Feb 092014
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I received compensation as part of my affiliation with this Ooka Island Ambassadorship via Splash Media Engagement.  All words and opinions are my own.

I have loved to read for as long as I can remember.  Whether reading with my father at bedtime, or curled up in a nook in our playroom by myself, books were a favorite pastime.  We try to make sure that Bubbles has this same foundation, as well; we read with her multiple times per day, and she reads quietly on her own, too.

Like mother, like daughter, it seems.

Ooka Island Reading Program - Statistics on Reading #SmartStart

Unfortunately, not every child loves reading, and sometimes that has to do with the fact that they’re struggling.  In fact, today 68% of 5-year-olds will be behind in reading by fourth grade and 78% of those children will never catch up (National Assessment of Educational Progress, 2011).  This is a problem because literacy is important not only on an academic level, but economic and social levels, too.

Ooka Island

Welcome to Ooka Island, a Learn-to-Read Adventure #SmartStart

This is where Ooka Island comes in.  Ooka Island is a learn-to-read adventure geared towards children ages 3-7.  They use science-based reading methods and technology with a goal of teaching children to read well through instruction that is fun and compelling.

Ooka Island is already being used by millions of families and schools in 30 countries which may have to do with the fact that it’s the only adaptive reading program based on research-based methodology and scientifically proven results.  As a former teacher, myself, I know when you combine solid methodology with fun, you’ll generally see positive results.

Kids Learn to Read Quickly with Ooka Island #SmartStart

The creator of Ooka Island, Dr. Kay MacPhee, started out with an Eye-Ear Reading Method that was available through tutor-based programs.  It was extremely successful, with 4- and 5-year-olds learning to read in 20-30 hours, on average.  Technology allowed for the development of Ooka Island, though, and now that same age group is learning to read in 8-13 hours!

An Ooka Island Subscription

So, what exactly does a subscription to Ooka Island provide?  All of the following:

  • 80 hours of research-based curriculum for preschool to 2nd grade
  • Over 500 sequenced lessons with 7,000 discrete learning objectives
  • Guided progression through 24 levels in a variety of 3D, virtual world environments
  • A built-in e-Reader designed specifically to teach reading with highlighting and narration
  • 85 original Ooka Island e-Books, leveled and sequenced from preschool to 2nd grade
  • A fun and engaging learning flow cycle that motivates and supports each child’s journey
  • Comprehensive online progress reporting for parents and educators
  • Access to the Ooka Bookstore featuring all 85 e-Books and guides in print
  • Free motivational tools, workbooks and a musical soundtrack app in iTunes
  • Curriculum alignment with Common Core State Standards for K-1

Ooka Island Adheres to the Five Pillars of Reading #SmartStart

The entire program also uses an integrated, science-based approach to the five pillars of reading: Phonemic Awareness, Phonological Development, Fluency, Vocabulary, and Reading Comprehension.

How to Get Reading + Exclusive Discount

To use Ooka Island, you just need to download the program to your PC or MAC.  Subscriptions are available on a monthly or annual basis for one child or an entire family.  The software is also available to purchase for schools, too.

Start Ooka Island Today! Get a 30% Exclusive Discount for a Limited Time #SmartStart

For a limited time you can get 30% off ANY Ooka Island subscription (excluding school licenses).  This is double the discount currently on their site, so be sure to click the link or image above to get yourself the best possible deal!

Whom do you know that would enjoy Ooka Island?

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About Liza

Liza is a mom (5-year-old daughter, 20-year-old stepson, and 24-year-old stepdaughter) and wife living in Louisville. She loves spending time with her family, visiting the local zoo and parks, as well as planning travel adventures. Cooking and baking, DIY projects and crafts, and coffee - lots and lots of coffee - round out some of her other hobbies.

  69 Responses to “Learning to Read is an Adventure with Ooka Island”

  1. Well, HI neighbor! I’m in Southern Indiana…just across the bridge from you about 30 miles. Thanks for sharing this fun post. We’re always looking at new ways to encourage reading for our little man. Ooka Island sounds like tons of fun!

  2. My kids are too old now but they would definitely have loved playing this. I’m horrified by those reading statistics!

    • The stats really are horrible. Fortunately there are more affordable solutions out there for parents now than there were in the past to help keep their kids in the game, so to speak.

