The Ooka Island Adventure®
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The Co-op welcomes success stories that will help other homeschooling parents decide whether to add The Ooka Island Adventures to their home school curriculum. If you have used The Ooka Island Adventures and would like to contribute a testimonial, please click here.

 

My 5 year old son Loves Ooka-Island. He asks to do it everyday. The sound cave has really taught him to listen for sounds and he loves the Free Play.”
Selena C., Co-op Member
I have used Ooka Island with my two girls who are 6 and 4 now. I am currently on my third annual subscription. My girls couldn't get enough of it! They loved the captivating graphics and themes. Their favourite learning game is Alphabeth Mountain. The least liked was The Cave of Sounds. Overall, a great programme.”
Jide, Co-op Member
My 4 year old loves this game. She will spend hours (if i let her) playing this game...which is funny because the graphics are not the best and she doesn't like to play video games.”
June A., Co-op Member
We recently renewed our subscription to Ooka-Island, so this is the second year we've been using it. It has been very helpful for my 7 yo autistic granddaughter. Seeing her continue to progress & the joy she experiences is worth much more than the cost of the subscription. Thank you for giving her that!”
Vicki K., Co-op Member
My son enjoys playing Ooka Island. Some activities he likes more than others (of course). My favorite for him is the cave of sounds. He seems to really pick up the various sounds there. Wouldn't you know this is his least favorite activity though. We did free trials on both Reading Eggs and Ooka Island simultaneously. I let my son choose which one he wanted to go on with and he chose Ooka Island. I would for sure tell others about it. This is a great learning tool!”
Robyn, Co-op Member
I bought this mostly for our 3 year old, though his older brother likes playing it also. We use it with a touch screen computer and our 3 year old loves the games and reading time. He's starting to point out letters and sounds. We are very happy with the engagement and progress so far.”
Calyn Z, Co-op Member
Purchased an Ooka Island subscription for my 4 and 6 yr old daughters after trying the free trial. They love to play this game, and are highly motivated by earning "ooka mist" to spend on their avatar.

I like that the time spent on Ooka Island by the student is structured--activities are chosen by the computer with limited free time at the end. I also like that it is circular review and building on what they did before.

Ooka Island is easy to download and use. I have asked several questions on their instant chat feature of the website and received prompt, friendly and pertinent answers.

The Ooka Lighthouse reporting website for parents is also great. It shows EXACTLY what your students are working on and their progress. My girls love receiving personalized "CheerReader messages" too.

I would not have been able to afford an Ooka Island subscription at full price, but because of the Homeschool Buyers Co-op discount it has been a great resource in our home. Thank you!”
C. Harris, Co-op Member
This program has really helped my 4 year old daughter out! We were having a hard time with sounding words out, but she has progressed fast after just a week of playing, maybe an hour a day! She finds it enjoyable enough that i usually have to convince her it is time to do something else. We tried a free trial from a very well known reading program, she liked it as well but it offered endless "free time" in their playroom, where as ooka island has "free play" but it is timed and then back to learning games! In all we both enjoy it, and i recommend it.”
R. Tobiassen, Co-op Member
I love that we were able to do a free trial first. It only took me about 30 seconds to see that it was a good fit for my son, who is 5 and learning to read. He asks to play it often, and I've noticed his reading has improved quite a bit.”
Brook R., Co-op Member
I purchased the Ooka Island for our 4 yr old grand daughter. She gets bored with only paper learning items. immediately loved it. I am amazed at how fast she navigates around all by herself. She wants to "do her school" as she says everyday. She asks me, I don't have to ask her. Highly recommend Ooka”
Ronda Thomson, Co-op Member
We are using Ookaisland Island for kids ranging in age from 5-7. For the most part, the kids enjoy it, although they do find certain modules less interesting. All of the kids go through the same program, regardless of their current level of literacy. More confident readers can take a quiz and possibly advance to higher level books, although they do not skip ahead in the learning modules. My younger kid is just learning letters / sounds, and this program is very helpful. My older daughter reads with effort and this program helps build her confidence and reinforce known concepts. It is a good component of a literacy program, but I would not rely solely on it to teach reading. I especially like this for days when the kids just need something more fun and light.

