Tag Archives: videos

Stopmotion Explosion ~ a Crew review

Stopmotion kit

We are not a huge technology family. We don’t look for the latest things on the market and we don’t go for expensive cell phones. We are not tech-y, you know? When the opportunity was presented to review the Stop Motion Animation Kit, I just didn’t know whether to even try or not. After all, it felt overwhelming to me. But I presented the idea to Miss L and she was excited to get to try Stopmotion Explosion. It is right up her alley!

The Stop Motion Animation Kit is a set that gets anyone ready to begin creating stop motion videos. Stop motion is when a video is created by taking any number of still images that show minute changes in position, strings them together quickly, and creates a video out of that. Think a digital flip book. Did you ever have one of those? We had one that had a cartoon of the Road Runner in the corner of it and you flipped fast to make Road Runner run. This is like that only done digitally.

Stopmotion Explosion has created a kit to get newbies like us headed in the right direction. The kit includes

  • a 1080p HD video camera with microphone, manual focus and flexible clip;
  • CD with animation software (though you can download it from the website, also, with the book to provide the code word neeeded);
  • a quick start guide; and
  • a 294 page book full of history, tips, ideas, and instruction.

In addition to the kit, access to the internet will be needed if you want to access the step-by-step video tutorials and other materials available on the website or if you need to download the software. There are minimum requirements for the computer operating systems so be sure to check that before purchase.

The recommended age printed on the kit is 13+. This would be a great age for independence with the kit, though an 11 or 12 year old could probably use it if they are fairly tech-savvy. Younger than that and adult assistance will be needed, particularly in getting the software set up or in trouble shooting if issues occur.

Using the Kit20190308_201414

We were able to get started fairly easily with the kit. The Quick Start Guide is enough to help get the software loaded and figure out a few of the troubleshooting things that come up early on (like how to focus the camera or getting an image to show up from the camera – yep, had both of those and found the question right there in the booklet).

Once we had the basics figured out, Miss L just wanted to play with it and see what she could do. She had been thinking about ideas since we had asked for the review so she was ready to at least try. We decided it was best to just start with playing around, rather than try to make this a very formal process. So, she opened the software and starting capturing images. She used the bigger book to answer a couple of more detailed questions and we went to the website for some help, also.stopmotion software

One of the issues we had was that our software quit. (I have not yet figured out why that happens but it didn’t stop the creative process – just slowed it down.) So, I headed over to the Stopmotion website and guess what? Right there was a video showing how to grab those already captured images and move them into the software once it was running again to pick up right where it had left off. The only thing here was that the video showed a different version of the software than we had, as the import feature looked really different. Not a problem, though. It was enough information that I was able to assist Miss L in getting those images back to the software so she could keep going.

She figured out just how wonderful some of the features are, like the onionskin. It allows you to superimpose the previous image over the one you are about to take so you can see how your change looks before capturing the image. This was something she use. A LOT! It allowed her to make those changes as small as she saw them in her head.

Animate ANYTHING and Make MOVIES

20190416_084925This is the title of the 294 page book that comes with the kit. It can also be purchased separately. It is full of information, tips, ideas, and helpful things for stop motion video. It is not really designed as a class but could very easily be made into one. The book starts with a short history lesson. It then takes the reader through “actors”, creating stories, making sets, different cameras, lighting, and more. There are some chapter that address specific video sequences such as flying or fighting.

It would be very easy to make this into a high school elective credit but creating assignments to go with each chapter. For the one on different actor options, have the student come up with a certain number or to create an armature using the instructions in the book. The student could write a story script in the chapter teaching about that. Backdrops, lighting options, and more – each of these could have several assignments that build on each other and create a good solid film credit for high school electives. This book is so full of hands-on options that it could easily keep the student working creatively for quite a while. This is a great book!

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While Miss L has not read the book all the way through, it is something she has picked up a few times and read interesting parts of. It gave her some good ideas and spurred her on when she got stuck. We are planning for Miss L to go back through the book and actually read it later on this summer, when we are doing “fun school” stuff and have some extra down time. She has some ideas and would like to work on it.

