In being a member of the Schoolhouse Crew Review team, I was introduced to a subscription based website by SmartKidz Media. This site offers a vast array of educational material in many digital formats that can be used to supplement and enhance learning opportunities. It can be streamed on many digital devices that are connected to the Internet. The family-friendly features offer peace of mind in knowing that nothing discerning should ever be stumbled across on the sites safe provided viewing environment. I’m quite excited to be sharing my thoughts and the opinions of my children on SmartKidz Media Library for Homeschoolers through this review opportunity.
What SmartKidz Media Has to Offer:
The SmartKidz Media Library for Homeschoolers features subjects and materials geared to those of all ages. The site includes videos for watching, music albums for listening, quick find study guides on a number of topics, educational games, engaging puzzles, and fun e-books. While browsing one will never have to worry about seeing advertisements of any kind and no personal information will ever be asked for aside from when signing up.
The site is fairly easy to navigate. It’s colorfulness draws one in and the scrolling menus make it fun to find something to view or listen too. There is no search option available but topics can be found fairly easily under the set categories in the menu bar above. As with any material being viewed by children, I would recommend parents watch or research it ahead of time to make sure it lines up with personal views and standards. I found most documentaries and videos to be roughly about 1/2 hour long.
Subscribing & Access: Families are offered a few different options for subscribing. If you want to try it out before making the investment of $10.00 a month or
$99.00 a year, you can pursue the two week free trial offer. My families subscription covers a year and I feel that with the vast amount of resources available on the site, that we’ll have plenty to go through, especially with more being added overtime.
The Digital content in your Family Media Library can be accessed through a number of different devices. My family currently accesses it through our Windows PC & Nexus 7 tablet on a DSL connection. It can also be viewed on any other computer or mobile device that has access to the Internet. If you have an up to date Roku player, Apple TV, Chromecast Device, or Smart TV content can be streamed for viewing there also.
The e-books require a Flash version of 10.2 or higher to work. All information needed and questions that may be asked pertaining to the site likely can be found in the FAQ section or answered by a helped customer service representative.
How We Used This: We have been using SmartKidz Media Library for Homeschoolers almost seven days a week. We break from our normal science studies during the Summer season, but my children have been going through the Animals & Wildlife videos to keep them fresh on the subject. Typically we have breakfast in the morning and then start our day with a 1/2 hour video from the media library. After we discuss something that stood out to them and sometimes we take that interest further by research on the net or in books, tying it into our art for the day, and so on.
I’ve been taking advantage of the music offered in the Nature Impressions section of the site. I typically can’t stand for there to be complete silence in the home so the music has been very welcome aid. My favorite in the collection is the Celtic Journey. It brings a certain calmness to not just me but my entire family. I plan on playing the other offerings in the music section to tie into our future cultural, history, and social studies lessons. The music is right on and the quality exceptional.
I’ve been planning out our future school year and this site has been an excellent resource for many of our studies. I like that it spans all ages and it so easily can be tied into most of everything we are doing whether it be about studying animals, exploring other countries, diving into history, learning about cooking, or including it into our physical fitness routines of the day.
I love I can be cooking dinner, folding laundry, or whatever else and I can sit my four year old son down or my 7 year old daughter and they can go through the e-books, fun zone games, or videos all on their own without being led off to some other site.
There is not one thing I dislike about the site. The videos don’t take forever to load, the image quality is very good, and the sound is equally impressive. Though we tend to use the site on our computers and tablets, my family is currently pursing a device to Stream screen to TV. There’s just something about seeing videos on the big screen instead of being all hunched together by a computer screen. I’m happy with SmartKidz Media and pleased they offer so many ways to benefit from all they have to offer.
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