We’ve been playing a new online reading game called Ooka Island and I must say, my little ones have really enjoyed it. I am teaching my 4 and 5 year olds their letter sounds and we will soon begin learning to read cvc words. This program has been a perfect fit for reinforcing the letter sounds as well as introducing new letter/sound combos using the Ooka Method.
What is the Ooka Method? Here is an excerpt from the Ooka Island website that explains their thoughts on teaching a child to read.
“With the OokaMethodTM, children progress to the most sophisticated phonological level. First, they must understand that words are made up of individual sounds (or phonemes) that they can hear and manipulate. Second, they learn to associate these sounds with letters and blend them together to make words, thus breaking the code that speeds them through the foundational levels of reading development and beyond.
The OokaMethodTM includes the language-rich Ooka Island Book Series with comprehension and vocabulary activities. Children progress through a leveled and sequenced flow of books that follow recurring characters in familiar, every day activities. Children then bring their own language knowledge to the reading process and emerge into reading while developing vocabulary and reading comprehension.”
Ooka Island is ideal for ages 3-7. This is a downloadable game that requires 3 GB of free space and an operating system of Windows XP or newer. Also can be used with a mac OSX 10.5 and up.
Ooka Island uses a “hero” type theme to engage children in fun learning activities. First they work on their lesson (which is so fun they don’t even realize it’s a lesson) then they earn some free time (8 minutes worth to be exact) to play in the different area’s on the island. They will also earn currency to outfit their avatar or spend in other ways.
My 4 year old daughter begged to play Ooka Island and I usually had to make her get off when I felt she had played long enough. How much did she learn? I really don’t know. She seemed to be learning well but it’s too soon for me to know how much of it she’s actually retaining. If she did remember what she learned, it’ll be obvious in the next few months as we dive into reading more fully.
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**Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I received this product free of charge, in exchange for my honest opinion/review. For more honest reviews from real homeschoolers, visit the TOS Crew website.