Capturing images and Creating videos

Miss L has created two videos at this point. She figured out that she had to have a stabilizing element for the camera. Using a suggestion from the book, she created a stand for it from blocks.

camera

After getting it sturdy, she started capturing and has created two videos at this point. Check out her work so far.

I am sure there will be much more use of the kit in the future. End of study projects can take on a whole new meaning. Creating a literature summary or filming a science video – all options have a new possibility now. I can’t wait to see what she and her sisters come up with.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

There have been some pretty amazing videos created by other students using the Stop Motion Animation Kit from Stopmotion Explosion. Visit the Homeschool Review Crew blog by clicking the banner below to find other videos to view.

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Drive Thru History® Acts to Revelation ~ a Crew Review

Drive Thru History Acts to Revelation

One of the wonderful times in education is when a light bulb goes off, a concept is understood, and things comes to life. Drive Thru History® is a company that does this well; they bring history to life. Utilizing video, history, geography, archaeology, artwork, computer graphics, and in depth research and commentary, the Bible comes to life in their newest DVD release – Drive Thru History® “Acts to Revelation”: The World of the First Christians.

acts to revelation cover

Drive Thru History® is not new to the scene. They have been around for a while, bringing us through ancient history, American History, historical Bible lands, and the Gospels. You have likely read a couple of our reviews for some of their other products, including The Gospels and their online curriculum site Drive Thru History Adventures. This is one more product in their line that helps us see and understand history.

Acts to Revelation is an 18 part mini-series. Dave Stotts is the on camera personality, and boy does he have one. He keeps things interesting with his quirky sense of humor. His witty commentary combined with the video is fast-paced and intriguing. Through it all, he brings the word of God, the Bible, to life. In this series, he travels throughout the Mediterranean region to show us the places and sites of the Bible, particularly Acts to Revelation. He visits the places where churches spread the Christian faith and influenced history.

Using the book of Acts as his road map, David visits places such as Ephesus, Corinth, Berea, Philippi, Jerusalem and finally, Rome. These are the places Paul and his companions visited during his three missionary routes. Traveling the paths of Paul, Barnabas, Silas, Luke, Timothy, and others as they visited churches and encouraged new followers of The Way shows us much about the way these men would have traveled and the people would have lived, including the challenges and dangers they faced. We visit the place where Demetrius the silversmith and his fellow craftsmen took Paul to put him on trial in Ephesus and to Philipi where Paul and his fellow missionaries met and taught Lydia, baptizing her and her family. The episodes take us all the way from Israel and the close of the Gospel accounts of Jesus through to the isle of Patmos and John writing about the seven churches in Revelation.

Acts to Revelation uses archaeological sites, historical accounts, and geography to illustrate the Bible and to show the accuracy of God’s Word. These visits along with quotes from primary source documents, such as the Bible and the history written by Josephus, help us understand more about the life and times of the early Christians. We get to walk the way the disciples and early Christians did as the Good News of Jesus spread far and wide. This is a beautiful thing because the more we understand the Bible, the better we know God.

The three discs arrived in a nice hard-back booklet style DVD case. There are three separate places for the DVDs, which is nice so they aren’t stacked and getting scratched. This case includes a full-color, glossy paged study guide that contains over 115 pages right in the case. There are six pages for each episode. For each episode there is a beautiful two-page picture related to the episode, a summary of the episode, a “side road” informational paragraph that covers an interesting place or person from the episode, a quote from the Bible, a few questions, and some additional readings from the Bible that will illuminate even further what is shown in the episode. This study guide also includes answers for the questions in each episode.

study guide lesson 10

There are many ways Acts to Revelation can be viewed. As a family, we are watching one episode each morning to start our school day and are most of the way finished. We watch the video, use the study guide to ask a few questions, and then read the passages from the Bible that are suggested. This gets us through the series in about a month, as we have a four day school week. It is possible to use this as a personal Bible study, taking notes about personal thoughts related to the episode and then reading the suggested passages.

study guide and Bible reading

We also have used a portion of one episode for a small group Bible study that included children, knowing the video aspect would really bring alive the study. In that episode, Dave visited a grotto that the ancients believed to be the entrance to the underworld. He tied it in with Paul’s visit and preaching and it was a startling way to really bring into focus on how the people would have viewed Paul’s teachings. This was a great example and did just what was expected – it pulled the children right into God’s word. We were contacted by one of the children’s mother later to get the information on where to order the DVDs because her five year old son had not stopped talking about it. He gained a lot of understanding and he is five!

