Arrow Educational Product’s Phonics Voyage

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Contact Information
Arrow Educational Products, Inc.
Pembroke, NC
(910) 521-0840
www.phonicsvoyage.com

Phonics Voyage is an interactive phonics program that is a self-directed teaching tool. Students will learn basic reading skills, including phonics, and keyboard skills in a game setting. The students may move at their own pace, starting with the easier sections and moving on as each is mastered.

The prerequisite skills necessary include knowledge of the alphabet, an elementary level of phonics, and the ability to work independently on the computer. Phonics Voyage is designed for children between the ages of four and ten. The only caution I would issue is that the program seems a bit immature for children more than seven years of age. Students may use the Phonics Voyage on an individual level or in a small group.

The program uses drill and practice, enrichment, remediation, and testing throughout the educational games. The students are stimulated to interact with the software, and the program maintains their interest. They have control over the pace, the topics, and the level of difficulty. Since phonics is an integral part of elementary school learning, Phonics Voyage fits well into existing curriculum. It is pedagogically sound and the concepts are clear and entertaining.

There were no problems with the original setup and installation. The instructor, a ship’s captain, is friendly, helpful and patient. Students are kept aware of the activities offered and selections are left to the students.

The ship is divided into several areas: galley, captain’s cabin, crow’s nest, etc. There is a shore excursion to find buried treasure. There is a deck gathering to participate in a sing-a-long (repetitive and appropriate for young children). The lyrics are displayed on the screen. They can also listen to stories and p'ems. The Captain offers a Flash Card Game in his cabin. It is well paced so that the students cannot respond too quickly. The Treasure Hunt (map skills) were interesting to young children. There is comic relief, which students enjoy. There are various landing sites so that students do not become bored.

The Galley provides drill on number sequence, days of the week, months of the year and colors. Although these tasks might prove boring for children who have completed first grade, they are well done for four- to six-year-olds. The students enjoyed the Art Center, where they could paint provided illustrations and print them out.

The activities may be geared to a younger audience than suggested. The software would work well with a kindergartner or first grader and a peer mentor. In addition, there is no method of record keeping. However, the program is geared toward individual enrichment and drill, so testing would appear to be out of place. Phonics Voyage’s strengths include: appropriate built-in pauses, well-selected repetitive songs, p'ems and activities, positive reinforcement, a gentle and non-threatening “try again” feature, and activities that increase users’ vocabularies. I would recommend this software for use in headstart through second grade. It is definitely creative, colorful and fun.

DebbySue Vandevender
Science Educator
drdebbysue@yahoo.com

Contact Information
Arrow Educational Products, Inc.
Pembroke, NC
(910) 521-0840
www.phonicsvoyage.com

Phonics Voyage is an interactive phonics program that is a self-directed teaching tool. Students will learn basic reading skills, including phonics, and keyboard skills in a game setting. The students may move at their own pace, starting with the easier sections and moving on as each is mastered.

The prerequisite skills necessary include knowledge of the alphabet, an elementary level of phonics, and the ability to work independently on the computer. Phonics Voyage is designed for children between the ages of four and ten. The only caution I would issue is that the program seems a bit immature for children more than seven years of age. Students may use the Phonics Voyage on an individual level or in a small group.

The program uses drill and practice, enrichment, remediation, and testing throughout the educational games. The students are stimulated to interact with the software, and the program maintains their interest. They have control over the pace, the topics, and the level of difficulty. Since phonics is an integral part of elementary school learning, Phonics Voyage fits well into existing curriculum. It is pedagogically sound and the concepts are clear and entertaining.

There were no problems with the original setup and installation. The instructor, a ship’s captain, is friendly, helpful and patient. Students are kept aware of the activities offered and selections are left to the students.

The ship is divided into several areas: galley, captain’s cabin, crow’s nest, etc. There is a shore excursion to find buried treasure. There is a deck gathering to participate in a sing-a-long (repetitive and appropriate for young children). The lyrics are displayed on the screen. They can also listen to stories and p'ems. The Captain offers a Flash Card Game in his cabin. It is well paced so that the students cannot respond too quickly. The Treasure Hunt (map skills) were interesting to young children. There is comic relief, which students enjoy. There are various landing sites so that students do not become bored.

The Galley provides drill on number sequence, days of the week, months of the year and colors. Although these tasks might prove boring for children who have completed first grade, they are well done for four- to six-year-olds. The students enjoyed the Art Center, where they could paint provided illustrations and print them out.

The activities may be geared to a younger audience than suggested. The software would work well with a kindergartner or first grader and a peer mentor. In addition, there is no method of record keeping. However, the program is geared toward individual enrichment and drill, so testing would appear to be out of place. Phonics Voyage’s strengths include: appropriate built-in pauses, well-selected repetitive songs, p'ems and activities, positive reinforcement, a gentle and non-threatening “try again” feature, and activities that increase users’ vocabularies. I would recommend this software for use in headstart through second grade. It is definitely creative, colorful and fun.

DebbySue Vandevender
Science Educator
drdebbysue@yahoo.com

This article originally appeared in the 06/01/2001 issue of THE Journal.

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