For this review, we were given access to Orphs of the Woodlands from Star Toaster. This is an amazing online book that combines adventure, fun games and learning all into one. With over 300 exciting lessons throughout the story, the fun and learning never stop.
Orphs of the Woodlands combines a three step approach to learning:
- A Reading Adventure
- An Academic Treasure
- A Fun Game
The current online book that we were give access to is called, ‘The Treasure of High Tower,’ though other books in the series will be available shortly. This book contains 15 chapters, with many lessons/games at the end of each chapter.
How did we go?
I signed up both the boys to this online reading program. Even though B is a little young for it (he is in 3rd grade and this program is for Grades 4-7), he is quite good at reading and with me sitting beside him, was able to manage quite well. Once R was signed in, he took off as he loved it.
The first thing you do when you sign in, is complete your spy application. This caught our boys attention straight away. They love anything to do with spying!!
Then you start reading the online book. While you read through the chapters, certain words are highlighted in a golden colour. By hovering their mouse over these words, a pop up box was opened, allowing our boys to learn the meaning of that particular word.
At the end of the chapter, are the educational games. During the review period, a page counter was added to the bottom of the page, which allows you to see how many pages left to the end of the chapter. We found this to be very motivating, as they could see how far they had left until the lessons/games.
These lessons were fun and educational and earned them stars which they need to care for the orphan animals in the woodland. If you didn’t complete the lessons to a certain standard, you would not receive the gold stars, not matter how many times you repeated them. This was a little disappointing, as you sometimes our boys weren’t confident in the topic/question and needed a little practice. It would be great if you were to receive stars if you were to answer the question correctly in the first three tries or something.
These lessons are broken up into the following subjects, each containing a multitude of topics: Math, Science, Language, Vocabulary, Thinking Skills, Character, Life Skills and The Arts.
Each child logs in with the same email address as the parent, but they have their own password. When they log in they can see their own journal. This allows them to keep track of their orphs, jobs and gold stars.
Each reader gets their own journal. The journal allows the reader to keep track of all the orphs they have rescued, jobs they have completed, gold stars they have earned, and how their settlement is growing and doing.
In the Parent account, you are able to see how your children are going and how many skills they have achieved. In the picture below, it shows how many of the skills in each subject R had completed when the screenshot was taken.
Overall, our R loved this online story. B found it a little hard, sitting reading the chapters. They were a bit long for him and all he wanted to do was get to the lessons/games. This probably has a lot to do with his age, being younger than the recommended age.
With how excited I saw R, I would think that you shouldn’t really need more than the two months this program is designed to be completed in. Though if you do need more time, you can extend for a small amount extra.
Our boys loved the lessons/games and enjoyed completing the tasks and building their settlements in the woodlands. It was great to see how responsible they felt caring for the Orphs of the Woodlands.
I would highly recommend this program to any parent with children, even if they are really interested in reading. They will love this online story and the exciting lessons!
For a limited time, Star Toaster is offering a FREE TRIAL. With this trial, you are able to access the first 100 pages which includes over 50 lessons/games.
Details At a Glance!!