Night Zookeeper Review + 50% Off!
Have you been struggling to get your kids to write? Writing is often one of the most challenging subjects to teach, but it doesn’t have to be a chore. In fact, with Night Zookeeper, writing can be FUN. Night Zookeeper can help this potentially dreaded subject become one of your child’s favorite activities. Continue reading for my complete review and answers to some questions you may have.
This is a sponsored post. I was given a free subscription to Night Zookeeper and compensated for my time, but all opinions are my own.
What is Night Zookeeper?
Night Zookeeper is an online creative writing program that helps improve the writing skills of six to twelve-year-olds. The program includes composition, grammar, spelling, vocabulary, keyboarding, and reading. Through the use of engaging activities, games, and high-quality graphics, Night Zookeeper manages to accomplish all of this in a way that will remind your child of their favorite video games rather than a language arts textbook.
Who tried Night Zookeeper?
I had my ten-year-old daughter try Night Zookeeper over the summer between 5th and 6th grade. I’ll call her “M” for this review. M has been homeschooled since preschool. She’s very creative, but writing can sometimes be challenging and isn’t something she’d usually describe as “fun.”
What was getting started with Night Zookeeper like?
After setting up an account, Night Zookeeper provides an automatically generated username. This protects the child’s privacy and does not include your child’s real name or other identifying information. Next, you will be directed to create a password.
Your child’s first task in Night Zookeeper will be to draw their zookeeper avatar.
Next, your child will be directed to create their first animal. Then your child will name their animal and be asked a series of questions about the animal, which they will answer with complete sentences. Their answers will make up the text of their first animal report. They will have the opportunity to edit and add to this report before submitting it. They will also be given goals to meet for their report. These goals will vary based on your child’s age. For example, M’s goals were to write 100+ words in three or more paragraphs and use three adverbs.
After completing the report, M collected rewards and began exploring the Night Zookeeper map. These rewards are called orbs and are given to students when they achieve goals in the platform. Children can spend these orbs in the shop to collect animals for their zoo or to customize the animals they’ve created.
What are Night Zookeeper’s menu options?
The various sections of Night Zookeeper’s menu on your child’s homepage are My Zoo, Activities, My Stuff, Blog, and Messages.
- My Zoo – This is where your child will grow their Night Zoo while creating and collecting magical animals. They will also protect their zoo by battling monsters, called Voids, that occasionally appear on the map.
- Activities – Here, your child can choose to complete writing lessons, writing prompts, and challenges. There are also learning games and projects they can work on related to their interests.
- My Stuff – This section makes it easy for children to find all their writing, drawings, comments, and any friends they have added.
- Blog – Night Zookeeper assigns each child to a team of students. In the blog area, children can read other team members’ writing and check out their drawings. They can also give and receive feedback, which can be very helpful.
- Messages – Here, your child can read messages from Night Zookeeper’s tutors and comments other kids have made on their writing.
Is Night Zookeeper safe for children?
In our family, online safety is a top priority. We typically don’t allow our kids to play games or do anything else online where they could communicate with strangers. However, we allowed M to use all of Night Zookeeper’s functions, including posting her writing for other kids to comment on. I was very impressed with Night Zookeeper’s dedication to children’s online safety and privacy. These are some of the safety precautions Night Zookeeper has put in place:
- Children’s usernames are randomly generated to ensure kids don’t share identifying information.
- Only other members of Night Zookeeper, not members of the general public, can view your child’s work.
- All comments children make on other’s work are moderated. Inappropriate comments will not be posted.
- There is no live chat feature.
- Children may upload their drawings, but photographs are not allowed.
Is Night Zookeeper flexible?
Yes, the program is very flexible. Your child can complete activities and lessons any time of day, making the program more convenient than online classes that meet at a set time. Night Zookeeper recommends that children log in at least twice a week to complete lessons. However, you can have your child learn on the platform as frequently as you wish.
Because Night Zookeeper includes instruction in writing, grammar, spelling, vocabulary, keyboarding, and reading skills, it could be used as a complete language arts curriculum. It would also work well as a fun supplement to your current language arts program.
Night Zookeeper bases the difficulty of your child’s activities and lessons on their age. If you find that the material is too difficult or easy for your child, you can adjust their age until you find the right fit.
We used Night Zookeeper on our desktop computer, but it also works very well on most tablets and phones. This makes it easy to do on the go, such as on car rides or while waiting for appointments.
What was your favorite thing about Night Zookeeper?
I liked that tutors (real people) give the children feedback on their writing. Getting feedback from someone other than their parents can be beneficial for many students. Interaction with a tutor isn’t a very common feature among similarly priced online learning platforms, so I was pleasantly surprised by this feature. Here’s an example of feedback M received from one of the tutors:
What was M’s favorite thing about Night Zookeeper?
M’s absolute favorite part of Night Zookeeper was the community aspect. She loved reading and commenting on things that other kids have written in the Roblox Community. This community and others based on popular video games can be found under Projects in the Activities menu. She also really liked that she can go back and edit her work later after receiving feedback from a tutor. Finally, she’s very artistic, so she enjoyed drawing animals for her zoo.
Who should use Night Zookeeper?
I would recommend Night Zookeeper to any parent who wants to help their child improve their writing or encourage their child to write more. While Night Zookeeper is an excellent way to make writing fun for children who don’t otherwise enjoy it, it’s also a perfect match for kids who already love writing. These kids will especially like the opportunity to share their writing with others on the platform while improving their skills even more.
Night Zookeeper isn’t just for experienced homeschoolers like my family. Night Zookeeper’s easy-to-use platform is also ideal for families whose children are enrolled in various types of remote learning or virtual school. Many methods of remote education lack sufficient student-teacher interaction to help children excel in writing. Night Zookeeper can help fill this gap. The platform is so engaging that they won’t feel like they are doing extra school work.
Is Night Zookeeper affordable?
At Freedom Homeschooling, our primary goal is to help homeschool families on a limited budget provide their children with a quality education. Night Zookeeper definitely fits that bill! Night Zookeeper is very reasonably priced compared to other online learning platforms. And, if you purchase an annual plan through this link, you’ll save 50%!
Night Zookeeper also offers a 7-day free trial on all of their membership plans. If you aren’t sure if Night Zookeeper would be a fit for your child, I’d recommend giving it a try for a week. If you choose to cancel during the 7-day trial, you won’t be charged anything.
Our family is so thankful we were given the opportunity to try Night Zookeeper. We found that the platform :
- Provides quality writing instruction.
- Works well as a supplement or full language arts curriculum.
- Is fun and engaging for kids to use.
- Is easy to use and set up.
- Provides children with feedback from real tutors.
- Prioritizes online safety.
- Is flexible and meets the needs of both experienced homeschoolers and distance learning families.
- Is very reasonably priced, especially with this 50% discount on their annual plan.
- Can be tried risk-free with the 7-day free trial.
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