How The Program Was Developed

The roots of the Funnix program go back to 1969, when Zig Engelmann wrote the most successful school-reading program ever, Distar Reading, now called Reading Mastery, which is still considered one of the best reading programs ever designed. This program is so effective because it was field-tested and revised many times to make sure that it worked and worked well before it was ever published.

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teach your child to read

The next step that is related to the development of Funnix was a condensed version of Reading Mastery, titled Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, which was published in 1982 and is still rated the best home-school beginning reading program ever.

(If you are looking for an effective and economical print program for teaching reading, this is the best one you can buy.)

In 1997, Zig and his co-authors developed a different beginning reading program, Horizons. It is as highly rated as Reading Mastery but teaches things a little differently than Reading Mastery does. Horizons teaches more words than Reading Mastery and focuses more on comprehension skills.

The work on Horizons began in 1993. The same shaping process that was used for Reading Mastery went into Horizons. After several field-tryouts and subsequent revisions of the field-test versions, the program met the very high standards that Zig and his co-authors require before a program is published.



When Zig and his colleagues decided to develop a home-school computer program that taught reading, they agreed that the best foundation was Horizons.

So they proceeded to adapt Horizons to a more condensed, and more visual presentation for the computer. The work on Funnix started in 1998. It was completed in the summer of 2001.

The program may not be perfect to us, but it is light years better than all other computer programs for beginning readers. Funnix is not designed to primarily entertain, but you and your child will find it entertaining. It is not designed to be something your child does independently (like a video game), but you will find it easy to use. Most of all, Funnix is like the other products that Zig and his colleagues develop: it doesn't just work well, it works better than anything else you could use.

For more information on Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons please visit

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