Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Zoo Whiz

For the past few weeks, G11 has been enjoying a premium subscription to an online learning site called Zoo Whiz.  Because this site is geared towards kids ages 5-15, I also set up free accounts for a couple of my other children.  Setting up their accounts were simple and each child has been asking me if they can play on Zoo Whiz more and more.  I'm sure you'll see why...

 When the students first log in they are shown the very colorful, animated map.  They can choose which area they want to go to.  More on that in a minute...

The first thing they will undoubtedly want to do though is choose their avatar.  These avatars are not customizable, but several fun characters are available to choose.

Next, your students will inevitably want to earn some money!  They can do this by clicking on the 'Learn and Earn' house on the map.  This is where Zoo Whiz's amazing educational content can be found.  There are 17,000 educational activities divided into three distinct subjects: Math, Word Skills, and Reading.

Each subject is further divided into learning stages.  When you create child's account you will also create an Age Floor...or age level that your child cannot work below.  For example, I set G11's age floor at 11, so he could not work any of the activities designed for ages 5-10.  However, Zoo Whiz will profile your child's work and allow him to progress through older stages.  Also, you (the parent) have control over the Age Floor and can lower it whenever you want.
 Photobucket Above you can see an example of a Math activity that your student may work.  If they click on a subject, they will be prompted to work about 20 problems earning coins along the way.

Following are examples of both Reading and Word Skills activities...

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Once they have earned coins by working through the educational activities, your student can then spend their money.  They have two options.  They can enter the Arcade and purchase time to play fun games like TetRow, Paint and Play, Bubbles.  G11 liked playing the arcade games but was a little disappointed that he didn't earn coins when he did well on these games like he did on the learning games.Photobucket The second way the student can spend their money is by entering the Biodome Shop and becoming a Zoo Keeper.  There they can purchase animals for their own zoo!  Several categories of animals are offered including Ocean, Desert, Mountain, Domestic...even Dinosaurs and Mythical animals.  Once purchased, Zoo Keepers can view their purchased animals as something akin to animal training cards.  (The animals they purchase are not animated.)  Your students can view information about each of their purchased animals like interesting facts, diet, and habitat.

G11 enjoyed collecting his animals and especially loved the inclusion of the mythical creatures.  His favorite animal is his Phoenix. :)
Photobucket The last place to visit on the map is 'Milestones'.  Students and parents alike can check up on their child's progress to see what activities have been completed and how the student is doing with that subject.

It's easy to sign your student up for a Zoo Whiz account.  Just go to the Zoo Whiz website click 'Create FREE Account'.  Let your student play and learn as much as they want and consider purchasing an upgrade to the premium account.  Currently, the premium subscription is on sale for just $14.95 for a 1-year subscription.  As you can see from below, a premium upgrade comes with several perks...

Our opinion is that Zoo Whiz is pure learning fun.  My kids ask to play Zoo Whiz and when they are playing I feel confident that they are actually learning new material and reinforcing skills that I want them to know.

Check out the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog for more reviews of Zoo Whiz!

Disclaimer: I have been given the wonderful opportunity to review many homeschool products over the last few years. The only compensation that I receive for my review is the free product. I feel truly blessed to have had the opportunity to participate in review groups and I have enjoyed trying out these products and giving you my honest opinion.

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