For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not of yourselves it is the gift of God, not of works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Star Toaster - TOS Review

Do your kids hate reading? Are you looking for a way to get your kids excited about reading? Then, I have a review product just for you. Star Toaster is an online Reading Adventure that is sure to get your kids reading and enjoying it. We were tasked with trying out their Orphs in the Woodlands Online reading adventure, and I am glad we made it on this particular review.

What is Orphs in the Woodland?

Orphs in the Woodland is an online Reading book that offers you more than a reading experience. It is an interactive adventure, of which reading is the main component, but where you get to play games, and learn from a lot of different subjects.

It is all online, so you will need a computer, or tablet connected to the internet. The set up is easy, each child gets a code name and sets their profile, and then  he is set on his journey.

When you purchased this book you get a two-month subscription, with one-month extension available, good for up to three children

The story:
Your children get to be spies and seek to get the orps (orphaned by the night creatures) back to their homeland  Ivythwhite. Along the way they have to care for them by providing them with what they need. The way they do that is by earning stars through completed jobs.

The chapters of the book are rather long, but manageable. At the bottom of the screen you can see how many pages are left for you to finish that particular chapter. If your child can't finish a chapter, he can always stop and pick it up the next day. He won't be able to access the jobs until the first chapter has been completed, but after that, he will be able to access them. Certain jobs are unlocked only after a chapter has been read.

Star Toaster's motto is:

"an educational journey that combines:
a reading adventure, 
an academic treasure, 
and a rewarding game."

This is exactly what Star Toaster is. Geared towards kids between 4th and 7th grades, younger and older kids can still enjoy it and benefit from it. The academic treasure is hidden in its breadth of topics covered throughout the book:
  • Vocabulary
  • Math
  • Famous Quotes
  • Science
  • Recipes
  • Critical Thinking
  • Logic
  • Latin
  • Music
Throughout the text, there are highlighted words, which, when hovered on reveal the meaning of the word.

Lessons are scattered throughout the text, which you click on to access as you read. Those same lessons are available as well, when you do the jobs, as training sessions, before you actually get tested and earn your gold stars.

How we used it and how we liked it:

I had the boys worked on it independently at their own pace. My fast reader (6th grade) was able to complete a chapter a day and finished, the whole book within the review period. My 4th grader, struggled to finish a chapter a day, more because of the length of the chapter (as he is a slower reader), than a comprehension problem. .

They worked on it between 3-4 times a week.

The lessons included in the book took various forms: flashcards or videos. The boys absolutely found the videos hilarious. I have to admit they were quite funny, though one will have to get use to the particular kind of humor.

The jobs were mainly in the form of multiple choices questions, at the end of which you earned gold stars for correct answers.

Other aspects I loved:
  • Great and appealing graphics
  • The parents get a regular report in an e-mail of what the child has been learning and what other topics are upcoming.
  • The story emphasizes positive character traits and good values.
  • It can be done independently
Here is what my boys have to say about it:
  • It's fun
  • It's suspenseful
  • It's educational
  • You get to open secret messages
My oldest, who finished the book, is eagerly awaiting the next book that will be coming out soon.

Star Toaster offers a free trial of the first chapter, so go ahead and check it out. You probably will be glad you did.

You can connect with them as well on Social Media, and find out more about them:

Star Toaster Review

1 comment:

Star Toaster said...

Joelle, thank you so much for the kind review. I especially enjoyed reading how your boys liked the program. Wanted your readers to know that they can still try “Orphs of the Woodlands” for FREE. It’s a great way to get a head start on the next school year. Those who complete the FREE TRIAL receive a 25% OFF Promo Code for the entire program. Thanks again for the wonderful review! Happy Learning! ~Marlene

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