{Schoolhouse Review} ~ SmartKidz Media

We don't do too much TV watching. No cable, just the basic channels, which in my opinion, don't offer much. But there are some really neat educational programs out there, and every once in a while, I would love access to good programs to supplement our schooling. And that is where the SmartKids Media Library for Homeschoolers from SmartKidz Media steps in to help.

SmartKidz Media Review
What It Is:

This is truly a media library.

There are different areas to choose a video from:

  • World of Discovery
  • Music and Fine Arts
  • Baby Signs Programs
  • Quick Find Study Guides
  •  Learning Special Needs
  • Living Skills Program

And much more.

My kids are older, so they gravitated right to the World of Discovery. The first thing we watched was a cooking demonstration. And the cuisine they chose? Japanese, of course. They have an entire Japanese section where we watched a chef make tempura, miso, sushi, and tamagoyaki.

You can choose to watch each individual dish, or watch the entire section on Japanese cooking, which has 15 recipes and is over an hour long. We also watched some French and Italian dishes as well.

The next section we checked out was Documentaries and Cultures. In this section are a group of videos called Unusual Cultures. Each episode is 26 minutes long and focuses on two unique cultures. The girls enjoyed learning about how people live in Crete, fish and survive in Lamalera, and the religions of Bali and Lombok.

I checked out the Health and Fitness area, and did a couple of Pilate videos. They each run 56 minutes in length and are a full workout. There are also workouts for kids and expecting moms too. I also enjoyed Music and Fine Arts. There are lots of different types of music to choose from: classical, cultural (music indigenous to certain areas), Jazz and Blues, and Relaxation.

There is an entire section of videos on World War II and the Cold War.

There is a plethora of Animal Collections, with videos on ants, elephants, and microscopic animals. One video caught my eye; it was titled "Nature's Soap Opera's". This was a funny video with voice-overs for the animals. The kids thought it was entertaining; most of the jokes were puns and pretty silly. The jokes were pretty clean, but they did take the Lord's name in vain a couple of times and used the word 'bloody'.

Another section that Bookworm enjoyed was Bizarre Science. These programs feature interesting experiments that show how normal everyday occurrences happen. Some of the ordinary things explained in these videos are vision, rain, and toast. (What makes toast land butter-side down?)

We really only used maybe half of this site because of the ages of my children, so I took a small tour of things that younger kids could do. There are:

  • e-book Collections with story songs, animated books, and Bible stories
  • Baby Signing Program, with a video dictionary and parent guides
  • Fun Zone, with games, puzzles, and  jokes
  • Easy Learning For Special Needs, where interactive media and books teach special kids about life skills

How We Used This And What We Thought:

This came at the perfect time. We are doing school in bits and pieces through the summer, but not going crazy. So I put on their schedule certain videos from SmartKidz that I wanted them to watch. I scheduled what I wanted the younger two girls to watch, and I would watch it with them. For Bookworm, I allowed her to explore a bit more of the site on her own.

The younger girls loved watching most of these videos. They especially enjoyed the cooking ones. I did get some fun requests for our evening meals! They thought that some of the animal videos, especially the silly ones, were not worth watching. But my kids are older and those kinds of videos could definitely appeal to younger kids.

Bookworm enjoyed the cultural and travel videos. She has always been interested in how people live in other countries so she watched every video in this series. I watched a couple of them with her and learned a few things myself. Beware that there are scantily clad women in beach scenes.

This website is a secular site; there are references to evolution and alcohol in a few videos. But like with any video, I preview things before my especially younger children watch.

There were some things I really liked. Each video has a short description and then also lists the topics covered. This is a huge help when trying to find information on specific subjects. There are also very extensive study guides. These are not videos, but are informational slides that give definitions, rules, and examples.

Math (including upper level math like algebra and trigonometry!), science, social studies (history) and language arts are covered.

There is also an art section where an artists' work is showcased while beautiful classical music plays in the background.

So overall we liked this media site; as with any secular video the parent does need to preview the content and I would recommend doing that for this resource. Want to know what the other Crew members thought? Click below to find out!

SmartKidz Media Review

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