TV showing read the scriptures

We are thankful to have access to powerful teaching tools such as Drive Thru History® and the series Acts to Revelation. It brings to life places that we are not able to travel to and helps us all relate more to the life and struggles of the first century Christians who believed in spite of all of the dangers and challenges they faced. What an encouragement to us today.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

Visit the Homeschool Review Crew by clicking on the link below so that you can read more reviews from other families who have been viewing Drive Thru History®‘s Acts to Revelation series for the past few weeks.

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Princess Cut ~ a Crew review

Princess Cut movie

Once in a while we get a simple review to promote with the Crew. Princess Cut , a movie from Watchman Pictures, is one of those. Yet it is much more than just a movie.

Princess Cut is a family-friendly movie that promotes relationship and God’s plan for love and marriage. Grace is a young woman who has been struggling with love. She has been hurt and characterizes her heart as having been “passed around like a football.” She has begun to feel that God does not want her to find love and happiness.

In the midst of these struggles, Grace knows who she is and what her parents and God expect of her. But she struggles with that and finds that when she is not honest, it is very hurtful. After yet another hurt, Grace turns to her parents to guide her more directly. Her dad tells her that perhaps their priorities have been wrong and they have been trying to reap a harvest before planting the seed. This illustration is perfect since the family grows and harvests soybeans for a living.

When Grace decides to focus on getting her own life right and building up the family relationships she has, God brings a neighbor into her family’s lives. Clint becomes one the family trusts and cares for. Their friendships grow and Clint approaches Grace’s father and mother to ask their permission to pursue more of a relationship with Grace.

Through a friendship approach to getting to know each other more, Grace and Clint come to care deeply for each other. When someone from Clint’s past shows up, things become complicated. When it looks like Grace is about to be hurt yet again, her mother and father guide her well. The ending of the movie brings things pretty well full circle and we end with a smile on our faces and a warm feeling in our hearts.

waiting on God's timing for true love

What I thought:

I really enjoyed the movie. It is a make-you-feel-good kind of movie. There is much in this movie that is fairly true to life, especially when young women look around and see so much “love” and “romance” happening around them. It is easy to have your focus swayed away from God’s will for your life. The themes of this movie bring us back to God and allowing Him to move in your life, bringing about the love and faithfulness in His plan.

The theme of this movie is “True love is worth waiting for.” I like that but it needs a bit more since this phrase is often directed towards the physical parts of a relationship. The movie’s theme is more – true love is worth waiting on God’s timing for. Grace is urged and guided by her parents to wait for God to direct her path and in doing so, she finds a man who will walk beside her the way God designed marriage. That is a beautiful picture.

My girls really enjoyed the movie. Miss E has watched it more than once, also wanting to share it with her friends. I appreciate the quality of the movie and the focus on God’s will in Grace’s life. I also really appreciate that Grace turns to her parents for guidance. These are good models for the girls as they approach and move further into their teen years.

We had some really good discussions about love and friendship and relationships in watching this movie. The girls had a few questions and the movie provided a framework to look at some ideas through. My youngest asked questions about why the boy was mad that Grace did not feel he was the right person for her to date. My oldest had some deeper questions about how to follow God if someone is not a Christian. Lots of good discussions can come out of this.

There is a scene that I want to warn you about because it is unexpected and my youngest would hide her eyes. Towards the end, there is a scene in the barn where the jilted man decides to attack someone with a shovel. There is no contact and everyone is safe in the end but it could be scary for a younger viewer.