  3. I certainly agree with you! Books are our friends to learn more and know more about the world. :)

  4. This is fantastic. My six year can read, but is in the lower tier of readers in his class and I hate to think about him falling behind.

  5. This looks really cool. I love interactive programs that foster literacy development. I will have to check it out for my five-year old.

  6. New program to me – I will be checking it out. Davey is just learning to read – Ooka Island may be a perfect fit for him. He is not very interested in reading afn this looks like it will show him reading is fun.

    • That’s one of the things I like about it – it’s more like a fun game and you kind of forget about the “educational” part.

  7. I’ll have to check this out. I’d say those statistics are pretty accurate. My daughter’s 5th grade teacher called me in for a conference and said she was reading on a 3rd grade level and would not make it to middle school. (How nice of them to let me know 2 years too late!) Anyway, she caught up, but I can see how it happens for sure.

    • Wow, Stephanie! I can’t believe they waited so long to tell you something. I’d definitely want the teacher to let me know at the first sign of struggle, even if all we do at first is monitor it.

  8. I love that you were a teacher and you’re endorsing the product! It’s amazing how many countries this is up and running in, good for them! It does sound like a fun way to encourage reading.

  9. I am going to have to tell my sister about Ooka! My nephew and niece are both in the process of learning to read and could use some help!

  10. Hi there! My love for reading began early on as well. I still do love to lose myself in a great book. What a great program!

  11. My daughter is about to turn 5 this week and I have been really focusing on helping to build her reading skills. She loves to play games on computer, educational ones especially. This program has a ton of learning activities that I know she would enjoy. You can’t beat 30% off either!

  12. This looks like such a great resource. I’m passionate about reading too and have worked really hard at encouraging a love of books in my children. This is my first time visiting your blog. :-)

  13. Great detail of this reading program. My son will be 3 this summer, so I am going to Pin this. OUr nightly book time is already his favorite part of the day!

  14. And wait until Common Core really kicks in…grrrr!

  15. Okay, I am headed to check this out RIGHT now. My son is in Kindergarten and I’m so worried about him falling behind.

    • I know what you mean, Melissa! I think all parents worry about their kids’ stages. Bubbles turns 3 this month, and I plan to subscribe as she’s already showing signs of wanting to read. I don’t want to push her, though!

  16. This looks like a great program. As an avid reader, I’m always excited to see something that encourages kids to read!

  17. My youngest is just starting to read. This would be a great way to make it more fun and less work. Thanks!

  18. I love this, never heard of this site before. One area my youngest is struggling with is reading, unlike his older two siblings. I will have to check this out.

  19. Love this! My son just started reading and I’d love to give him a little boost however I can. I’ve never heard of Ooka Island, but I’m rushing to go check it out now! Thanks!

  20. Early reading is such an important issue to me, and I love learning about new programs. Thanks for sharing this one – it looks great and I can’t wait to check it out!

  21. they make learning so much fun now a days. i’m sure any kid would just love a game like this

  22. I’ve never heard about this program before. Would be great for my four year old to use though!

  23. I’m a school librarian at my day job, so I’m excited about anything that gets kids reading.

  24. those statistics are so sad. and so changeable. :(

  25. This sounds like a wonderful program! I love to read and can’t imagine what my life would be like if I didn’t. Adventure, entertainment, and learning is always right at our fingertips IF we know how to read and take advantage of the great blessing that it is. Love your post and am so glad I found you today. Hope you have a wonderful Monday! 😀

  26. I’ve always loved to read but my brother never did. I wonder if something like this might have helped him out if it existed when we were kids.

  27. Hi, fellow Kentuckian!

    I’m definitely passing on this Ooka Island suggestion to my sister. My nephews are polar opposites on reading. One is like me (love to read) and one is very similar to my sister when she was younger (a book? what’s a book?).

    Thanks for sharing.

  28. My daughter is 2 1/2 and I am bookmarking this page!! Looks like a very good program and can’t wait to check it out when she is just a bit older.

