I will admit that getting J to do extra work can be a struggle. Some days just getting him to do the work he needs to do is a struggle. The decision to review this was one we made together. I needed his agreement. Now after having spent a few weeks on the adventure, I asked him about his first throughs or impression of Star Toaster. He told me, "The only thing I knew was what we saw on the video. I wanted to try it as it looked fun." The video convinced him to try it.
I read the description and wondered if this was too good to be true. A program that would include math, science, language, vocabulary, thinking skills, character, life skills, the arts, and more. Could it really deliver that in one online program? Would it engage my 14 year old son?
The easy answer is, "yes". When I tell J that it is time to do Orphs of the Woodlands, he has never complained about doing it. J spent about 20-30 minutes on this three to four times a week. He would read some of the story and the rollovers give the definitions to new words. At the end there are review activities and games.
"This is great!" When I heard those words, I knew this was something that he was enjoying. He thought the activities reminded him of some of the games that he plays online. That tells a bit about the quality of the program.
I knew he was learning things. As we were driving through the university area I heard him say, "Look at all the student commuters." I don't think I had heard J use the word commuters before. He told me that he had learned it that morning in Star Toaster. I love it when I have confirmation that learning is happening.
I asked J about his favourite part in Orphs of the Woodlands. He told me that he liked Professor Forp, as he adds a joke at the beginning of his teaching time. J also told me that he likes earning goldstars and buying stuff like fireplaces (that makes sense when you are in the program and playing the games, taking care of the orphs). He said the Latin sayings were new to him. He also had a better understanding of mean and median. Vocabulary, math, Latin he was learning all those things that were mentioned.
Star Toaster has a section that the student logs in and it records and remembers where the student is. There is also a section for the parent where you can see the progress that is being made. I have basically used this as an extra to our day and giving him this as reading time.
Star Toaster is offering a free trial. You can read the beginning of the book and do the first 100 pages free. The full 60 day subscription for up to 3 children is $19.99.
This is fun addition to you school day or a great summer reading program.
"It is not what you think and it is more fun." That is what J wanted to tell others about this Star Toaster.