My family had the privilege of trying SmartKidz Media SmartKidz Media Library for Homeschoolers for this review to use in conjunction with our own homeschool curriculum. This is a Schoolhouse Review Crew Review. All opinions expressed are my own or those of my family.
SmartKidz Media SmartKidz Media Library for Homeschoolers is a subscription based online streaming digital media learning library that hosts family-friendly educational programs for your family to watch, listen to and interact with. This is perfectly made for homeschoolers as the name suggests and since it is family-friendly it is all safe and appropriate content that you can let your child watch without having to worry. The site covers a broad spectrum of different subjects with an emphasis on the animal kingdom, history, science, social studies, world cultures, the fine arts, sports, and health. SmartKidz Media can be used on any device: TV, PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, Tablet, mobile phone, and Roku. It has cloud storage so SmartKidz Media can be streamed any where, at any time. The library is ever growing and expanding. They have over 1000 educational videos, flash animated eBooks, fine arts music, interactive study guides, etc. They will be adding even more titles over the summer.
|Menu bar tabs are across the top for easy navigation. Some have a pull down menu as well.|
Navigation through the site is easy and straightforward. After you log in you will be brought to the main landing page. The main landing page looks like a bunch of images of media titles in a horizontal line that you can scroll through with the arrows on either side. If you mouse over any one of these images it will give you a synopsis of the video and how long it is, with an option to click it and "Watch Now". On the main landing page you can see different menu bar tabs across the top of the page under two sections: Family Media and Reading & Learning Center. If you mouse over a tab under the Family Media section it will bring up a pull down menu with links to all the different titles within that specific group.
|Synopsis of programs are revealed when they are moused over.|
There are two groups of menu tabs under Family Media: World of Discovery, and Music & Fine Arts. You can go to these individually or just stay on the main landing page to have access to all of them all on the same page. In the World of Discovery groups we have subjects in: Animals & Wildlife, Action Sports (coming soon), Documentaries & Culture, Health & Fitness, History, Lifestyles & Cuisine, Science, Travel & Adventure. In the Music & Fine Arts groups we have subjects in: Fine Arts, Classical Music, Cultural Music, Jazz & Blues Classics, and Relaxation Music.
Besides the Family Media section there are tabs at the top of the main landing page to go to the Reading and Learning Center section. This section has videos, flash-animated eBooks, interactive study guides, music, games & activities, and printable media. The tabs in the menu bar under this section are: Mighty E-Book Collection (flash animated eBooks that your child can read along to), Baby Signs Program (baby sign language videos and songs to help teach the pre-verbal to communicate), My Animal Family (video storybooks about animals that teaches values and respect), Quick Find Study Guides (clickable study guides for learning definitions, rules, and examples in language arts, math, science, social studies, accounting, and foreign language), Learning Special Needs (teaches personal, social, and coping skills to special needs in "Hear the Book" & "Interactive" media and printable supplementary teaching materials in PDF format), Living Skills Program (coming soon: teaches children how to live responsibly), Ready Set Sing (Karaoke and sing-along songs for kids), and Fun Zone (educational games and activities).
|Part of the Quick Find Study Guides.|
How We Are Using SmartKidz Media:
I received a full year subscription to SmartKidz Media Library for Homeschoolers. In exploring the site we found all sorts of neat things to watch, listen to, play, and read about. We used this subscription as a supplement with our homeschool curriculum. We don't normally homeschool in the summer, but we do like to unschool and this is perfect for this too. I have found it invaluable to our learning because of the vastness of it all. There are so many subjects and topics covered that we can pretty much find something to go with what we are studying for the week.
SmartKidz Media Library for Homeschoolers is great for the whole family, but I have found that it has a lot of programs that are typically geared towards ages 2-8 years. My teenage boys (13 and 14) were a bit bored with some of the media offered because they thought that it was juvenile. My younger girls aged 4 and 7 were excited about it all.
We skipped around on the main landing page first. We watched Animal Journeys series and learned about migration of different animals and the Mysteries from Ancient Times series to explore some fascinating archeological mysteries. These videos are roughly 5-30 minutes long. Some of the health and fitness ones are longer than 30 minutes. They have fitness videos that are for adults, pregnant women, mamas with babies, and kids. I want to check out the Pilates videos in the future. We also had fun listening to and dancing to some of their Cultural Music and Relaxation Music selections. I loved the music from India and the Nature Impressions: Celtic Journey the most. The music is great to listen to while I am cooking or doing laundry. Teela and Zari did some puzzles and games in the game section too. There is so much to see and listen to in this library that we couldn't get to it all, but we plan on doing more of it this summer.
Purchase a $10 a Month (Membership is billed monthly) or pay $99 a year (Best Value! Prepay for the entire year and save $20)! Each membership plan includes a 14 day free trial before billing begins.
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