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If you’re considering an online language arts curriculum, this Night Zookeeper review is one you don’t want to miss. In this post, I’ll share our experience using Night Zookeeper, an engaging, creative educational game focused on building writing, grammar, and vocabulary skills for kids ages 6-12.
Why Use an Online Language Arts Curriculum?
In our house, we have screen time. I limit it to one shared TV and Chromebook between three kids, but it’s part of our everyday life. Getting my kids into learning apps is one way that I limit the junk that inevitably pops up. Well, that and a no-tolerance policy on unboxing videos!!
But educational games do more than just keep my kids entertained during their screen time.
Using educational games is a hands-free way for me to keep learning going all year long, even when we’re taking a break from our official homeschool schedule. It’s screen time my kids enjoy and the kind I like best – I know they’re learning and working on important skills even if it feels like playing a game to them.
This summer, we were invited to review Night Zookeeper, an online language arts curriculum that focuses on creative writing and the foundational skills needed to develop good writing habits.
Now that my kids are reading (or well on their way to being fluent readers), we found ourselves aging out of the phonics and learn-to-read apps that we’ve used and loved for several years. Writing is an area we’re always looking to improve – it’s also a sticking point for my oldest two (more on that later).
Our Experience and Review of Night Zookeeper
I actually heard about the program first from a reader who recommended that we include it in our homeschool curriculum guide. Since then, I’ve been interested to try it out with my kids. This program checks all the boxes for an engaging educational app that my kids really want to use.
✔ Keep Learning Going All Year
Night Zookeeper is an ongoing program for kids ages 6-12. It’s the perfect range for us, as all three kids can use the program, and there’s no arguing that one kid got special treatment!
We started using it at the tail-end of the school year. All three of my kids were instantly engaged and eager to use it. I’m excited too, because we have a new program for language arts that goes beyond teaching basic phonics and reading skills.
Making sure my kids get on Night Zookeeper a couple of times a week is no problem – in fact, I haven’t even had to ask. They are happy to get creative playing the games, making new characters, and writing stories.
This program will keep learning going for us all year – over the summer and through other extended breaks. It’s a great supplement for those times when life gets busy or goes sideways (as it inevitably does).
✔ Online Language Arts Program That’s Hands-Off for Parents
Night Zookeeper is completely hands-off and requires no prep from me. After assigning their age levels on my parent dashboard, my kids were off and playing (learning, really, but don’t tell them).
I love that Night Zookeeper includes tutor feedback on the assignments. There’s a team of tutors who work to review your kid’s assignments, giving you some real feedback that goes beyond a star for completed work.
When I do want to hop on, it’s easy to see what my kids are up to. The parent dashboard shows how your kids are progressing through their learning goals like spelling, vocabulary, punctuation, and parts of speech. I can also view what they’ve been reading, writing, and drawing as they save their drafts and submit their work.
Honestly, my kids are silly, and Night Zookeeper encourages them to turn that silliness into creativity. I love reading what they’re writing, and I think the built-in independence when using this program allows them to express themselves – perhaps more freely than when they’re sitting down with Mom working on writing sentences or paragraphs.
✔ Screen Time You Can Feel Good About
As a former teacher, I can tell you that the summer slide is real! Many kids drop learning all together for several months and need a lot of catch-up when they return to school. As homeschoolers, I’m willing to take a few extra steps to make sure that doesn’t happen. After all, I’m going to be the one figuring out what remediation they need!
I’ll tell you, this is especially true with my two kids who have special needs. Dealing with autism and dyslexia takes a special effort from me during the school year. It takes special effort from them too. Focusing on writing is especially difficult for both my son and daughter, who struggle.
It’s so helpful to have a gamified language arts program to lean on. It took of the weight off my shoulders this summer. To them, it feels like a game. It’s fun and interactive with engaging components, rewards, and a bit of competition. To me, it’s screen time I can feel good about. I know my kids are learning while they play and developing the writing skills that they really need to focus on.
Night Zookeeper Review: More About the Program
Night Zookeeper is designed for kids between 6-12. Lessons, challenges, games, and vocabulary will all be tailored to your child’s age level. However, if your feel like the program is too easy or frustrating, you can adjust your child’s age at any time.
This program has thousands of lessons, challenges, and games. Kids improve their vocabulary, build grammar skills, and work on writing sentences and longer pieces. Everything is integrated, and they even get to share their work with other kids in the program.
A few more features:
- Lessons are focused on core writing skills – grammar, vocabulary, sentence structure, paragraph writing, and more
- Weekly lessons with videos, games, and challenges to engage kids in learning these core skills
- Tutors will give your child personalized feedback on their writing
- Chances to publish and weekly competitions with real prizes
- Monthly printables are available for free with the program
The parent dashboard I mentioned allows you to check your child’s progress, read their writing and tutor feedback. The program also offers plenty of motivation! Kids get to read and give feedback on one another’s writing. There’s even in-game competitions as well as awards to keep kids engaged over time.
Night Zookeeper Online Language Arts Curriculum
Night Zookeeper is a standout among online language arts curriculum. It’s one that we’re excited to continue to use it in the coming years. Night Zookeeper is an excellent language arts program. Your kids will have the opportunity to read, write, and build their skills.
In our experience, this engaging program encourages independence and creativity. It’s a curriculum that supports learning, even with kids who struggle with writing. Night Zookeeper is full of motivating challenges and goals that make it feel like a game, but your kids are learning the whole time.
I would highly recommend sampling this program with a 7-day free trial of Night Zookeeper and review it for yourself. You can see if it’s a good fit for your kids before you commit. PLUS, by using the special link below, you can also receive a special 50% discount on your annual subscription at the end of your trial!
Visit the Night Zookeeper Website
Ashley helps parents who want to homeschool find the resources they need to successfully teach their children. Ashley is a former teacher, current homeschooler, published author, and designer behind Circle Time with Miss Fox printables as well as the creator of this website, The Homeschool Resource Room.