I have contacted customer service several times and each time I have been thrilled by the level of service. Every single question I've asked has been answered immediately, thoroughly, and pleasantly. They are a very nice company to do business with.”
Cathy P., Co-op Member
We've been using Ooka Island for a few months now and my kids LOVE it. Two of my children are teens with developmental delays and my third is a kindergartener and this program suits the needs of all 3. When I pulled my 13 year old from school she was able to "read" (ie. piece sounds together) but her comprehension was appalling. This program works on comprehension AND the ability to read - I've noticed great strides in both areas with all 3 kids. I've already mentioned it to several friends whose kids are beginning or struggling readers.”
Michelle E., Co-op Member
My parents gifted us with the money to purchase Ooka-island and we are so blessed because of their generosity. Double blessed because I was able to find the special price offered by Homeschool Buyers Co-op which made it even more affordable! My four year old LOVES this program and it is quite exciting for her to save elves and learn at the same time. It reaches into her imagination as well as teaching her the alphabet, phonics and reading skills. Thank you!”
Tara Young, Co-op Member
We were so happy to have a trial to Ooka island to switch up our daily routine! My daughter, who Is 5 years old, really enjoyed it and was sad when our trial was over. Looks like I may have to look into paying to continue!”
Amy A., Co-op Member
My granddaughter absolutely loves Ooka Island! I love that there are lessons that go along with the reading levels!!”
Sheila Nawrot, Co-op Member
My son loves this and after a month he's already reading simple sentences. He started out only wanting to do free play but now he gets excited to start new books.”
Mallory C., Co-op Member
My kids are really enjoying Ooka-Island. I did the trial subscription while on vacation and the kids played every day and even watched each other play. Once home bought it and the kids love it. I had purchased Click N Kids but by son got bored and didn't like it. This has nice music and fun games to play while learning how to read. Its a win-win. Plus the discount through the Co-op makes it worth it. Not sure if I would have paid full price but the discount makes it worth it. We try and do every day.”
Lauren I., Co-op Member
My five year old daughter loved Ooka Island. It was very engaging for her and fun. She earned rewards to have free/play time in a certain area of the game. I can see that the program was helping solidify the letters/blends and the sounds they make.