The extras will provide some hooting laughter, too. My girls have watched, over and over, the extended versions of the men who came to the door to answer the want ad in the movie. These are hilarious and lots of fun. These are the types of things that help a movie become a family favorite and I think Princess Cut is going to make that cut.

Overall, we were very pleased with the quality of the movie – from the themes to the real-to-life family scenes (big sister/little brother – bet you can imagine!) – we would not have a problem recommending this movie to others.

Blessings,
At Home.

Want to read other families’ reviews? I know I always appreciate multiple viewpoints when trying to decide whether to show a movie to my girls. Head over to the Homeschool Review Crew blog and pick a few of the other reviews to read.

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Drive Thru History Adventures ~ a Crew review

experience history

History is one of those things that we either tend to love or hate. Drive Thru History Adventures is a program that helps foster that love of history; it brings history to life.

One of my favorite Bible teachers has always said “Put on your Greek glasses, your Roman toga, and your Jewish sandals to understand the Bible.” Drive Thru History Adventures basically allows us to do this and shows us what it is like because of that. We get to visit the places history happened, listen to experts who know what life was like, and read about the accounts of history by those who saw or experienced it first-hand. And all of this happens through the genius of the Drive Thru History Adventures online curriculum site.

You can access the Drive Thru History Adventures site through an annual subscription or with a monthly subscription. This subscription gives you access to the Drive Thru History Adventures site and also to Adventures TV. What are these two areas? Read on.

Drive Thru History Adventures

Drive Thru History Adventures site

This site is the hub of all adventures. It is the setting for the three courses currently available – Bible History, American History, and Ancient History – and their other materials. Each course has a series of videos that is accompanied by additional resources and materials. In Bible History, each lesson includes:

  • video
  • a piece of artwork
  • summary of the lesson
  • Bible readings that cover the lesson topic/time
  • Side Road – something related to the time or place of the lesson
  • Discussion Questions – a few questions, generally about 5, to initial discussion and thinking deeper
  • Printable worksheet and answer key
  • Dig Deeper

As you scroll through the lesson, there are images, artwork, and pictures that help you place the history in context and get a feel for what it was like. The lessons are set up like this in all three of the curriculum topics.

Bible curriculum

Bible History – This 18 week curriculum takes you through the life of Jesus, through The Gospels. It is the same video series we reviewed last year but it is now part of this curriculum, as well. These videos are so jamb-packed with material that you can watch over and over and learn more each time. Adding these to the curriculum on the Adventures site means that there is even more perspective and understanding being built. The readings for each of the videos is from the Bible, from the gospel accounts. These are done in readers that are embedded right in the site so you don’t have to leave the site to do the readings. Same thing with the additional videos and articles – the Adventures site is hosting them so you stay on their website while doing all of your work with this curriculum. It does take you to a different page for each of the articles or additional videos so you will have to navigate back to the episode or lesson you are working on to access the next resource in Dig Deeper. This is the one thing that I wish were more streamlined but it is not that big an issue; we have a back arrow, right?

American History – This 12 week series take you from Columbus thru the birth of America and the Constitution. We have not watched these in order at this point. We have ventured into this area and watched a couple that went with a discussion we were having. I noticed that the readings are often primary source documents here – for example, the Mayflower Compact is one of the readings. This really helps build the foundation of understanding of the background and growth of America.

Ancient History – This 12 episode series takes the students through the ancient societies of Greece, Rome, and Asia Minor. While our family has watched several of these at one time or another, we have not ventured much into this curriculum area during this review period.

Drive Thru History Adventures

Each of these are appropriate as a curriculum for age 12 and up. High schoolers will possible need to do some additional work if you are looking to count this as a credit but it is a solid foundation towards that or as a supplement. A couple of suggestions on the site include doing additional research and writing papers. Younger students can definitely benefit by watching the videos and there is much to learn. My youngest enjoys these videos and can even answer some of the discussion questions without any problem. There is much here to be used by the whole family.

