Monday, June 22, 2015

SmartKidz Media Library for Homeschoolers a TOS Crew Review

I love adding supplements to our homeschool that get the kids excited and they think I’m a really cool mom by adding some fun resources in the school day. SmartKidz Media has been an exciting review in our homeschool. We received a full year subscription of SmartKidz Media Library for Homeschoolers.

SmartKidz Media is an online streaming media library with an expanding array of online streaming videos, eBooks, study guides, music and arts, and so much more at the tip of your fingertips all on one site. There is something for all ages from kids to adults alike.

You will need high speed internet which can be accessed through your computer, TV using certain devices, and on other mobile devices. An app is in the works for iPad and iPhone users. It is recommended that you have Flash 10.2 or higher to get the best experiences out of the Mighty eBooks.

Once you sign into your account you will see tabs across the top that cover a nice choice of subjects like:

World of Discoveries
Music and Fine Arts
Mighty eBook Collection
Baby Signs Programs
My Animal Family
Quick Find Study Guides
Learning Special Needs
Living Skills Program
Ready Set Sing
Fun Zone

Each tab has a drop down menu that you can click on to take you to the area of interest. You can also click on the tab and see the resources visually which was my kids preferred method of navigating the site. Or you can just scroll through the videos on the front page underneath the tabs. Since our subscription started a few weeks ago SmartKidz library has expanded quite a bit and with more to come.

Here is some more interesting things you can discover:

Animals & Wildlife Collections, Documentaries & Culture Collections
Health & Fitness, History Titles, Lifestyles & Cuisine, Science, Travel & Adventure: World Wide Discovery Collections, Cooking Instruction, Music Collections of a variety of genre,  and much more. 

Little Man is checking every day for the Action Sports videos to come available. It’s one of the first things he checks every day when he signs into SmartKidz Media.

Your subscription gives you unlimited access to everything in a controlled learning atmosphere. I felt pretty safe letting my kids access the site on their own without me hovering over them.

SmartKidz Media is also extremely easy to navigate around the site for both the kids and the parents.

How did I use SmartKidz in our Homeschool?

I had no whining when I told my kids it was time for SmartKidz media. The only thing they did get upset over was fighting over whose turn it was to choose what to do! I quickly had them rotate everyday picking out what to watch. Then they ended up doing more than one thing a day and that resolved the conflict quickly.
SmartKidz Media Library for Homeschoolers a TOS Crew Review

My kids loved the animals and nature videos. The best part is that they learned a lot of new information. The videos actually became a highlight at the dinner table every night with them telling daddy about it. That is always impressive and tells me a lot if the kids are excited, having fun, and learning at the same time. Not to mention that they are recalling the information and sharing what they learned.

With us at the tail end of our official school year and going into our light learning for summer school. I didn’t assign certain areas of learning. I did however tell them that they had to do something in a certain area. My kids did this several times during the week.

I had Bug who is 12 with learning disabilities that has a tough time with her reading skills work in the Learning Special Needs tab. She enjoyed being able to hear the eBooks and she could follow along with the words being highlighted. Every book also had an interactive books. Which Bug would first do the hearing book and then do the interactive book afterwards. Even Little Man ventured over there a few times.

They both enjoyed doing the online puzzles, games, and the other activities over in the Fun Zone. Actually, I think my kids have probably done everything over in that section.

My Final Thoughts

We love SmartKidz and have enjoyed all the amazing educational resources that are available in one place. This is really going to be a great addition to our school next year.

I would love some kind of search option if I am teaching on a subject it would be nice to be able to know what I need quickly without searching each item individually.

Some of the videos like the nature videos do contain a secular doctrine with evolution and are not Creation based. I personally don’t shy away from evolution as I want my kids to know what is taught out in world so they can be fully aware of it so they know how to defend their faith. For some of my readers this may be a topic that they don’t want to introduce their children to.

We thought the culture videos where interesting and really enjoyed them a lot. I did find that they gave only one view point in an area that I was familiar with. That particular area would be when they talked about the Vi De La Rosa route and the places that Jesus stopped when carrying His cross in Jerusalem to the crucifixion. Being in Israel and being immersed in Jewish culture as a family and studying a lot of history as a Messianic Believer in Jesus I know that some things are traditional in nature and not proven as a fact. I thought that it was presented as fact and not as a possible route and the stops along the route aren’t historically documented. A small concern of mine that stands out for me. It just makes me teach my kids that they can’t take everything at face value and need to investigate information for themselves and not rely on everything they hear as a fact.

Overall, I think this is a great resource to add into your homeschool.

Stop by the other TOS Crew reviews to find out more about SmartKidz as there is so much available that there is no way one person can cover it all.

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