6/23/15

SmartKidz Media~ A Multi-Media Library for Homeschoolers {A Review}

If Supergirl could spend her whole day just watching videos she would. I try to incorporate educational videos into her school plan because they work well for her. Our family also enjoys fun but educational documentaries. We try to watch more of those during Orthodox Fasting seasons and less regular streaming.  Finding something that will entertain, while educating, is not always an easy task, so when the crew had the opportunity to review SmartKidz Media Library for Homeschoolers I expressed high interest.

SmartKidz Media a Digital Media Resource for Homeschoolers ~ Read Tess's Review at Circling Through This Life

More than Just Videos

SmartKidz Media offers more than just videos. It is a media resource library filled with videos, eBooks, music, and even study guides. The website has two sections: Family Media, and the Reading and Learning Center.

The Family Media section is divided into two categories: World of Discovery, and Music and Fine Arts.  The World of Discovery includes topics from Animals and Wildlife, Science, History, Health and Fitness, Lifestyles and Cuisine, Travel and Adventure and Documentaries and Cultures. The length of the videos varies.  Some are as short as 8-10 minutes and others are as long as 25-30 minutes. All of the videos that I watched could be played “Full Screen” but none that I saw had closed caption included. We noticed several of them were produced by the BBC and Turtlegirl and I especially liked hearing the accents! A few of the titles include:

  • Bizarre Science ~ There are three volumes of this BBC collection. We watched volume 1 together for fun and plan on watching the other two as well. These are educational but fun to watch.
  • Ancient Cultures ~ This one also has three volumes. I thought it would be about ancient cultures from the *past* but it really explored ancient cultures that still exist.
  • Bravo Chef series with cuisine from all over the world. Supergirl loved these. She loved these even more than the animals ones and would ask for these videos. Turtlegirl is including them as part of her “Advanced Cooking course” and she is planning to actually prepare some of the dishes.
  • Worldwide Discovery: Scotland ~ There are 11 different Worldwide Discovery titles. Supergirl watched Scotland. I plan on adding a few of these titles to our geography studies as we study countries around the world.

Bravo Chef French recipe leTian from SmartKidz Media Library for Homeschoolers

Animals dominate the videos in the World of Discovery section with several different series. Recently SmartKidz updated the content to include history videos from World War II and the Cold War. It looks like U.S. History will be coming soon. Speaking of coming soon, there will be some sports videos added as well.

The Music and Fine Arts section includes Classical Music, Cultural Music, Jazz and Blues Classics, and Relaxation Music. There is a Fine Arts section with five selections. Four of those are classical composers paired with an artist. As you listen to the music of Dvorak you see images of the art of Remington or listen to the music of Grieg while viewing the art of Renoir. I liked being able to click on a composer like Handel and let it play in one window while I work on lesson plans in another window or write blog posts.

Handel's Playlist from SmartKidz Media

The Reading and Learning Center has eight sections:

  • The Mighty EBook Collection ~ I like to let Supergirl use this section on the Kindle because she can follow along while the book is read to her. I love the collection of Aesop Fables and Beatrix Potter stories
  • Baby Signs Program ~ includes a signing dictionary and videos for potty training
  • My Animal Family ~ yes, more animals!
  • Quick Find Study Guides ~ These are like reference tools. I used the spelling one to look up when to write our numbers. There are references for Language Arts, Math, Science and more. French and Spanish grammar are listed as coming soon!
  • Easy Learning for Special Needs ~ This category includes “Hear the Book” and Interactive sections for nearly all of the items listed. The Interactive options include PDF downloads.  I think this section would work well for younger children in the toddler/preschool years whether they are typical learners or special learners.
  • The Living Skills Program is listed as coming soon!
  • Ready Set Sing ~ this has sections for ages 2-4 and for ages 6-8
  • The Fun Zone ~ In this area children can find games, and jokes and riddle books. There are puzzles as well.  Supergirl had a bit of trouble with the puzzles because she wasn’t quite coordinated enough with the mouse. These do not work on the Kindle Fire. 

Accessing the Media Library

Because this is a subscription to online streaming content, it can be accessed from a variety of devices including smart phones, ipads, and Kindles! We have an old Wii and a TV so old it cannot even support an adapter to use with the laptop.  We did try it on the Wii with the Wii browser but our internet service is no longer playing nice with the Wii as the browser is so outdated. We opted for using SmartKidz on the laptop and the Kindle Fire.  We are hoping to purchase a new “smart TV” in the fall and I am sure Supergirl will appreciate being able to watch her favorite SmartKidz videos on the TV. In the meantime, she enjoys her special Kindle Fire time!

Supergirl enjoys SmartKidz on the Kindle! Read Tess's Reviwe at Circling Through This Life

The Details:

  • The Vender:  SmartKidz Media
  • The Product: SmartKidz Media Library for Homeschoolers
  • Format: Online Subscription
  • Age Range:  There are materials for every age group!
  • Price:  $10 a month or $99 a year.  There is also a 14 Day Free Trial
  • More Information: View the FAQ page for more information
  • NOTE:  I have not personally viewed all of the content.  All families are different so be sure to read the other crew reviews to get more information and more opinions! Sign up for the 14 Day Free Trail to see for yourself!
SmartKidz Media Review

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