Monday, November 7, 2011

A Reading Program on An Island - A New TOS Review!!


I have really loved my time being on the TOS Homescool Crew, especially when our family is chosen for a review that becomes a favorite or is a GREAT fit.  That is what happened with our latest review of Ooka Island.  It is actually both!

The Product:
OokaIsland is an early reading program for pre-kindergarten through second grade, which is downloadable.  The program is based around Zobot, who leads your child around the Island doing tasks based on phonological awareness.  You can read about their method in full detail if you want to know the entire OokaMethod.

These 'tasks' that Zobot has your child do include:
The Cave of Sounds - letter sound recognition
Bubbly Trubbly - letter sound correspondence
Clumsy Wacky Moving Co. - rhyming and blending sounds

There are more activities too, which will keep your child interested for the entire session.  Each session is 20 minutes of "instruction" followed by 8 minutes of free play.  But before your child can get started they get to create themselves an avatar to go through the game.  At the end of the instruction your child will go to the Popcorn Library and gets to read a book they have captured.  The book is read a few times and each time they are 'tested' in a different way. You can see a little more about the books for yourself  in the trailer below.

Our Experience:
We first had to download the VERY large program (2GB) onto our computer.  It took several hours, so be sure and check the system requirements before you start the process.  After the program is downloaded then you are ready to sign in and set up your child's account.  You will need a separate account for each child that will be using the program but there are many options.  You can see that here:

Audrie has enjoyed OokaIsland since we began.  The first day I had to get her used to using the mouse on our 'new to us' laptop, but once she got the hang of that she was good to go.  She sits and follows Zobot around the Island doing her activities.  Then when she's reading the books she seems to be answering the answers before they are asked, which I think is pretty cool.

Even her brother likes the program, but he's a little too young as of yet.  But he does sit and watch as the program is on.  He is not able to control the mouse so until then watching will suffice for him.  I know he's still learning because he's copying the sounds and "helping" Audrie as she plays.
Audrie asks to do her computer work all the time which is great.  She can do it on her own so we save the "computer" time for nap time usually so mom can get more done in a short time span while the big girls are doing computer work and brother naps (and isn't into everything and trying to take over the computer.)

Her favorite game is the Cave of Sounds, but she also really loves the Popcorn Library.  Sometimes she spends her 8 minutes of Free Time reading the books over again and again.

My Thoughts:
One of the cool things about the program is even though it need access to the web, it's not through a browser.  The game is totally self contained and the children are never directed outside the game to other content.

I also love the independence of the program..  It allows a time when your child has complete control of their progress.  I think that the many games help encourage the child to really know their letters and sounds opposed to faking as kids sometimes do.

For a limited time there is an launch special that you can take advantage of ... 30% off on a monthly subscription!  So if you think that this program is what you have been looking for then check out the other reviews, take the trial period and then make sure you grab this code to SAVE!
If you want to see what other Crew members thought of the OokaIsland program make sure you check out the TOS Homeschool Crew page.  You can also check out OokaIsland on Facebook or Twitter and you can email them for any additional questions you may have.

*** I am a member of The Old Schoolhouse 2011-2012 Crew and receive free products and services in exchange for a thorough and honest review. Though I am compensated with free products, I am not compensated in the form of money for any of my reviews. My reviews will always reflect my honest opinions, findings, beliefs and experiences with the products and services that I receive.***

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