Teaching Homeschool Writing with Night Zookeeper

Night Zookeeper Review

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This is my sponsored review of Night Zookeeper. As a follower of Christ, I strive to be honest in all my blog posts, online interactions, and daily life. I pray that you are blessed by what you read!

I cried when my 16 year old autistic son wrote his first ever paragraph.

It may surprise you, but I didn’t love writing when I was in school. One of the reasons was that I was forced to write things that I had no interest in. It wasn’t until my junior year of high school that I finally had a teacher that sparked the love of writing. What did she do differently? She allowed us to be creative.

As a homeschool mom, are you constantly plagued with how to teach writing? Or does your child have a hatred of writing? While I tried hard not to have my children hate writing, we struggled to find a writing program we all loved.

I am constantly on the lookout for a good writing program. And by good, I mean a writing program that engages your child and actually teaches something. As a mom who tries to bring fun into everything – for every job that must be done, there is an element of fun – writing and fun do not go hand-in-hand for most children.

When Night Zookeeper contacted me, I thought, “what do I have to lose?” We can try again to get our son interested in writing, but I have learned that I move on if something doesn’t work. Would Night Zookeeper be the amazing tool to spark writing? 

Teaching Homeschool Writing with Night Zookeeper

WHAT IS NIGHT ZOOKEEPER?

First, what is Night Zookeeper? The short answer is that it is an online interactive writing program. This game-based educational curriculum uses the theme of a zoo, and your child gets to be a night zookeeper. It is designed to be used from ages 6-12+. However, I am using it with my 16-year-old autistic son.

Boy playing Night Zookeeper

TIP: When choosing a curriculum, consider your children’s skill level and not their age.

We also are using Night Zookeeper with our 6 year old granddaughter.

DOES NIGHT ZOOKEEPER DELIVER WHAT IT PROMISES?

Night Zookeeper says that they have helped over 1 million children develop their reading, writing, and creative thinking skills. Can it help your child?

The game begins with your child creating their own zookeeper avatar. I’m not going to lie – this is truly magical!

Night Zookeeper Review Avatar

Next, they enter their zoo where there is an egg and create their own magical animal. After creating and naming their animal, your child then writes their first “report.” 

This was the moment that I cried. Jack-Jack has never written a story. This paragraph was like gold to me. 

Not only will your child create paragraphs, poetry, and reports, but they will also learn nouns, adjectives, the difference between common nouns and proper nouns, capitalization of words, and so much more. (This is just what we have encountered so far). 

Poem written in Night Zookeeper

The goals for each child are individualized for their level. If you, as the parent, feel that the goal is too easy or hard, it’s easy to change your child’s level in the parent portal.

OTHER AWESOME FEATURES OF NIGHT ZOOKEEPER

The ability to save the draft of your child’s writing and come back to edit is such a great feature. Additionally, being able to submit your child’s work and have it assessed by a tutor from Night Zookeeper takes the guesswork out of your hands. 

A selection of word games enables your child to learn without them even knowing it. 

Another great feature is being able to read and comment on other “teammates” writing. However, rest assured that Night Zookeeper monitors all content that comes through, including drawings to keep your child in a safe and child-friendly learning environment. 

I also love the randomly generated user name, so my child is not identified online.

As your child works through Night Zookeeper, the program gets progressively harder. However, if they cannot complete a learning goal, that concept will keep reappearing until they can complete it.

Night Zookeeper Online Writing program Review

SKILLS LEARNED WITH NIGHT ZOOKEEPER

Vocabulary

Grammar Skills – parts of speech (nouns – proper and common, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, synonyms, homophones, etc.)

Reading

Writing Skills

Spelling

Punctuation

SO MANY FEATURES

As I was reviewing Night Zookeeper, I found so many great details, but the beauty of this program is that you can select precisely what your child needs to work on. One feature is Star Writing & Competition. Each month NZK runs competitions with prizes. The International Writing Cup will have a prompt for your child. This is an optional activity but one that your child may want to participate in. 

RECOMMENDATIONS ON NIGHT ZOOKEEPER USE

It is recommended that your child log in at least twice a week.

This program is based on a series of storybooks. These books look delightful, and they are on my list of items to get. 

Not sure where to start. We have started Jack-Jack at the lowest level because he has holes in his language skills. Check out the Parent Guide to get an idea of where to begin. This Parent Guide is full of wonderful information and is perfect for helping you get started.

Appendix Night Zookeeper Learning Goals

ADDITIONAL PRODUCTS AVAILABLE 

My children always loved having products that lined up with what they were learning. A book that corresponds with the lesson helps reinforce that lesson. A t-shirt or backpack is even better. Night Zookeeper has great products to motivate your child even more, ranging from books, shirts, backpacks, and even teacher resources.

NIGHT ZOOKEEPER REVIEW: FINAL THOUGHTS

After using Night Zookeeper, I am encouraged by what my son has already done. This IS the program we have been looking for. My granddaughter loves it too, and this is what learning should look like. If your children aren’t asking to learn, and you have to force them to learn, it probably is time to find another curriculum.

This program is so much fun that your children won’t even know they are learning!

Why don’t you check out Night Zookeeper? If you use my link, you will save money! You will get 50% off your annual subscriptions which is $59.99/year for a single child and $77.99/year for 2-3 children.

If you want more information about homeschooling, read What You Need to Know About Homeschooling!

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