When you are logged into the site, there is a plethora of information that is available in addition to the curriculum mentioned above. There are expert papers and articles, research, side roads, dig deeper, worksheet and answer keys, and more. Many of these are the same material that is found in one of the curriculum topics but these make them available outside of those curriculum lessons. You can access them by what you are looking for (say a side road or an article) or from the Dashboard.

The Dashboard gives you access to the newest videos or featured videos quickly and you can scroll down and find more. Drive Thru History Adventures has done a fantastic job of putting up some videos to help you get started by taking you around the site and showing you where to find things once you are there. It is an easy start program, for sure.

Drive Thru History Adventures

Adventures TV

This is a streaming site for Drive Thru History Adventures. It is only streaming; you do not have access to the curriculum resources (if you click on curriculum at the top, it takes you away from the Adventures TV site to the regular site) but you can access the videos. In fact, I love the way Adventures TV is set up. It groups the curriculum videos by time period, puts all the Side Road videos together, and all the Dig Deeper videos are together. Each is labeled with its topic. There are videos for additional adventures Dave has taken that he wants to share and some Behind the Scenes videos on things like the Museum of the Bible and the upcoming series on Acts to Revelation.

This site has been where my youngest and I have spent the most time together. From here, it is easy to access a video that might be of interest or might fit something we are talking about in another subject. That makes this a wonderful supplement to many other programs. We have greatly enjoyed the videos related to holidays (Groundhog Day, Valentine’s Day, and President’s Day). We even may have watched some related to the Christmas holidays because they were interesting.

dashboard

Our Family’s Thoughts

Miss E is in 8th grade and wanted to go through the Bible History curriculum for history this spring. She really enjoyed learning about the background to so much of Jesus’ life when we reviewed The Gospels last year that she felt she would really enjoy going through the curriculum created to accompany it here on Drive Thru History Adventures. She is going through about three lessons every two weeks. She is accessing it each day and working for 20-30 minutes. The first day she watches the video and reads some of the selected readings. The second day, she finishes the readings, prints out and answers the questions and goes through the rest of the material in Dig Deeper. Sometimes, this takes her into day three if there are several additional resources in the Dig Deeper section. She has been using the printed worksheet to take notes on the additional resources. If you have to keep track of work, this is a great way to do it.

One thing that helps me see how good a program this is? I do not have to ask or remind her to work on her history program. She enjoys it so much that she does it every day. Sometimes, she completes an entire lesson in one day. It is a great fit for her!

Her thoughts:

watching Drive Thru History Adventures

I like it just as much as I did last time we watched the videos. A lot of the material that is in the video is found in the side roads and Dig Deeper, yet it is presented differently. I like that. I like how the whole video isn’t just Dave talking but it includes some fun extra stuff (such as the Car-B-Q). While younger kids could watch the videos, they might have to have things explained to them. I think this is a good level for junior high/middle school students and I really like this.

My thoughts:

Any time we can find a program that takes us right into the thick of history and shows us things we cannot easily see on our own, we have found a treasure. The history presented is clear and based on what really happened. It is a trust-worthy company that shows us Christ throughout time and how God’s hand is in all of the world. This is a Christian company with a Christian perspective. I am pleased to be able to say we fully enjoy this company and think that their new Drive Thru History Adventures site and Adventures TV are fantastic.

Blessings,
At Home.

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Drive Thru History® – The Gospels ~ a Crew review

The GospelsHow does history go from “ho-hum” to “Wow! What else can we learn?!?” Just put on an episode of Drive Thru History®.

Host David Stotts drives the viewers around various history sites related to a given theme; in this case it was Drive Thru History® – “The Gospels”, though he has also hosted a number of others from American History, to Ancient Rome and Ancient Greece. (We have used all of these at one time or another and they are fantastic!)

watching The Gospels

Drive Thru History® brings history to life by taking you to the places where history happened. Visually appealing and content rich, this series will bring history to life while you can just sit back and watch. Being able to see the sites where history was made helps the viewer really understand and remember. Viewing it all through a biblical lens strengthens the worldview, as well.

