Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Orphs of the Woodlands ~ The Treasure of Hightower

My children and I had the opportunity to review Orphs of the Woodlands: The Treasure of Hightower by Star Toaster.

What exactly is Orphs of the Woodlands: The Treasure of Hightower?

If your child likes adventure, than listen up!! Orphs of the Woodlands is an online interactive book. As your child reads the online book he/she will encounter Top Secret spy files, disappearing ink, sound effects and many more surprises. As your child progresses in his/her reading, he/she is able to enter the world of Ivythwaite, a land where your child will continue an adventure in the form of a game. In Ivythwatie your child will complete jobs and" educational" games, in order to care for orphs. What are orphs you ask? Well, they are little orphaned creatures that are counting on your child to take them in and care for them. After completing jobs your child earns gold stars to purchase food, shelter, supplies and medicine to care for the orphs in their care.

There are jobs in 8 subjects




Thinking Skills


Life Skills

The Arts

There are over 300 lesson that your child can work through as they read 
The Treasure of Hightower.

What my children said:
My 12 year old said that she actually like Orphs of the Woodlands better than a very popular game that many children and teens are currently playing. Both of my kiddos absolutely LOVE the book and game. I guess I could say that they are a bit addicted. My daughters are constantly comparing each other's progress. On multiple occasions, my 12 year old has commented when doing her schoolwork that she learned a specific fact or concept doing "jobs" in the Woodlands. 

My 8 year old said:

"I love the book and I also love how you get to save orphaned animals. I like how you get to do jobs. I just love the whole curriculum. There is not one thing I don't like about it. My favorite jobs are life skills, science and the spy jobs. I love all of the characters and their personalities. My favorite animal is MufFum. MufFum is an orphan. She is a baby chipmunk. She is so cute."

My 12 year old said:

"Orphs of the Woodlands combines two of my favorite thing, books and games. I guess learning is a bonus, lol. In my opinion, Orphs of the Woodlands is better than Minecraft and I would like to try out more programs like it. Each chapter brings new excitement and adventure. All of the little orphs are so cute." 

Animal Facts from
The Book of Bird Shoes 
"Children are also encouraged to develop positive character traits as they study scientific facts about animals from The Book of Bird Shoes.  For example, hedgehogs eat insects that are harmful to a garden without harming the garden itself.  Because of this good deed, they are known as the "gardener's friend".

What I thought:
Wow, were do I even start!! I was extremely impressed by the book and the game. I am always hesitant when the word "game" is involved since I feel like kids already spend way too much time playing games. Well, this game is different. In order to play the games your child has to actually read first. Games are unlocked as they progress. The games are not just mindless and simple. They are educational!!! Smart thinking on the part of Star Toasters. Over the past weeks it seems so unnatural for me to say, "Sure, go play your game for as long as you want." I loved getting e-mail updates on my children's progress. Sometimes, being a busy homeschool mother, it is hard to look at everything my children are doing. 

My children have even taken their interest in the program further. My girls have created recipe books with all of the recipes that come up through out the game. My daughters play Orphs of the Woodlands pretending that they are rescuing Orphs, using their stuffed animals. 

My girls have a list of recipes that they want to try to make. 

Here is a summary of a e-mail update that I received for one of my children. 

Hi Jennifer!

Karis has finished reading chapter 10 and has learned about complementary and supplementary angles, sentences, fragments, punctuation, facts and opinions, homonyms, capitalization, cooking and nutrition, character, animal facts, vocabulary, and how to estimate the height of a tree.  There are a lot of challenging lessons in the Woodlands.  Karis has accomplished a lot!  You can view the SKILLS PAGE at any time by logging into MY ACCOUNT using your parent password.

There are a lot of exciting things to learn in the Woodlands.  In the next chapters, Karis will be studying area, volume, circles, circular looms, snakes, Latin, homonyms, cooking and nutrition, character, inspirational quotes, animal facts, vocabulary, and thinking skills. There are so many fun things to learn in the Woodlands.  Karis will really enjoy the next chapters!

Customer Service

While you cannot actually call to ask questions or discuss problems that you are having with the product, the product developers provide an option to e-mail the company. At first I was thinking, great, we are having problems and I cannot even talk to someone. Well, their quick response to my e-mail about issues we were experiencing quickly changed my mind. Over the course of an afternoon they corresponded with me multiple times and offered suggestions and eventually took the issues to their technical product developers and within no time the glitch was fixed!!! I would give their customer support a definite TEN!!!

To sum it up
Reading + Learning = FUN
which in turn is a score for ME!!
Reading (the book), Learning (playing the game)

Orphs of the Woodlands definitely gets 5 stars from our family!!! Great product. Thank you Star Toaster for the opportunity to enter into the world of Ivythwatie and help save precious little Orphs. The Treasure of Hightower was a literary gem. Brilliant thinking on the part of Star Toaster. 

To read more reviews click HERE

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1 comment:

  1. Jennifer, thank you so much for the great review! Love your eight-year-old’s drawing of MufFum and thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog. Your readers can still try “Orphs of the Woodlands” for FREE. It's a great way to get ahead for the next school year. Those who complete the FREE TRIAL receive a 25% OFF Promo Code for the program. Thanks again for the wonderful review! Happy Learning! ~Marlene with Star Toaster