I won’t lie to you – books are my favorite way to learn. But, there is little that can compare to video for giving you a true look at what places and animals are really like. That is why we were excited to get to review SmartKidz Media.
We have excitedly been exploring the library of available media we were given access to at SmartKidz Media Library for Homeschoolers. There are a lot of options and we have been complementing our studies in many ways.
The SmartKidz Media Library has a wide variety of learning materials available through their subscription. The menu includes:
- World of Discovery
- Music and Fine Arts
- Mighty Ebook Collection
- Baby Signs Program
- My Animal Family
- Quick Find Study Guides
- Learning Special Needs
- Living Skills Program
- Ready Set Sing
- Fun Zone
I have explored in each of these areas and have used most of them with the girls in one way or another.
The World of Discovery we have used quite a lot. We watched the World Wide Discovery video on China and the girls really loved seeing what parts of China were like. We viewed Scotland and Germany to see what they would show of the castles from the Medieval period, which we were studying. It makes the world come alive to see, in moving video, what an area looks like and hear the people talk. The experience comes as close as possible to being there. They enjoyed these so much that they asked to watch a number of others from the Travel and Discovery section of World of Discovery.
While we were working on an art project one day, we used videos from Music and Fine Arts. What we watched pairs the music of a well-known composer such as Mozart or Dvorak with the artwork of a well-known artist such as Matisse and Van Gogh. These are less than 10 minutes each but the exposure to music and art is huge! I really liked these and the girls were caught discussing the elements of some of the art work. Just don’t tell them I noticed.
From discovering cultures on the other side of the globe to listening to the music they create to learning about animals that we may never see otherwise, the World of Discovery section is huge and contains a lot.
I think J’s favorite section was the Mighty Ebooks. She would ask to do school by getting to watch and interact with some of the videos and ebooks. Her favorite was the “Woodpecker Knockin’ ” and “Metamorphosis.” They have added a bunch of new ones, as well, that she hasn’t explored yet, including some flash animated Bible stories and children’s songs. She’ll love those!
In My Animal Family, there are sets of related videos and songs to help teach about animals. All three giggly girls enjoyed these. We learned about lions, elephants, and dolphins. There are a couple more animals that we haven’t explored yet – the polar bear and the chimpanzee. Each video in the set is fairly short at around 10 minutes, so we were able to watch all the videos related to an animal all in one sitting.
Don’t let the Learning Special Needs title discourage you from looking in that category. We have viewed some of these videos because they are interesting and they teach concepts that little miss J needed to learn. Money is the one that pops to mind first. There is a book to listen to and watch. In the interactive sections, you can print off a lesson plan, vocabulary, word web activity, and more. There are a variety of topics that have these options to supplement many different learning settings and units.
This is an online subscription so you will need to check the website for price information. I also suggest investigating the streaming options available to you for access once you have an account. We were able to view on our laptop and desktop computers, even with our laptop being a much older model. We also have a Chromecast stick and were able to “cast” the videos to our television for viewing. I was unable to access it through my phone and my Kindle so definitely check ahead of time to make sure the device you plan on using will access it correctly.
We used this website in a number of different ways. We supplemented units or studies with a corresponding video. We used it for fun and just because. We used it to teach concepts or facts. There are so many ways in which to utilize the media available on this site. The amount of information is almost overwhelming but it has been a lot of fun, too. We’ll be taking advantage of this throughout the coming months. If you enjoy using video and other media to complement your studies, I suggest you take a look at SmartKidz Media Library for Homeschoolers. It might just fit the bill for your family.
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