Drive Thru History® – “The Gospels” is a set of 3 DVDs that brings you 18 episodes of about 30 minutes each. In these episodes, Mr. Stotts takes you to visit over 50 sites where important events took place in the biblical books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. With visually stunning video, the sites come alive with Mr. Stotts retelling of the happenings right where they would have taken place 2000 years ago. Geography, history, archaeology, and art show the life of Jesus and prove the truth of the Bible.

DVD images

With over 9 hours of video, there is so much to be seen and learned. The Gospels comes with a study guide, neatly tucked inside a hardcover book that houses the DVDs. There are stunning images and art work reproductions throughout the 118-page guide. Each episode has a section that includes scriptures to read about the people and places in the episode, 5 questions relating to each episode, a quote, and historical side note.

We enjoyed using this study guide after each episode. It was simple to use and did not take us long, yet it was a good reinforcement for what they had just watched.

 

Drive Thru History The Gospels

One note – The episode relating the sites and direct activities about the crucifixion has a warning on it about its graphic nature and violence. I appreciated this as I have some very highly sensitive and emotional children that feel things very deeply. I watched this episode privately first to decide whether it was appropriate for them all to see. Most of the episode I would not be concerned about but there are several minutes that are video reenactment of the crucifixion. These are extremely graphic. Miss E watched the episode but, at this time, I am not showing the episode to the other girls. This is a decision for each family to make on their own.

This series is just so fascinating. I can’t say enough good things about it. We loved Drive Thru History® – “The Gospels” so much that we are planning a small group Bible study for homeschoolers next fall using these DVDs as our core. Drive Thru History with Dave Stotts is a video program that you can feel good about your students watching. If you can’t travel to the historical sites yourself, this is perhaps the next best thing – being taken there through well-done video tours full of explanation, history, and insight.

answering questions from study guide

Now for the girls’ take on the series:

  • Miss E – age 13: Drive Thru History’s Mr. Stotts is funny and I didn’t want to stop watching when it was time for school lessons. I learned about The Gospels because Mr. Stotts brought us to where it happened. When you read it in the Bible, you know it happened, but when he is showing me where it happened and I see people doing things somewhat related to what actually happened, it makes it feel more real to me. A lot of the time in my Wednesday night Bible class, my teacher says “Check the Bible. Some people say things wrong. Sometimes they say the wrong thing on accident.” And I felt that the statement at the end of each episode was saying the same thing – Read it yourself; check the Bible. This statement was accompanied by Bible passages to read about the people and places from that episode.
    I didn’t like how it showed John the Baptist pouring water over Jesus’ head at his baptism instead of immersing him. I did not really liked the fact that Mom made me wait to watch the crucifixion episode, but I understood why she did.
  • Miss L – age 10: I like Drive Thru History – The Gospels. I appreciated Mr. Stotts’ sense of humor, even if I didn’t get all of his jokes. He had a very creative and descriptive way of saying things that made me excited to hear his next sentence. I learned a lot of history with this series of DVDs in between the Bible lessons. I liked how he actually went to places instead of just telling us a little bit about each place and then saying a few words and stopping there and moving on. I really felt like he was excited to show us each place and actually enjoyed being there and getting to show us all of the places. I really appreciated that. It is much nicer to get to have a person who clearly likes his job and wants to be there teaching. I liked the part at the end where the statement said, “This show hopes to provide some illumination on The Gospels but there is no substitute for reading The Gospels yourself.” It made it feel like they really cared if you learned the truth about The Gospels and the Bible, in general.
  • Miss J – age 8: I liked that he walked around in the actual places and didn’t just stand in one spot. I liked that he walked around in the Kidron Valley. I liked how they drew the pictures about in the same places as they were talking about. There was not much that I did not like; I really liked Drive Thru History – The Gospels!

When you get this kind of praise from all three of the girls, it is a definite winner. Please visit Drive Thru History® – “The Gospels” to learn more.

At Home.

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SmartKidz Media – a TOS review

SmartKidz media reviewI 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.

logo

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.

SmartKidz menu bar

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.

new words from books

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.

bones song and video

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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