Whether we’re dyed in the wool homeschoolers, or were thrown into the world of distance learning last spring, we all want our children to love learning and to have fun doing it.
When I first started homeschooling, I went out of my way to find videos, materials, crafts and projects that would make concepts come alive for my kids. Basically, I wanted my children to enjoy their lessons and have those lessons stick.
Whether it’s history lapbooks, acting out scenes from literature, or science experiments, when I can make it engaging, my kids better retain what I’ve taught them.
One of the best ways to make learning fun is to immerse them in games which teach and reinforce concepts. You know what they say: a child’s work is play!
Night Zookeeper is an exciting education platform for families who are now remote learning, as well as those who are experienced homeschoolers. An award winning creative writing program, it covers the full Language Arts curriculum for 5-12+ year olds, but can also be used as a supplementary asset.
Children learn reading, grammar, punctuation, spelling, writing, vocabulary, and figurative language through interactive video elements all tailored towards their individual age and skill level.
My nine-year-old daughter struggles a lot with spelling and writing, but language arts is no longer a chore with this platform. The first time she used it, I practically had to drag her away from the computer, she was having so much fun!
After logging in for the first time, kids get to create their own zookeeper avatar and favorite animal, which they’ll write a short report about. They’re given goals to try and achieve in the report, such as a certain number of words, and specific adjectives and verbs.
Once they’ve created their first animal, they start receiving age-appropriate challenges from it and any future animals that they create! These challenges are designed to help with vocabulary, improve grammar skills, and produce better writing.
Children are encouraged to help different zoo animals through creative writing, and are then prompted to either write a letter, story, or other piece.
As they work through their learning goals, they will be able to power up their animals for different battles and collect Orbs, which are used for items they can customize their created animals with. All of this helps them to grow their Night Zoo!
When your child makes a mistake, the questions come up again until they have completed their goals. The goals get progressively harder, the more they progress through the program.
Kids receive twice-weekly interactive episodes from Night Zookeeper’s team of educators in the interactive TV+ area of the menu. Each series teaches writing skills such as learning how to write persuasively, or include more adverbs.
There are various games focused on spelling, grammar, alliteration and sentence building, as well. My daughter’s favorite is one where she has to pick the correct synonym or antonym for a word as she races against other cars. Her speed either increases or decreases, depending on whether she answers correctly.
Kids can also click on the writing icon within the platform and create their own stories around a particular theme, like space or saving a zoo friend. Kids can either create freely, or get writing prompts in real time through interactive characters.
Once they’ve written a story, they receive personalized feedback from a dedicated team of tutors so they can improve their writing! Kids get extra rewards if they go back and edit their writing, which helps motivate them to analyze what they’ve written and continue to improve it.
The great part is, you’re able to track your child’s progress in the parent dashboard and leave comments on their writing pieces. You can also adjust difficulty levels of the games here, as well as change privacy settings.
With the platform, children also get publishing opportunities, chances to compete in weekly star writing competitions with real life prizes, and FREE Monthly Educational Printables.
Sign up here to get a free 7 day trial and then 52% off the yearly subscription!