This blog is my attempt to document our busy but BLESSED lives raising and educating our children for His glory. A child of God, wife to one, and mom to 6 fabulous kids. We are in our 9th year of homeschooling using a Classical ~ Charlotte Mason approach.

Come along for the good, the bad & the ugly.



Friday, April 17, 2015

Star toaster: Orphs of the Woodlands: The Treasure of HighTower ~ a TOS review

Star Toaster Review

I am a huge fan of reading at our house. I like to get the girls to catch the reading bug at a young age and then have them take off with it. However, I do have one daughter that is not a huge fan of reading. So you can imagine my surprise when I found out we would be able to review a new online book called Orphs of the Woodlands : The Treasure of HighTower from Star Toaster.

Star Toaster Review

The Star Toaster Team believes that learning is a lifelong experience with opportunities all around us. They also believe that children learn best  primarily in the home regardless of where they school {i.e. home, private, or public}. The Orphs of the Woodlands material is presented in such an entertaining and engaging manner way that children don’t even realize they are learning! Not only does it fill in the missing gaps, but it also instills a desire to learn.

I received a year long subscription to use with up to three children. At the time of this review, I only focused on having Mikayla, my 6th grader, complete the program.

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Orphs of the Woodlands is an online educational series like no other that encourages the love of learning, all the while helping to develop positive character traits in children. Designed to capture your child’s imagination, your child will embark on an educational journey that includes:

Star Toaster Review

1. A reading adventure ~ This series is about a squirrel {who you get to name} who becomes a spy fighting against Night Creatures who are terrorizing the Woodlands. Your spy reluctantly finds himself responsible for a settlement of orphans known as the Orphs of the Woodlands. As the game progresses your squirrel develops a passion for the orphs and grows into a leader.

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2. An academic treasure ~ Hundreds of lessons in math, science, grammar, vocabulary, thinking skills, character, life skills, the arts, and more are woven into this exciting story. Not only is the story packed with knowledable things, but it also teaches your child how to learn.

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Several techniques are used to present material including: flashcards, videos, and memorytyper, a highly rated memorization system. At the completion of each chapter, lessons are reviewed before the spy works at “jobs” to earn his pay in the woodlands.

Jobs are actually fun exercises that allow students to improve on their skills. Payment for jobs is given in “goldstars”  currency for a job well done. The more skills a child learns, the higher their pay.

Star Toaster Review

3. A rewarding game ~ The money {goldstars} earned for the jobs is used to build a settlement for the orphs in a fun game of strategy. By strategizing and choosing the best course of the game,you can build the best settlement to sustain more orphs. Having enough goldstars to care for the orphs is a powerful motivator for children to master skills.

Mikayla loved this game just as I did! Getting her to read for pleasure daily has always been a struggle, but not with this program! Some days I would have to tell her to stop reading so that she could concentrate on the rest of the schoolwork. She  named her squirrel spy after her brother and read the book entirely on her Kindle Fire. Her only complaint was that she could only read it when she had access to Wi-Fi.

 

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My favorite part of the program would have to be the detailed emails that I received after Mikayla finished a chapter. I was able to see everything that she had learned within a specific chapter, to the number of lessons completed.

Star Toaster Review

Overall, we really enjoyed this program and I look forward to using it with Montana {my rising 3rd grader} over the summer. Normally, the subscription is two months long, with the option to extend a month. I would definitely recommend you checking out the free trial that is offered. You will have access to the first 100 pages and 50 lessons!

Be sure to check out what my Crewmates though of this program by clicking the banner below.

Star Toaster Review

Company ~ Star Toaster

Product ~ Orphs of the Woodlands : The Treasure of HighTower

Price ~ $19.99 two month subscription for 3 children, $6.99 for a 30 day extension

Ages ~ 4th – 7th grade

Star Toaster Review

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