I wish it were a little less expensive. If she were my only child, I'd get the year subscription! But as the youngest of six, the money gets targeted for some of the older kids' required materials over a Kindergarten add-on. I will have to creatively teach her those sounds although it will be hard to compete!”
Renee Easter, Co-op Member
My 4 year old loves Ooka Island! He has already learned many of his phonics sounds and is eager to learn more. The bonus printable activities on their website are also fun for him. Ooka Island is teaching him much more and much faster than our traditional curriculum workbooks. I purchased the full version after the free trial ran out.”
Anna G., Co-op Member
My daughter is five, and while she showed an interest in reading, she just seemed to have trouble "getting it". We discovered she is very right brained and learns best with games and pictures (a visual/kinesthetic learner). Enter Ooka Island Adventure, my daughter loves it! She asks to play it every day and plays it for 30-60 minutes at a time. I see an improvement in her reading ability and her recognition of whole words. I like the Ooka Island Lighthouse, made especially for mom and dad. This tool is used to check how much or how little progress is being made by your child. I also enjoy the "cheer reader" section in the lighthouse, it allows me to send a special message to my daughter and reward her with special points, where she can "buy" things in the virtual store (none of this costs you anything-it's all included in the software package). I was able to recently compare this with Reading Eggs, we did a free trial, and I noticed the difference between the two programs immediately, for my daughter, Reading Eggs was fun, but she wasn't as motivated to use it. Ooka Isalnd is her favorite by far. While Reading Eggs looked like a great program, it was not as engaging for my child, it seemed more like a game to play, whereas Ooka Island is more like an adventure game for her to "complete". Ooka Island Adventure software has been happily used in our house now for a few weeks. The other night, my daughter picked up an easy reader at bedtime and read it 90% by herself, with only a small amount of help from me. I am excited to continue to use Ooka Island for the year subscription we purchased through the Co-op. I would definitely recommend it for kids who enjoy visual learning.”
Danielle S, Co-op Member
Ooka-Island is a fun first learning video game for a young reader. If your child has completed other reading programs or games, and is not struggling, it can become repetitive and boring quickly. I may use this program in the future as the younger children were very interested in the content.”
Paula F., Co-op Member
My 4.5 yr old son is obsessed with ooka island. He was already reading on a 1st grade level but the program has helped solidify his foundation. He considers the program a special treat and loves being a "hero". Their phonics system is very comprehensive and fun. It is a reward you can feel good about giving at the end of a challenging homeschool day.”
MJE, Co-op Member
I have been using this with my four and six year olds, and it has been a huge hit! It is entertaining, which makes them want to keep playing, and they are definitely learning. We had previously purchased Explode the Code, and I think this is a much better product. Much more exciting and fun, but still educationally sound.”
Kristen H, Co-op Member
My daughters have used Ooka Island for over a year now, and they both love it. The free play mode elicits a moment of excitement when earned, and they love the feedback that comes when they complete a new book. When they realized the subscription had expired, they dramatically lamented over the loss, so I promptly renewed!”
S. Robinson, Co-op Member
My three children have enjoyed using Ooka-Idland. One of my favorite things about this program is that they have to complete a certain amount of "work" before they can play around in the non-learning areas.”
Christie A., Co-op Member
My 6-year old reluctant reader enjoys this program. I like that there are online workbook materials that we can print and use off-line too. The program took a long time to install, will not run on our 7-year old computer, and has very slow choppy graphics on our 1-year old computer. Probably a new high-end computer would work better. My daughter doesn't seem to mind the slow graphics though.”
Laurie, Co-op Member
Our daughter's loved Ooka Island! It is fun, colorful and engaging. There is great diversity in the games which keeps it interesting for young learners. I highly recommend doing the trial offer first and seeing if it would be a good fit for your child's interest. Greatly appreciate that they offer a free trial....”
ipage, Co-op Member
There are a lot of reading programs on the market, and it is hard to know what makes one particular program special. If you have a child who is struggling with hearing how sounds make words, then Ooka Island is ideal. My 4 year old daughter loves playing the games, reading the books and, particularly, earning the awards. It is a delight to watch her dance around the room yelling, "I'm a champion!" after completing a challenge. I highly recommend this program.”
Cynthia W., Co-op Member
We just LOVE Ooka Island! My daughter is a visual learner and learned all of her letters and sounds through watching Leap Frog Letter Factory, but was having a hard time with blending the sounds together. She is only just 4 so we are in no rush, but she has fun learning, so I wanted to keep it going somehow. I tried other things but everything just seemed boring to both of us.

But she just Loves Ooka Island. It rotates through games to keep from getting boring, but is progressively building bit by bit on skills. The games teach so much more than just "here are the letters and sounds, now stick them together" like so many others do. They give steps in the middle that helped my daughter move from letters and sounds and a few sight words to now, after about 6 months, reading at a beginning first grade level. She is so proud of herself! It has been great to see. I was afraid of how I was going to teach my daughter to read, but this software really helped bridge the gap. The best part is that to her she is just playing a fun game. She doesn't know that she is learning :)

Also, as a former software engineer, I have to say that this game was very well thought out and well done. I am appalled at some of the reading software packages out there for kids that are so quickly put together or poorly thought out that even I have a hard time navigating it. My daughter can easily play this game by herself and I can tell that a lot of time and energy was put into creating this game. It has been well worth the cost of an annual subscription. Thank you Ooka Island for putting out such a great piece of learning software that a homeschooling mom can afford!”
Natalie Eastham, Co-op Member
My son (4) enjoys Ooka Island very much and asks to play it every day. He loves to learn but he loves learning by himself. He does not like to be taught. But playing games and learning new things that way is right up his alley.

Here is what I as a parent like: there are no timed tests with clock ticking. Those are really bad for him as his confidence sinks and often he doesn't even want to try. I love the graphics and the voices are perfect. The songs are catchy but not too much. I also like that the praise is not over-done. Some online games throw out a "You are so terrific" every time and I don't like that so much. And I absolutely love the books. The stories are lovely and I really like that there are comprehension questions.

