Education · Kids · Parenting · Reading

Night Zookeeper Review and Discount Code

Night ZookeeperAs you may or may not know, we’re currently homeschooling the girls on a semi-permanent basis. Sausage is now in year 9 and will be home educated through to college age, whereas BB is in year 3 and is planning to go back to school once she’s had her COVID vaccine. This means that we’ve been using as many resources as possible to keep them both engaged by learning and also on par with their peers. Recently, I discovered Night Zookeeper and we were generously offered a 12 month subscription to try it for ourselves.

 It’s a subscription-based website which encourages reading and writing in a really creative way. It’s developed by experienced educators and brings together a compelling story, innovative digital technology, and effective curriculum-aligned educational content, to help your child boost their literacy skills.

The website is packed with games which help kids learn spelling, grammar and vocabulary and they’re so fun that the kids barely even realise they’re learning. I gave BB her login details and let her use the site without even telling her that it was a learning resource at first, and she was totally engrossed in minutes.

Night Zookeeper storytelling

Parents Point of View

One of the things I like about Night Zookeeper is the fact that it encourages kids to use their imagination. Sausage and BB have always had a thirst for knowledge and intense curiosity for the world around them and they’ve both channelled that through art and storytelling, so the format of NZK plays right into BB’s wheelhouse.

The site is really well set up in that there’s a separate login for parents so that you can see your child’s progress and see what they’ve been up to on the site. It even gives you a word count of how much they’ve written in each of their mini stories and it’s really interesting to see that the word count has been increasing with each time BB has used it.

It can also be used on tablets, laptops and PCs, making it accessible without the need for expensive new tech. There are lessons, writing challenges and word games which are immersive and exciting, telling fun, modern stories that the kids enjoy. There’s even a blog area where kids can write and share their own blog posts!

Perhaps the MOST useful feature of Night Zookeeper is the fact that real teachers can comment on BB’s work and leave her comments and suggestions to help her to expand her writing. Having that type of feedback is so valuable, I think it’s worth the cost of subscription all by itself.

Night Zookeeper teacher feedback

How does it work?

“By providing thousands of fun and engaging lessons, challenges, and games, Night Zookeeper helps children to learn new words, use them in sentences, and then create amazing pieces of writing that are shared with children from around the world. They receive feedback from our team of tutors as well as other children that highlight where they can improve. In-game awards and competitions keep them motivated to continue to learn and progress. They’ll write about everything, from stories about magical animals to instructions on how to make the perfect hot chocolate. All genres of writing are gradually introduced including newspaper articles, persuasive writing, reports, and poetry.”

What Does BB Think of Night Zookeeper?

“It’s really good! It feels like you’re playing a game and you don’t even really realise that you’re doing school work. My favourite thing about it is creating the animals because I like to get creative. I also really like the mini games because they’re fun and feel like other games that I play on my iPad” – Burrito Baby, aged 7.

Value for Money

Night Zookeeper PricingFor what you actually get, I think the subscriptions offer really good value. There’s content on there which suits kids from ages 6 to 12, so it can be useful even beyond junior level, and I love the idea of the continuity that will offer as BB progresses. All subscriptions come with a 7 day free trial, so you can see if you like it before you buy and if you purchase a 12 month subscription, it works out at just £7.50 per month.

Night Zookeeper Discount Offer!

We’re delighted to also be able to share with you an exclusive link for you to use, giving you a massive 50% off of a year’s subscription! By using this link you’ll pay just £46.99 for one child for a year or a truly bargainous £57.99 for up to three children per 12 month subscription! Click on the image below to nab your half price subscription:

Night Zookeeper half price membership!Conclusion

I’m really excited to see what else BB creates with Night Zookeper! We have a few different subscriptions for the girls to use during our home ed and I honestly think this is going to be the one which provides the best value for BB’s literacy. Thanks so much to the people at Night Zookeeper for giving us the opportunity to try the site.

Education · Homeschooling

Homeschooling and its Advantages

Homeschooling and its Advantages
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Some of you may know that since the pandemic started, we’ve been homeschooling both kids on a full-time basis. Sausage was realy unhappy at her school so it was an easy decision, and while BB is adamant that she’s going back to her school as soon as it’s safe to do so, for now, she’s attending Crammond College! Although homeschooling can be hard work (especially when Husband and I also both work from home) there have been a numbe rof advantages that we’ve noticed, so I thought I’d share some of them here, in case it’s something you’re considering:

Cheaper Holidays

Going on holiday isn’t something we’re ready for yet as we’re still pretty much living in lockdown conditions, but once we feel it’s safe, we’ll be able to take holidays during term time, which is SO MUCH cheaper! We’ve also said we’d love to buy a new motorhome when we can afford it, which means we’ll be able to pack all of us, including Maureen, up and go away whenever we feel like it, which sounds blissful to me.

Write Your Own Timetable

You don’t need to follow the national curriculum if you don’t want to. You definitely don’t need to follow a school day. This means you can be led by your child, which means more efficient learning. If your child is particularly interested in something after seeing a film or reading a book, you can learn about that, which will lead into lots of other things. If your child is more receptive from 3pm to 6pm, that’s when you can target lessons.


