Kayla, Jayden, and Boo are calling all emergent readers to join
them on their everyday Ooka Island adventures! Bright colors, likable
characters, and conversational text make these books a great choice
for beginning readers. Designed specifically for children ready
to emerge into reading, Emergent Level 1 features 15 books divided
into three sets of five, which are arranged by increasing level
of difficulty. Kayla and Jayden, Ooka Island's main characters,
use natural language for better understanding and comprehension.
Unique speech bubbles set these books apart, and help children
understand the connection between oral language and print.
A spiral-bound instructional guide accompanies the emergent reader
set. Parents and teachers will learn how to successfully present
each story. Activities for each story include discussion and questions,
acting out the story, sentence identification, word identification,
and games related to word identification.
I like these colorful emergent readers, the detailed instructional
guide, and the 94 story game cards, but the price is a little on
the high side--$116.25. This price only covers the first set. To
continue with the Emergent Level program, one would need to spend
almost $300. Personally, as a homeschool parent, I would not be
able to afford this program, especially since I wouldn't use it
as my primary phonics curriculum.
Ooka Island Books is the language based component that can be
bought in print, or can be included in the online adventure e-reader.
This curriculum also has phonological development. The 85 books
in the e-reader and the phonological development is a yearly $99
purchase for one child. This option can be found by locating the
Learn-to-Read Adventure tab, and then choosing homeschoolers.
These books are great for showing young children the connection between
spoken language and written language, but I wouldn't use them to
teach phonics. I like for my children to have a strong foundation
in alphabet and phonogram sounds before delving into reading. However,
I know my way isn't the only way to produce proficient readers! Since
my daughter is already reading fairly well, I had her read these
books aloud to reinforce sounds and phonetic rules which she has
already learned. While I prefer an early reading program that focuses
primarily on phonics, this program may be a great fit for educators
who prefer emergent readers that use storylines, instead of repetitive
language patterns. I recommend parents and teachers to download sample
books from the website, in order to see if this type of reading program
would be a good fit for you and your children/students.