So we're very happy and I'll definitely recommend Ooka Island to my friends.”
Stefanie G., Co-op Member
My kids are having so much fun with this program! They like unlocking the pets and compete with each other on how many books they have read! My middle child (6) had no interest in starting to read before this program, but now she cannot wait. I actually will tell them that we need to move on and they need to stop after 45 minutes!

Thank you for offering this program.”
Gwen, Co-op Member
I purchased Ooka-Island for my 7-year old son. He is an emergent reader and I was hoping this would be a fun way for him to get some extra practice and solidify his skills during the times I'm busy with his older brothers. At first he LOVED it. After about 3 weeks the newness has worn off, which is to be expected, but I also felt that we might not be getting the most out of the program. So I finally checked out the parent online supplement (Ooka Island Lighthouse). I was surprised at how much relevant information was there. I could see what activities my son was doing most, how he was progressing, and what skills in particular needed more work.

I also called Ooka Isl. customer service and they were VERY helpful. As a matter of fact the representative I spoke with showed so much interest, I thought I might be speaking with the owner. Then she put me on hold to ask a question and I realized this was just exceptional customer service. I shared my concern about my son losing interest and she suggested several ways to keep him engaged. I think I need to sit down with him some to make sure he is getting the most out of it, but I think with that investment he will then be able to work independently again. And isn't that why we all get a program like this? : )”
Ashley in NC, Co-op Member
Ooka Island has worked out surprisingly well for us. I signed up for the free trial, so our 6 year old son could try it out first before we bought it. Even though he liked it, I wasn't convinced that he wouldn't get tired of it, since he was a reluctant reader (i.e., he already knew all the abc's and the sounds they make, but he did not enjoy reading). I bought it anyway, and boy have I been (pleasantly) surprised. My son loves playing on Ooka Island and gets excited when he earns free play; I love the report features, which allows me to see exactly what his strengths and weaknesses are. I am very glad I gambled on Ooka Island, and I highly recommend this program. Having the program as a reading tool has really put and end to my struggle to get my son to read, and I have seen real improvement in my son's phonic awareness.”
Rachel K., Co-op Member
We love Ooka Island as part of our homeschool curriculum! We are using it for our pre-k son who just turned 5. He would sit and "play" Ooka Island for hours if I let him. My older daughter, age 7, is jealous that he gets to play the game and she does not. My younger daughter, age 2, loves to watch him play and mimics the sounds (which is a super big side-bonus because she is significantly speech delayed due to cleft lip/palate). Although my son is still in a pre-reading category, he is definitely able to answer questions about sounds and letter recognition and I do believe that Ooka Island has helped with his proficiency. We will definitely continue to use Ooka Island for reading readiness and are thrilled with it!”
Nicole Renee, Co-op Member
My daughter is catching up quickly to grade level. I love that there's a placement test first. Their customer service is *excellent.* I also recommend the free workbook that goes with the software. It's a bit repetitive, but it's getting the job done.”
Roxanne P., Co-op Member
I purchased this for my 8 year old son that has a reading disability. He loves it! I use it as a supplement to other curriculum. It is great because it gives him independence that he doesn't get with a lot of other reading activities. I like that it starts and continues at the level where he is capable and really accomodates his needs.”
Danette, Co-op Member
My daughter has really enjoyed the Ooka Island program. She started with very little knowledge of letter sounds and now, a few weeks later, knows many sounds and is almost ready to start reading. One of my favorite components of the Ooka Island program is a game (Cave of Sounds) that encourages the chlidren to listen for a particular phonetic sound. I believe that this was the key for her. Ooka Island has many activities to keep a young child engaged in learning and, after completing a certain amount of "guided" play, children are given their choice of activities. I have tried many phonics/reading programs and this is the one we chose and we are thrilled that we were able to get such a great discount at Homeschool Buyers Co-op!”
Danielle B., Co-op Member
I purchased Ooka Island for my 7 year old son who is not reading yet and really has little interest in the process for reading (he simply wants to be able to read). I have two older sons who are fluent readers and are active on the computer. After reviewing this program, I felt it would fill two things - one, my son could be on the computer without the need for someone to read for him so he would feel like he gets computer time too, and second it would take him through the process of learning to read with more fun that just looking at letters with me.

