Educational Streaming Video and More From SmartKidz Media (A Schoolhouse Crew Review)

I like to use educational video to teach. In this electronic age of almost constant screens, it’s a pretty common way that kids learn. It’s sometimes difficult, however, to find educational content to match up with a subject that we are studying. Enter our latest Schoolhouse Crew review: SmartKidz Media. We received a one year membership to the streaming content of the SmartKidz Media Library for Homeschoolers. This new to me site has a variety of streaming educational content.

Review of SmartKidz Media educational streaming video

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What is the SmartKidz Media Library for Homeschoolers?

SmartKidz media produces and distributes a variety of streaming, easily accessed material for families- educational video, interactive e-books, and study guides are some of this content. With a subscription to the media library- monthly or yearly- families can access this media on many different devices.

One of the things I really liked about SmartKidz Media streaming content is that it can be used on any device that can stream- computers, tablets, phones. We watched a few videos on my computer until I realized that with the great technology we had available, we could play a video on my iPhone, send it to the large t.v. through our Apple TV box, and instantly be able to see the content on a large screen. This was great for home use. But the fact that you can access it on a mobile device means that you have access to the streaming content anywhere you have cell service or are connected through wifi with a device. This makes the content easily accessed anywhere.

On the home page of the SmartKidz Media Library for Homeschoolers, you can find a navigation bar that tells all that can be accessed in the media library.

  • World of Discovery– This section has educational videos, including animal and wildlife films, history documentaries, nature videos, travel videos, exercise and fitness videos, cooking shows, featuring chefs from around the world, science films, and fine arts videos that feature artists and composers. There are also a few categories marked as “coming soon”, denoting that further content is always being added.
  • Music and Fine Arts– This section contains soundtracks of classical music as well as music from a variety of cultures, jazz music, and relaxation music.
  • Mighty Ebook Collection- In this section, you can find flash animated ebooks geared toward young kids. There are categories that include, story songs, classic Aesop fables, classic Mother Goose, reading readiness, science, Bible stories, and sing alongs. And then there are age categories of book from age 2 to age 8.
  • Baby Signs program- This section contains videos designed to teach you and your baby basic sign language.
  • My Animal Family- This section has a series of videos that feature baby animals telling about their family. There is a story video, a fun facts video, and an animal songs video for each animal baby.
  • Quick Find Study Guides- These study guides are reference guides. You can choose the study guide that has the topic you’re looking for, skim down to find the topic and click on it. Then you can read information. It’s like an online encyclopedia. Right now there are some language arts, some science, some math, and some social studies guides. More guides are denoted as “Coming Soon.”
  • Learning Special Needs– This section was designed by special needs educators and therapists. The videos in this section will only play on Windows and Android devices. In this section there are a variety of learning books. First the book is presented as a start to finish streaming video. Then there is an interactive version of the book with words that highlight and flash animation. Within the interactive file, there are also printable resources to go with the book. Although the section is considered for special needs, I thought that the resources would be good with any younger child- especially a later reader.
  • Living Skills- This section is marked as “Coming soon,” but it appears that it will contain songs that focus on early learning and social and behavioral skills.
  • Ready, Set, Sing– In this section you’ll find a few kids’ karaoke videos of well-known kids songs, and you’ll find listening files of songs grouped by age (2-4 and 6-8).
  • Fun Zone- In the Fun Zone, you’ll find some joke and riddle books as well as some games and puzzles that are interactive.
How did we use SmartKidz Media?
With all of this variety to choose from, I looked around and then just jumped in. Although there are many categories, there aren’t too many videos in each category to choose from, so I was a little less overwhelmed. I picked videos that went along with things we had been studying. I primarily watched them with my younger girls because I found that, although the resource is considered to be for the whole family, some of the resources just seem to be more for younger viewers.
The girls and I watched quite a few of the animal videos. We poked around in some of the music and fun sections as well, playing some games and puzzles and reading jokes. I like history and travel documentaries myself, and there are some videos in those categories. My older daughter was interested in the exercise videos as she’s doing cheer again this year, and she’s always looking for good ways to stay in shape during the season. I didn’t have the younger girls use the artists and composers videos, but I’m thinking that those would work well in our upcoming school year as art and music resources.

So, what did we think?
There were some things I really liked. There are quite a few categories of resources- from the videos, to study guides, to the animated books, there is quite a bit to use. I like the flexibility of using the streaming videos and the fact that most of the resources can be used on a variety of devices. I like that it’s simple enough for the kids to log in and watch videos for themselves. (My kids are older, and I haven’t found content for them that is objectionable. They are pretty good about stopping and asking about anything questionable. If I had younger kids, I probably wouldn’t give them free reign of the site.)

And there were a few things that weren’t as good. There seemed to be some glitches in the program at times. I tried a puzzle that had no final piece. (It just wasn’t there!) I couldn’t open many of the videos using Firefox as a browser, but they worked fine on Chrome (and on my iPhone). Although there are a variety of types of resources, there aren’t a huge number of resources in each category. In the World of Discovery (the category which is the bulk of the streaming videos) there are 126 videos.
I do like that there is a free trial. You can try the subscription service for 14 days. That way you can see for yourself the number of and kinds of resources available. I love free trials because I think it gives users a good opportunity to make sure of a product before they buy. You can find out about the free trial and about yearly ($99) and monthly ($10) subscriptions – as well as lots of other information- on the FAQ page here. And if you scroll to the bottom, you can sign up for a free newsletter.
And to sum it all up…

Age Recommendation- For the whole family
Price- $99 per year or $10 per month
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You can read what other Crew members thought about the SmartKidz Media Library by clicking below.

SmartKidz Media Review

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