  29. This program looks great, I might have to check it out for my 5yro. She LOVES reading but anything that will help advance her skills would be helpful. Thanks for sharing! :)

  30. So cool. I saw this product on Dragon’s Den! Nice to see it’s grown and is on the market. It looks like a great resource for kids.

  31. I have always given the gift of books to my kids and love reading to them. This is great info to check into to help.

  32. Looks interesting & fun – which is important when it comes to learning!

  33. Oh wow. My daughter is 4 and she would love this. I would love for her to be able to read.

  34. That is an amazing product by the sounds of it– I can not wait to start my daughter reading:)

  35. My 3 year old would enjoy playing these games, I think. We are always looking for new ways for him to have fun and learn at the same time!

  36. My husband is a literacy coach and just completed his Master’s in reading education. The statistics are alarming, and we thankfully have a toddler who is already showing signs of reading (and WANTING to read.) I think my son, as well as my cousin’s kids would love this program. It looks very fun for kids!

  37. This is a wonderful program for kids. I can’t wait for my son to start reading! My 5 year old son loves to read with me especially story books.

  38. Those statistics are SCARY! Wow! I think it’s great to make learning fun for kids :)

  39. I think this is surely a game that 6 year old would love! My daughter would love to play OoKa because it would teach her to read better, and it seems interactive.

  40. That is a huge number of kids behind by 4th grade! Thank you for sharing this valuable tool.

  41. Making reading fun is so important! If they love it they will do it more. Any kind of game that facilitates that is worth trying!

  42. I love that this app is for 3+! My son is barely two and he already enjoys apps. I can’t wait to start teaching him letters and trying to get him to read!

  43. I’d love to try this with my 5 and 7 year olds! I love to read but my kids haven’t fallen in love with reading as quickly.

  44. We love reading here, although my oldest would take a non-fiction over fiction any day. We’re on the other end of the spectrum having to make sure things she can read are age appropriate since the maturity isn’t exactly the same as her reading level. This looks like a great app!

  45. My 7 year old twins are both behind in their reading. They’ve made huge strides since we got custody of them last year, but they’re still not anywhere near grade level and they both hate to read for this reason. I’ll definitely be checking out Ookla Island Adventure!

  46. Looks like fun! My girls love to read but it’s always great to find educational ways to “play”.

  47. I need to get a subscription to this for my son. He is 4 so it would be perfect!

  48. I need to get my nephew to try this. He has no interest in learning to read, but he loves video games. This could work!

  49. so i am not a fan on electronics and kids but I realize it is a necessity. i have reluctantly started giving in when it comes to my stepson. he is 5 years old and doesn’t seem at all interested in learning. i am going to purchase this because it seems like he will like it. thanks for this post.

  50. I am downloading this right away. My 1st grader loves video games and is learning to read. Cant wait to show him this.

  51. Looks like it makes reading fun! We need more of that so kids like to read.

  52. Looks like a wonderful app for any little kid. I’m going to have to check it out!

  53. Ooka Island sounds great! I will pass it on to other moms whose kids need help reading or are starting to read.

  54. This looks so fun. I think my niece would love something like this and she just started preschool so reading is going to start being very important. I’ll pass this along to my sister-in-law.

  55. My kids are grown now, but I can see this product get little ones interested in reading. I personally feel it is very important to teach your kids to love reading.

  56. That’s absolutely amazing they can start to read in just 13 hours!! I need to get on teaching my 5 year old.

  57. This looks so awesome and like something I’d want to use with my little guys. While they’re only 16 mo right now, I think about all the ways I can give them a boost with reading because their big sister so struggles with it. This looks like something I’ll have to bookmark and come back to when it’s time. Not much longer! 😉

  58. This app looks like it would be great for my twins that are just now learning to read.

  59. There are so many games to help kids learn basic skills. They must wonder how we did it with just books!

  60. What an awesome reading program. I love that it incorporates all the key learning elements. Kudos to them

  61. I never heard of this but it looks really great!

  62. Learning to read well is so important. I love anything that makes the process fun.

  63. This sounds perfect for my preschooler. Can’t wait to check it out!

  64. I’ve never heard of this before, but looks really neat. I’ll be looking into this in the future!

  65. This is such a great program. It will help children read and enjoy it, both good things.

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