Club Z! was initially founded as an after-school tutoring program for students as well as an in-home tutoring service, and has since expanded into the online space. It’s on our list of the best online tutoring services on the market, particularly for children and young teens.
In our review for 2020, we found that Club Z! is remarkable because of the flexibility it offers parents who want to give their students the best chance to succeed. Students can choose between online tutoring, online classes, after-school programs, and in-home tutoring, which means tutoring can be tailored to their learning style.
When researching Club Z’s! Online offerings, we found it hard to find much information. Even the page dedicated specifically to online tutoring was difficult to find, leading us to believe that Club Z’s! focus is not on its online platform. However, it has adopted some of the same ease-of-use practice websites like Skooli and Wyzant have, like the ability for parents and students to set a schedule and to be matched with a tutor by answering a few questions.
Club Z! review: Platform
Club Z’s is best known for in-person after-school or at-home tutoring. But with demand for online tutoring increasing and with a limited number of locations in the United States, moving to an online tutoring platform was a wise move. Club Z! has taken the best aspects of its in-person program and applied it to its online offerings, creating an experience akin to being in a classroom. Like many other tutoring services that have an online platform, it has developed tools to help students. These include video and audio conferencing, virtual whiteboards, text and code editors, and file sharing.
That being said, it still has a long way to go in terms of adapting to the online format.
When navigating the Club Z! website, you’ll find that the tutoring service is not tailored to the online platform. One of our main complaints is that the online tutoring tab is hidden deep on the website, and that any meaningful information about how online tutoring works and how tutors are vetted is simply not provided.
Price-wise, Club Z! can get very expensive for some families. On the website, it appears that the company doesn’t differentiate between online and in-person tutoring, so the cost per hour is allegedly the same for both. Purchasing one hour of tutoring will set you back just under $60. This includes a service fee of 5%. To be fair, this isn’t much more than Skooli’s cost, which, if you do the math, comes out to just over $50 per hour. However, the main difference is that students who opt for Skooli can choose to have tutoring sessions that are less than an hour. Club Z! Doesn’t appear to have that option, offering only hourly packages. And because sessions with a tutor are scheduled in advance, getting immediate help isn’t an option. For more pressing needs, opt for a provider like Chegg Tutors - Club Z! is best used for long-term, in-depth learning.
Unlike Wyzant, Club Z! is very involved in the tutor and client relationship. Tutors are employed by Club Z!, and is not just a marketplace in which tutors can advertise their knowledge. The company offers two ways to find a tutor: you can let a customer representative connect you to one, based on your answers to questions about your student’s needs, or you can reach out directly to a tutor. Based on reviews parents have left, we recommend forgoing the option of using a customer representative, as many have reported that these representatives never got back to them or that they ultimately chose tutors who were not a good fit for their children’s needs.
Club Z! review: Lessons and tutoring
Overall, we found that many parents, especially those of young children, are satisfied with Club Z!, regardless of how they chose to have their kids tutored. Many report that their children have better grades after working regularly with a tutor. Our main concern is that Club Z doesn’t detail how their tutors are vetted beyond the completion of a proficiency test. Parents who don’t want to risk spending a lot of money on a tutor may be turned off by the lack of transparency, but rest assured - Club Z! offers a relatively generous money-back guarantee. Per the website, “your first lesson is covered by our Z Guarantee - meaning you’ll love your tutor, or we’ll cover the first hour of your lesson.”
Looking at the subjects catered to, the offerings seem to be mainly focused on middle school, high school, and test prep. There is a section dedicated to college-level, but seeing the hundreds of subjects one can study in higher education lumped together in one tab was, frankly, not the most encouraging sign. Given Club Z’s! history as a location-based tutoring service, it is unsurprising that college students would not be the company’s main clients. Even visually, the site mainly uses photos of children and younger students learning with tutors; similarly, the language used in explainers and website copy appears to target parents, not independent college students.
Beyond the tutors themselves, we appreciate the free Quick Math and Quick Grammar glossaries with the answers to common questions in math and grammar. These can be great resources for many students, even those who do not have an account with Club Z!.
Similarly, we think that the study skills tutoring option is a great resource for younger students. These sessions are meant to instill good studying habits in kids and teens, to carry into higher education, making Club Z! a great option for these age groups.
Club Z! review: Details
Grades: Pre-K through undergraduate
Price: Starting at $57.75 per hour for 1 hour; discounted rate for hourly packages
Subjects: English, math, science, and more
Programs: Tutoring, study skills tutoring, test prep
Times available: Availability dependent on tutor
Club Z! review: Learning tools
Because Club Z! was conceptualized as an in-person tutoring service, it imagined its tools as the same ones that are being used in the classroom. These are not the same tools that are used in an online classroom, and because the focus isn’t on the online tutoring offering, Club Z lacks tools that can help children and young students learn from the comfort of home. We think it would be wise for Club Z! to enhance its online platform with additional kid-focused tools similar to Chegg Tutors’. Additional reading or typing programs, or even summer workbooks would make it a one-stop shop for extra-curricular learning. Although the company lacks learning tools, it heavily invests in getting students connected to tutors to boost grades and retain clients through its flexibility.
Should I choose Club Z?
Based on reputation and flexibility alone, Club Z! is worth looking into. With satisfactory results reported by parents, it’s one of the better programs out there, especially if you’re looking for in-person tutoring. However, we only recommend it for students at high school level and under looking for regular tutoring sessions, and for parents who can comfortably afford the cost of consistent tutoring provided by Club Z!. For better results, we suggest supplementing your child’s tutoring with additional tools that are not provided by the online platform.