Got kids who need to “up” their excitement about reading? Are your boys unmotivated to read? Do you need a wholesome online learning program where kids have fun learning with educational games? Then you might want to check out the amazing online resource by Star Toaster called Orphs Of The Woodlands.
Orphs of the Woodlands
Online Interactive Books with Learning Games
Designed for kids in 4th through 7th grades
2 month subscription, available for $19.99 for up to 3 children in the same household.
Each book is designed to take about 60 days or less to complete. Extensions are also available if your child needs more time to complete the book. The first book is currently available, and more books for the series are in development with the goal to eventually cover an entire year’s worth of curriculum. Be sure to check out the free trial offer of the first 100 pages of the book and see for yourself how fun learning with this program can be.
Wholesome character qualities learned and practiced by the character in the story:
Do your best.
Learn something new every day.
Be a good leader (servant leadership).
Hundreds of academic lessons are woven into the story. It is like an interactive unit study in hyperdrive. Cross curricular subjects kids get lots of practice in:
Language Arts (grammar, vocabulary, etc)
Cultural social studies
Study of well known people
Arts and Crafts
To make this a really fun learning adventure, lots of special effects are woven through out the story and the activities. Some of these include:
Spy Reports / Top Secret Files
DIY instructions for crafts
Gold Stars are currency that can be earned and used
Cool sound effects, and more…
Parents can keep track of their child’s progress and their learning challenges on the Progress Page where updates are posted. Parents are also sent regular emails with fun facts to discuss with their child too.
Check out this video to learn more about Orphs of The Woodlands Interactive Books and Games
How We Used Orphs of the Woodlands:
We received a subscription to the first book available in Orphs Of the Woodlands called The Treasure of HighTower. I had my 10 year old, 12 year old, and 14 year old sons work on it for 30 minutes a day. They loved it! My 14 year old son has finished, and the other two are still working on it.
This program follows a fun story theme throughout the whole program and is designed to be completed with in 2 months. Afterwards the kids move on to the next story book in the series. Orphs of the Woodlands stands for orphan animals who live in the forest. You character in the story takes on the job of taking care of them and meeting their needs.
To earn money (gold stars) the character has to do jobs and do them well to get paid. Jobs can be in any curriculum category and come available or open at different times in the story.
Woven throughout the story are fun facts to learn:
We had a lot of fun making recipes from the story. My oldest son typed Bicker’s grouchy recipes onto a word document to keep in a file so we can keep making them even after the program ends.
For this review, we made Blueberry Crumble Grumble. It comes out like a cake bar and is moist and delicious!
We also made Nuts To You Cookies.
These cookies are so good! They taste like pecan sandies. We didn’t have enough pecans, so we added in various seeds and nuts and they turned out amazing.
We made a few substitutions in the recipes to fit our family’s needs. The crumble called for 2 1/2 cups buttermilk. It is a large amount of milk and I thought it might bother some in the family with lactose intolerance. So we used almond milk in the crumble.
For the cookies we replaced the powdered sugar with evaporated cane juice. Also I only had half the amount of pecans so in addition we added in additional walnuts and pumpkin seeds. I am going to remake them again and see how they turn out with gluten free flour blend too. We will try a blend of almond flour and coconut flour to start. They are a crispy cookie so they lend well to the substitutions we made so far.
What does my 14 year old think about it?
“I like how you get to follow a storyline or storybook. It is a really cool storyline. I like how they incorporate math and science, Latin sentances, cooking, arts and crafts where you learn how you would make something, quotes of wisdom from famous real people in history, etc.
For example: Professor Forp will give one math or science lesson a day if your character cleans his house (he is messy in the story), and will give you an additional lesson in exchange for a Latin sentance. The character has a friend named Radar (he is a friend and is also his boss in the spy network), and he says random Latin sentances all the time. My character learns the sentances and uses them later to exchange for more lessons with the Professor.
One of the characters is a cook. His name is Bicker. He makes a lot of recipes you get to learn. He names the food disgusting names but they are actually delicious. He doesn’t want the others to eat the food so that he can have more to himself.
It is a fun program and I can’t wait for the next book to come available. I finished the first one and I’m kinda sad it is over already.”
What does my 12 year old think about it?
“I think it is really fun way to read. I like the story and the games are fun. Sometimes I get tired of reading, but it motivates me to earn stars so I can take care of the Orphs. The jokes are funny too. ”
What does my 10 year old think about it?
“I love it mom! It is really cool! It teaches you to want to read. You don’t want to quit. You want to keep going and know more of what is going to happen next in the story.”
Be sure to check out what other families on the Schoolhouse Review Crew had to say about using this product with their kids.