Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Review of Star Toaster

Star Toaster Review

I have to confess that I didn't know what to expect when I found out that we would be reviewing something from a company called Star Toaster, but finding out that the software is called Orphs of the Woodlands made my kids really excited to pursue the review! After all, a name like that sounds like it belongs either to a really great movie or a really awesome book. It turns out that this computer software is kind of the very best of both of those worlds!

Orphs of the Woodlands is described as "an online interactive reading adventure," and that's exactly what it is. At its heart, it's a storybook, and throughout the course of the book, the reader (cast in the role advertised below) performs "jobs" in order to collect woodland orphans. The jobs are academic tasks that don't feel a thing like academic tasks.

From your parent log in page, you can immediately get a snapshot of where your child is in Orphs of the Woodlands.

If you click on "View Skills," you can see the skills your child has worked on.

Getting even further in, you can click on a specific skill set:

This allows you to see the specific lesson your child has learned under this skill set. He might learn something on armadillos.

After learning the lesson, he will have a quiz, or "job," to see if he has mastered what he learned.

Here are just a couple of other examples of things that you learn with Star Toaster (all you have to do is look at the skills screenshot above to realize that these are just a couple of *hundreds* of examples I could show you!):

The lessons, or training, are integrated throughout the book and work seamlessly into the story. Star Toaster has done an amazing job with this product. Probably the best endorsement is Michael's:

Michael's (10) Assessment

"Orphs of the Woodlands is my favorite review program. I can't stop reading it. When I found out there was going to be another book, I was so excited! The book was action-packed and full of adventure. I learned Latin phrases, quotes, math from Prof Forp, rhymes, all about different kinds of animals, new vocabulary, and much more. I love the program because you can interact with the book. You can name the squirrel and open the letters. You learn things in Science, like if you pour cabbage juice over invisible ink, the acids in it will bring out the invisible ink. There are memory workouts. You write spy dossiers about the characters. You can click on the little voice icons and hear noises that go with the book."

Michael could have gone on forever (in fact, he's still talking!). He really does LOVE this program, and he's so thrilled that there's going to be another book to work through!
As for me, I love how much Michael loves this program. I also received subscriptions for Mary-Catherine (10) and Nicholas (11), and they will be working through it, too, but for the course of the review period, Michael would not yield the computer. I decided to let him go all the way through because he was loving it so much! I am amazed at how much Orphs of the Woodlands covers in a short period of time. The material has depth and breadth and the interface is gorgeous!

Star Toaster is offering a free trial! A subscription runs for two months (with an available one month extension) and costs $19.99 for three children. You can finish the book in two months! Honestly, that price is so unbelievable that I would not hesitate. Because you can try the first 100 pages of the book free, though, you don't have to take my word for it!

Star Toaster Review

Other Crew members with children of all ages have been reading this wonderful book, too, so click the banner below to see what they have to say about The Treasure of HighTower, the first book from Star Toaster!

Star Toaster Review
Crew Disclaimer


  1. Laura, thank you for the great review! Thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog. Please tell Michael how much we appreciated his comments, too. His words were an encouragement to all of us on the Star Toaster Team. Also wanted to pass on that 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 great review! Happy Learning! ~Marlene

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