposed to only phonics or sight word instruction, reading mastery provides a direct, balanced approach to reading at various levels of elementary instruction.

Reading Mastery

The Reading Mastery Program was originally called the Direct Instruction System for Teaching Arithmetic and Reading (DISTAR). The program includes two levels at both regular and fast cycles and levels appropriate for grades three through six. This direct reading instruction program combines lessons on phonemic awareness, phonics and fluency with vocabulary and comprehension skills, giving students a holistic approach to reading. Reading Mastery Plus includes lessons on reading with components on writing, spelling and language arts. The Reading Mastery Plus program is available for grades K through 6.

Teach Your Child to Read

Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons is a program offered to parents to teach their own children to read up to approximately the second-grade level. This program is a modified version of the Reading Mastery Program and has lessons designed for home instruction or as an extension to the reading instruction offered at school. Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons is also appropriate for summer enrichment. Like Reading Mastery, this program offers holistic lessons with an emphasis on phonics, vocabulary, fluency and comprehension.


The Horizons Reading Program was designed as an alternative to Reading Mastery for teachers who wanted an earlier introduction to spelling and capital letters. It comes in two lesson levels, A and B, in both regular and fast track and provides teachers with a holistic approach to reading. This includes lessons on phonics, phonetics, vocabulary and comprehension. In comparison to Reading Mastery, Horizons uses regular type as opposed to altered type, which many feel makes it easier to teach writing, as the letters used in the lessons are more standard.


Journeys is a reading mastery program similar to the Reading Mastery Plus program. This program integrates language arts lessons while students learn to read. It combines all of the features of the Reading Mastery program, with lessons on phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension, with the added benefits of lessons on spelling and sentence structure. Journeys is available for grades K-3 and can be paired with Horizons.

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