After using it for 2-3 months, I would say that he doesn't love the program, but he will do it and he is learning. I like the fact that he must work in order to play. He also like the independence he feels while doing this program. I am able to view his progress as well and send him encouraging notes at the start up of each session.

I am happy with this purchase and would recommend it for reluctant beginning readers.”
Jan M., Co-op Member
I purchased Ooka Island after using the trial and because my daughter requested it. My daughter is an older struggling reader who was tired of other programs seeming what she called "babyish". When we first found Ooka Island my daughter was thrilled. She finds it fun to use but yet it is still very educational. I was very happy to see it here on the Homeschool Buyers Co-op. We are very pleased with this product and will continue to use it.”
Mary L., Co-op Member
We like Ooka-Island. I originally intended to use it with both by 5yo/K son and my 8yo/3rd son, but the 8yo finds it too slow. Its well-paced for the 5yo, and I like that they tell me that he has mastered certain sounds. We're not schooling 100% this summer, but more hit and miss. He does ask to do it, and it holds his attention when he uses it.”
dbkenn, Co-op Member
We tried Ooka during for the trial period - We are homeschooling 3 kids. My oldest (8) speeds through it, but finds it highly enjoyable. My second has learning difficulties (6) and I noticed an immediate difference with her comprehension and retention. PLUS, she was able to use the computer appropriately (without too much difficulty vs. some other systems that were just too hard.) My last child (3) watched during the trial play and walked around the house immediately making sounds and pointing out letters. We decided to purchase the years product, and we use it daily. It is a GREAT product. It is easier to use than Jumpstart, and the games are all teaching games, except for the free play time. Jumpstart is fun, but the games are not as geared towards teaching throughout. And, many of Jumpstarts games are too hard to play. Ooka has fun games, images are bright and age appropriate, music is awesome. In my opinion, it is JUST RIGHT. I love it. We have incorporated some of their printed material into extra art projects for show and tell. It has been a great tool.”
Robin K., Co-op Member
We have really enjoyed this product. We've had a couple glitches, but the Customer Service took care of them right away. Even over Easter Weekend! So I was impressed. My daughter really loves using this program, and I'm so glad we got it. I only ordered the "free trial" for my son, since I knew it would be too easy for him. And he still enjoyed playing it for a week or so! My daughter (8, dyslexic) uses it almost daily.”
B. Stokes, Co-op Member
I originally planned on purchasing this for my first grade son but he lost interest quickly. However, my 3.5 yr old daughter LOVES it! She is learning so much its amazing. I'm excited to see what she learns in the year we have it.”
MM, Co-op Member
We purchased Ooka-Island through a GroupBuy. My 5 yr old loves it! At first she was frustrated because she couldn't play in the playground when she wanted but once she got used to the rotation she was fine with that. I like the idea that they have to finish their lessons before being able to have free play but I wish the time she spends in the store would not count as free play. (Maybe it doesn't have to but we haven't figured it out yet.) I am very happy with Ooka-Island!”
Kris T., Co-op Member
We had run up against a brick wall after using Reading Eggs for a few months. Apparently, my son had managed to guess too many correct answers and was "in over his head." His reading progress was at a standstill. Enter Ooka Island! While it has fewer distinct activities than Reading Eggs, it seems to be designed a little better in terms of preventing kids from advancing via good guesses. In addition, the program "reads" a book with the child at each level, prompting the child in context-based expectant reading and requiring the student to correctly answer questions about the book's content before moving on. (Incorrect responses produce a re-reading of the relevant page.) The in-game prizes are quite motivating and the characters are engaging. I have been pleased with the progress my son is making in the three months we have been using Ooka Island.”
Susan in CT, Co-op Member
WE have loved this program. My 5 year old twins ask to play it all the time. It is probably the best program I have found for introducing so many different steps to learning to read. It covers letter sounds, letter identification, sight words, consonant blends and vowel blends, reading comprehension, and more. I was a little nervous about the price but it was well worth it and I would definitely do it again.”
Christina, Co-op Member
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