Many times in our homeschool, we enjoy adding media to round out our studies. Media, whether video or audio, can offer a fun alternative to your book or text work. Sure, we can read about the Sahara Desert, but how much more is it likely to stick if we actually saw it?!? Being a media fan, I was glad to be chosen to review the SmartKidz Media Library for Homeschoolers by SmartKidz Media.
What it is:
This is a subscription-based website that offers a digital media library for homeschoolers. Topics range from things such as Ebooks, Baby Signs Program, Living Skills Program, Learning Special Needs and more. Included in those topics, areas such as international cooking, history and science are included. Study guides and some games (located in the Fun Zone) are also included! When you, or your child log in, you won’t have to worry about any pop-ups, ads or links to other websites. SmartKidz Media offers monthly or annual subscription plans.
Media can be accessed, and played, on any mult-media device such as a computer or tablet. (We used an HDMI cable and hooked the laptop up to our regular TV!) The website states that the company is currently working on an App for the iPad/iPhone. Digital media may also be played using a Roku (disclaimer: we were not able to do this-we tried multiple times and downloaded several apps). They are also working on adding more videos.
What we received:
A one year subscription to SmartKidz Media Library for Homeschoolers. This includes everything they offer.
How we used it:
Our family includes the dad and I, and our kiddos: 17, 14, 8, and 6. All in various stages of learning. All with various interests. The children and I did the majority of the viewing. I even played some of the games!! Until the youngers caught me and then they wanted to play! We watched multiple videos to add to our current learning.
Hooked up via HDMI cable streaming from my laptop to the TV.
Our oldest is a History buff so he enjoyed watching the many videos that have available in this area, specifically those on ancient history. He is also intrigued by Roman history and how it coincides with today. We decided to watch a few of those as a family.
Right out of the gate with the first video we noted a problem, at least for our family. The video wasn’t young earth friendly (which isn’t necessarily always a problem-we aren’t sure ourselves how old the earth is), however with our youngers I try to avoid age as much as possible. Especially theories. Call me overprotective or whacky, that’s just what works for our family. Another precaution is that it isn’t particularly geared toward Creationism either. Some of the images were graphic, and at times, violent. There are also images of less than desirable clothing–again, something we as a family take issue with. I understand the rationale-the native culture-but 6 and 8 are too young to introduce that too. We stopped the video immediately.
The next stop was the food videos. We were intrigued by the International Cuisine and all of my kids LOVE to cook and watch those types of shows. It was really neat to watch all of the different ways food is prepared from all over. My youngers got very squeamish, however, especially when an eel made an appearance
Probably the youngest girls favorite part was the games-particularly finding the object hidden in a picture. They did have some trouble “matching” the item to the picture perfectly-as in getting in lined up correctly, and gave up after a while.
There has been tremendous thought, time and talent put behind the creating of this amazing virtual library. And with new titles coming soon, I’m excited to see what is in store. While some of the videos didn’t work for us, the beauty of this program is that there are SO many choices!