This post, Multimedia Learning Using SmartKidz Media, was made possible with the chance to review the SmartKidz Media Library for Homeschoolers from SmartKidz Media as part of the Schoolhouse Review Crew.
When I attended school, learning was done mostly through lectures and books. Sure we had some multimedia used in the classroom. VHS tapes had just come into being late in my school years so there was the rare movie on VHS. But, what I really remember are the flickering movies or film strips with the audio that beeped when it was time to go to the next image. Things have come a long way in the last 20 to 30 years which includes mutimedia learning as a part of education.
How SmartKidz Media Works
SmartKidz Media is an online streaming service which pulls together a variety of educational resources in different multimedia formats. Some are video, some are audio and others are reference materials. The material is best accessed on a computer.
Listed below are the different categories they currently offer with some things labeled as coming soon.
Animals & Wildlife Collections
Documentaries & Culture Collections
Health & Fitness
Lifestyles & Cuisine
Travel & Adventure: World Wide Discovery Collections
Classical Music Collections
Cultural Music Collections
Cultural Music: Vol 2
Jazz and Blues Classics Collections
Relaxation Music Collections
Mighty E-Book Collection
Sign Language Collection
Special Needs Learning
Living Skills ( coming soon)
Using SmartKidz Media in Our Home
My boys enjoy using technology to learn, so SmartKidz Media seemed like a good fit for them. If just one child needed to watch, it was easy to use my laptop for it. Anything else could have my laptop attached to our main TV so it is on the big screen.
My 5 year old is just learning to read, so the Mighty E-Book collection is perfect for him. Each of the titles is short and they even have a few to reinforce the learning of the alphabet like Letters Sound Off (pictured below.) That particular set of books is broken down into tracks which is fabulous when you need to focus on specific sections. No need to hunt around for the right spot as the individual tracks can be seen in a menu alongside the video playback area. Plus the individual tracks are typically under 2 minutes in length so he isn’t likely to have attention problems.
My rising 7th grader has loved learning to play the clarinet and is aspiring to add the saxophone to his list of instruments. Part of the reason for that is his desire to audition and get a chair for Jazz band at the middle school in our area. (They don’t have clarinets, just saxophones, for some reason.) So, the Jazz and Blues Classics collection got his attention. There is an album featuring Sidney Bechet who is regarded to be an exceptional soprano saxophonist. Other well known (at least to me!) artists in that collection include Benny Goodman and Glenn Miller (with the Army Force Band.) Glenn Miller was known for using a clarinet along with saxophones. There are even other music collections to interest him and this music loving mama.
My rising 10th grader has an interest in the culinary arts, so the cooking instruction area is one that I thought he’d enjoy. These videos are found under Lifestyles & Cuisine and include topics like Italian,Vegetarian, and Czech. Each collection shows anywhere from 5 to 10 recipes in around an hour video. Like the alphabet books my youngest son has used, these are broken into segments by recipe featured. Just keep a pen and paper handy for writing out how to do it for duplication in your home.
And, for this mama there’s a lot to love. I enjoy the music as well as seeing other cultures in action. Bonus is the handful of exercise videos including Pilates and some for the kids to do.
Overall, they have a nice base of material available and I hope that they will continue to add resources to the subscription.
What types of multimedia do you use in your homeschool?
Do the kids learn well from online resources like this one?
Don’t just take my word for how we found this to be. Visit the SmartKidz Media Review post on the Schoolhouse Review Crew website to see what other homeschooling parents thought about this and other self-paced courses.