A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

Monday, June 22, 2015

SmartKidz Media

Our family was selected to review the SmartKidz Media Library for Homeschoolers.  This is a huge, online wealth of information from SmartKidz Media.  We received a 1 year subscription and got to watching and listening right away.  The SmartKids site has a lot to offer to a variety of ages, starting at just 2 years old.

Social Studies based videos:

We started out with Mysteries From Ancient Times, from their World of Discovery line.  Personally, I found it fascinating, since I love history, so we watched all 3 of them.

I was a little taken aback at the nudity in Ancient Cultures, since SmartKidz is billed as Family Media.  I also have mixed feelings about the travel videos.  We love learning about other countries, but with the amount of drinking, smoking, and bikinis in some of them, it didn't feel like these were geared toward an audience of children.  Scotland was wholesome.  Spain, not so much.  Bottom line, I'd recommend previewing these videos for younger or more sheltered kids.

Science based videos:

If your children are into animals, they'll enjoy Magnificent Beasts and also Animal Journeys, which explains migration.

SmartKidz is not a faith based company, and their movies do contain references to evolution.

There are also How Did They Make That? shows, which explain how various common objects are manufactured, something all kids find fascinating.

Early Learning Videos:
SmartKidz has the entire Baby Signs program online.  We used Baby Signs with Jack when he was a toddler, since he was a late talker, and our whole family picked up signs from it.

The Animal Family section, found by clicking one of the links in the top menu bar, has shorter, friendly animal clips, geared for younger children than the animal videos on the main page.

Personal Development Videos:
Personally, exercise is not my thing, but they do offer workout videos, including a couple that are specifically for children, and they have maternity workouts coming soon.

Speaking of "coming soon," SmartKidz is adding new videos all the time.  During our review period, they added a series on World War 2 and a trio of PG rated animal videos, Life in the New World.

In addition to the plethora of videos SmartKidz offers, they also have music.  I liked being able to have the music going in the background on my computer as we worked on art projects or other activities in the school room.  In fact, when I played Music From China, Katie came in and asked me if it was Chinese.  I love being able to expose all my kids to multicultural learning, but I'm particularly partial to keeping Chinese culture alive and interesting and familiar to my Chinese daughters.

The Rhythms of the World was another favorite.  It's heavy on the Pacific Island cultures, and pleasant to listen to.  With Annaliese just moving to Australia, of course we had to listen to the Music From Australia tunes as well.

Another music related resource is the kids karaoke section.  Since SmartKidz can be accessed from a variety of players, including iPhones, tablets, and TVs, in addition to computers, I can see this being a fun "on the go" activity.

There are animated ebooks, too.  I like that the words change color as they are read aloud.  This helps Jack follow along and reinforces learning to read unfamiliar words.  There are ebooks for kids beginning at age 2, and going all the way through Aesop's Fables reading level.

Beyond videos, music, and ebooks, SmartKidz Media also has some puzzles and games.  I like the geography puzzles as a fun, easy way to reinforce map skills.

SmartKids Media offers an abundant wealth of videos and other resources.  There's something to interest everyone in the family.  A one year membership costs $99.  A single month membership is $10.  Prospective new members can sign up for a 2 week free trial to check the service out for themselves.

You can connect with SmartKidz Media on Facebook or Twitter.  To read what other Crew families have to say about their experience using SmartKidz Media, click the box below:

SmartKidz Media Review

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