Orphs of the Woodlands by Star Toaster (Schoolhouse Review Crew)
Lately, it's been a bit of a struggle to find a reading program for my oldest as he just doesn't seem to be interested in reading like he once was. Orphs of the Woodlands from Star Toaster, however, looked like just the ticket to spark his interest again. I was right!
Orphs of a the Woodlands is an interactive online book. Once logged in, kids are asked to fill out an application to become a spy in the WAK Underground. That got my guy interested immediately. My oldest son was the one using this program, so he got started reading a chapter right away. At the end of each chapter, there are jobs to complete. What was the purpose of the jobs and of the book? To rescue the Orphs of the Woodlands -- little orphan mice in need of care, shelter, and food.
When he finished a chapter, the Help Wanted page with job listings would appear. The jobs are completed to earn gold stars which are used to care for the Orphs. Jobs are arranged by subject including math, science, language, thinking skills, life skills, arts, and vocabulary. The jobs have multiple answer options to review the material covered in the book. Once the job is complete, the gold stars are awarded! Gold stars are then used to purchase items and land to provide for the Orphs.
In addition to reading and completing jobs, there are projects available to complete in Ivythwaite (the woodland settlement). Adisson was able to learn how to best utilize his gold stars to maximize their effectiveness by completing projects. The goal is to provide for as many Orphs as possible by enlarging the settlement and building more orphanages.
What did Adisson think about Orphs of the Woodlands? He found it very interesting. He liked the jobs at the end of each chapter and enjoyed earning more stars. As he continues using the program, he says he's looking forward to some of the projects available in Ivythwaite.
I thought the whole premise of Orphs of the Woodlands to be incredibly engaging. Also, I liked the set-up and arrangement of the program. Reading a chapter, then completing fun (but very educational) jobs, and finally working on interesting projects seemed like a logical and sensible way to layout the book. Plus, the rescuing and care for orphans really makes the reader feel like they are working on a neat project. It's fun and intriguing and learning disguised as playing a game. That's a home run for me!
I still have the capability to add Zander to the program, but his reading skills aren't strong enough to do all of the reading himself. I think this would be a fun way for him and I to work together on some educational activities over the summer. The reading may be a bit difficult for him, but I know he would really enjoy the whole idea of the book, so we'll read it together.
Are you interested in checking out Orphs of the Woodlands from Star Toaster? Well, you are in luck! If you click the photo above, you can sign up for your own FREE TRIAL! Then you can see how awesome it is by sharing it with your child! Below you'll find the social media links. You should definitely follow them on facebook as I've seen several neat ideas (including yummy recipes) come across my timeline!