If there’s one thing that can be said for my daughters its that they tend to plough their own furrow and avoid trends. BB has currently got one side of her head shaved and Sausage has had dip dyes in pink, blue and purple in recent years, none of which would be allowed at their respective schools. Wearing a uniform and following appearance rules doesn’t allow for individuality whereas they can look exactly how they want in homeschool.


While there are obvious parts of the curriculum which we will stick to, such as maths and science, there are certain parts of the National Curriculum which we feel are largely redundant (or severely lacking). The beauty of homeschooling is that we can pick our own curriculum, which means leaving out the parts we don’t find useful and including things that get left out at mainstream schools.

Emotional Wellbeing

Research into how homeschoolers turn out as adults was conducted by Dr. Ray in 2003. He found that 5,000 out of a group of 7,300 adults had been homeschooled for more than 7 years. They were much more active in community and social life than their public school counterparts. A much higher number also went on to higher education and they also scored higher on the happiness scale. In 1999, Stanford University accepted twice as many homeschoolers compared to publicly and privately educated students.


Home Schooling on the Rise: Should You Take The Plunge?

What is behind the popularity of home schooling?

Home schooling is becoming increasingly common as more parents recognise that students taught at home actually achieve greater results academically and socially. Many homeschooled kids make it into the top universities, especially if they have the help of an Oxford Maths tutor. With one of the primary responsibilities being to educate their children, some parents also believe that this is not something that can be left in the hands of the state. According to certain home school experts, statistics back this up by showing that parents who home school their kids are doing a fantastic job.

Choosing to home school your child opens up new and exciting avenues for your child’s studies. The approach has earned a reputation as an ‘education that works,’ say Paul and Gena Suarez, publishers of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine.

The most recent estimates from local authorities put the number of home schooled children in the UK at more than 36,000 – a figure which has increased by 65% over the past six years. Across the Atlantic in the USA, there are around 2.3 million home schooled children according to the National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI). This figure, the Institute says, has increased at an estimated 2-8% per year for the past few years.

In New Zealand, there were more than 5,500 home schooled students according to the Ministry of Education website, Education Counts. In Australia, Dr Rebecca English from Queensland University of Technology’s Faculty of Education has said there were around 10,000 students registered to be home schooled country-wide.

The truth is that all these figures are likely to be underestimated as some home schooled children may have not been registered as attending school. They therefore will not count towards the official figures of children who were ‘removed’ from school in the first place.

Despite the success of home schooling, the thought of jumping in may be daunting to some parents, and rightfully so! There is after all a lot of apprehension stemming from the fact that parents may not know how home schooling actually works. This creates a number of assumptions and misconceptions around the practice.

Free from the oversight and regulations of the state, your home schooled children won’t be bound by strict curriculums, learning schedules or needless inspections during their studies.

While there is plenty of online material supporting the home schooler’s learning needs, setting up direct high quality teaching can be difficult. As a result, most parents teach their own children or hire a tutor to supplement their child’s studies.

According to Dr Brian Ray, president of NHERI, “multiple researchers and their studies find … the home educated to be developing as well or better socially, emotionally, and psychologically than institutionally schooled children and youth”.

With the proper input and support, gifted children who are home schooled will be encouraged to flourish – which can mean a brighter future for those who may have previously let down by institutionalised education which failed to meet their individual needs.

This is, what we think is, the greatest benefit of home schooling your children: you will be able to create a tailor-made education for your child – one that directly fits their learning needs. This flexibility lets you decide what, when, where and how your child learns. For instance, they can go outside to study the weather or take in culture at a local theatrical performance. This gives your child a well-rounded experience they cannot get in an institutionalised classroom in which 20 or 30 kids have to be looked after and taught at the same time.

Families often choose to enlist the help of outside tutors for their child’s home schooling for various reasons. For instance, some parents aren’t thoroughly satisfied with the inadequate performance of teachers at local schools. Others may want to provide additional challenge for children who are academically, athletically or artistically gifted. Some have realised that a busy teacher cannot cater for children with specific learning needs. Finally, some children find the typical school environment too stressful to learn properly and reach their full potential.

In these cases, hiring a professional tutor is a great support method for home schooled children. Most parents will admit that they can only cover the basic educational needs of their children while others may believe they have a ‘natural affinity’ with their child’s intelligence and capabilities. However as the child ages and has to cover more complex topics, gaps may be found in the parent’s knowledge. These can be filled by hiring a trained, specialist tutor.

The success of home schooling can be seen as generations of children taught at home study further at university, graduate, and find employment in the real world.

We believe children can find success in home schooling in the same way as they do at school. No matter who we are or may be, everyone needs to experience the joy or our own and each other’s experience. Once we have this, all we need are great teachers to light the way.

Author: Mrs Gillian Dixon BSc PGCE MBA, founder and director of Teachers To Your Home. Previously head of Trent College, independent HMC day and boarding school (2006-2014); deputy head, Cheadle Hulme Grammar School (2001-2006); housemistress, mathematics teacher (1993 – 2001). Lecturer and head of mathematics department, University of Zimbabwe, VSO Zimbabwe (1988 – 1993).

“Teachers To Your Home” was founded by a group of school leaders and teachers in Oxford in January 2015. It has now developed into a large and talented team of over 3,000 qualified teachers, who provide high quality home tuition right across the UK.

Teachers To Your Home

Tel: 01993 774549


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