Sunday, May 12, 2013

Ooka Island Adventure {Review}

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Ooka Island Adventure is a computer based reading program that uses games to teach children   literacy.  The program is recommended for children ages 3-7.

The program is based on years of research by Dr. Kay MacPhee, who developed the eye/ear reading method to help teach her deaf son to read. Dr. MacPhee’s research and the development of the SpellRead program in 1994 helped to make Ooka Island. Read the story of how Ooka Island came to be here.

Ooka Island’s pricing is $19.95 per month -for a family membership with up to four students- or $149.95 per year. You can also purchase a a membership for an individual child for a bit less.  There is a home edition, school edition and homeschool edition available. You can read more about their pricing for these editions as well as the individual student membership on their website.

I used this program with Kaden who just turned 8 in March and I can tell you that he loved it! Kaden loves video games and as it states on the Ooka Island website: Play with purpose! While many of our children love video games in this age of technology it is wonderful to find programs that teach subject matter that is important and fundamental to our children’s education.  With Ooka Island children are not just getting a bunch of mindless screen time, they are actually learning to read and grow in confidence and their abilities.

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What a wonderful reading program this is! Kaden is a reluctant reader, but he has really enjoyed using Ooka Island and I can see where he is making marked improvement in his reading abilities.  I knew he would enjoy the game format and he would want to give it a try.

As he was playing, not once did he complain about learning to read. As he does when we use our other reading program at times!

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I like that the skills in each game build upon each other to help children reach their reading goals. As the child learns a new skill it builds upon the next one as the child progresses though the program.

The games are fun and engaging. Another thing I really like is that ability for Kaden to log himself in easily with out my assistance. With 2 mouse clicks he can start playing on his own.

I  also like that the free time is limited during game time. Kaden was actually working through the games and reading the online books much of the time he was playing.

There is a parent section called The Lighthouse. This section is a very comprehensive progress reporting area for your child. The Lighthouse will help you asses where your child is in the Ooka Island program.

Additional resources- there are some wonderful free resources that go along with the program: workbooks and activity pages to enhance your child’s learning. Both of these resources come in PDF format which you can download and print or download to a device such as a smart phone or a Kindle.

In addition to those resources Ooka Island offers books in paperback at an additional cost to enhance your children’s learning experience. There are over 30 books available within three levels (beginning, emergent and fluency)  if you so desire.  You can find sample downloadable books on this page.

To get a feel for the program you can watch the video tour.

The folks at Ooka Island are generously offering my readers a 30% discount (valid until June 1, 2013) for a monthly or yearly membership! Click on this link to get your discount!

I think Ooka Island Adventure is a wonderful learning tool for teaching young children to read!

You can also visit the Ooka Island blog to learn more about the program!

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