SmartKidz Media ~ A Schoolhouse Crew Review

SmartKidz Media Crew Review

When homeschooling multiple children, you find that having an endless supply of educational videos on hand is a priceless tool! SmartKidz Media has just that tool in their SmartKidz Media Library for Homeschoolers.

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What is SmartKidz Media?

SmartKidz Media is the best resource I have seen in some time! This is an online streaming program. A collection of over 1,000 videos, eBooks, music and study guides. After purchasing your choice of memberships, monthly for $10/month or 1 year at $99 for the year, you will have access to all of the digital content that SmartKidz Media has to offer!

This is a great resource, but is not a full curriculum. SmartKidz Media covers almost all subjects with their many different resources and can be used with all different ages.

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How Did We Use SmartKidz Media?

SmartKidz Media became a part of our everyday life, in and out of homeschooling. We used this site to help enforce what we were learning, but we also used this when the kids were “bored”. Rainy days can make for grumpy kids, but when you let them have free range of a website full of videos, they start to have more fun!

Little Miss loves videos, and animals. She was the first to use this resource, and I have a feeling she will not stop using it anytime soon. She is always watching the videos when I have the big boys working on their school.

We also found the videos that mommy wanted the kids to watch based on what we were learning. There are so many different subjects, while Little Miss loved the animal ones, I was able to have Moe Man watching some of the history ones, or using the Quick Find Study Guides for different things like math or language arts.

What Did We Think?

SmartKidz Media is a hit in this house. I love the chance to let the kids watch educational TV shows. The kids loved being able to watch what they wanted on my computer. It was a win on both sides. Little Miss was all about the baby animals and has begun to tell me about her learnings now. I am always be called over to tell her the quick facts about each animal before they start that section and she is super curious about the favorite foods of each animal, although she is not happy about some of their choices!

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Ray Ray is in love with watching about the strongest animals and about the different countries. He has made a list of where he wants to travel to, here’s to hoping he can find a great way to do that! Moe Man, well, he is a teenager, so he won’t tell me how much he enjoys the history videos. He won’t say that he asks to watch them over and over again, and he won’t say that he has been caught taking notes on them. But, I will say that as his mom, I think he likes it!

Even mommy likes these videos. I find myself watching them after the kids have run outside to play. I have to say that the animal soap operas are quite refreshing and funny to watch. Little Miss didn’t catch all the insider jokes, but mommy couldn’t stop laughing, so she laughed too! Our whole family was in love with the variety of shows offered on SmartKidz Media and I think your family will love them just as much!


SmartKidz Media Review


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Math and Language Arts Practice from IXL ~ A Schoolhouse Crew Review

 

Rumor has it that practice makes perfect. So how do you practice Math and Language Arts with your kids? If you were like me, you could be using IXL and the IXL Math or IXL Language Arts online programs.

Math and Language Arts Practice from IXL A Schoolhouse Crew Review

What Is It?

IXL is an online practice program for grades K-12. They cover Math and Language Arts topics for the different ages and offer fun “rewards” and certificates as you achieve new goals. This is not a full curriculum, and is not a teaching program (unless you get a problem wrong). This is strictly for the practice concept of each subject.

Math Skills start at the Pre-K level, and go all the way up to Precalculus Skills. Each level contains hundreds of skills needed to master that level, except Pre-K which just has 42 skills. You are able to do as many problems as needed in each skill until you feel that you have mastered that skill.

Language Arts Skills start at the 2nd grade level and go all the way up to the 8th grade level. Once again all levels contain 80+ skills per level. These skills build off the last level and are focused on what is needed for that grade.

Although these skills are broken up by grade level, you can also focus on just the topics that your child needs help with. Instead of looking at grades, you simply look at topics and see where you need to work. I like this option better for Moe Man, as he is at different levels for each skill and I don’t have to make him feel bad if he is lower in one skill than the next. (I really don’t like focusing on grade, rather I like to focus on skills.)

When it comes to deciding what “grade” your child should be using, we went for one grade lower than they are working in right now, so we could practice those skills they have already learned. While at the same time, using the topics tab and also practicing the new skills they have currently learned in their Math or Language Arts curriculums.

How We Used It

We loved to hop onto the IXL.com or IXL app for our daily review of the skills we were working on, or already knew. Ray Ray was the child who loved this the most, and got the most from it. He used this for his math practice every day and would work hard just to earn his virtual prizes. Although he has been mastering his 1st grade math, he is working hard to complete all the Kindergarten skills right now. He is having fun with the simple ones (numbers up to 3) and being challenged by the harder ones like skip counting.

Math and Language Arts Practice from IXL A Schoolhouse Crew Review

As Little Miss was watching Ray Ray and his excitement over virtual prizes, she wanted to try. I haven’t focused much on Preschool for her yet, but was happy to see how much she really did know from our talking, reading and playing around the house. She has a smaller virtual rewards chart, but is just as excited every time she is able to earn that reward!

Math and Language Arts Practice from IXL A Schoolhouse Crew Review

Moe Man has been using the Language Arts part of IXL to help him work on his parts of speech. I love being able to let him practice and know that if he reads the corrections, he is learning from his mistakes and I don’t have to be the one to correct him. At 14, mom is always wrong, so I like to find the things that show him as much as possible without me being that person to do it.

Math and Language Arts Practice from IXL A Schoolhouse Crew Review

What We Thought of It

Ray Ray and Little Miss loved this program! They love anything with computers, but to earn rewards from this has also peaked their interest, as they compete to finish as many problems or skills as possible to earn just one more prize for the day.

Math and Language Arts Practice from IXL A Schoolhouse Crew Review

Moe Man is a teenage boy and this is school. He doesn’t get as excited as the littles do, but I can say that the practice is helping him in his subjects. I see improvements and that makes me happy no matter how he acts about it 🙂

Math and Language Arts Practice from IXL A Schoolhouse Crew Review

I loved getting emails with the reports for each child, and when they earned a certificate for every 100 problems they completed. Since this isn’t the full curriculum, I was more at ease of letting them pick what they wanted to work on, and they loved having that freedom to do that. Making it more fun for them instead of just school.

While IXL shows the state standards for both Math and Language Arts, I personally ignored that part of the site. If you needed to show that your child has mastered a standard, you have that option, if you don’t, then look away 🙂 It is that simple. It is not something that interferes with the program and really doesn’t take away from it at all in my opinion.

Membership for IXL is $9.95/month or $79/year for one child and subject. Each additional child costs $2/month or $20/year.

Do you like what you have heard? Why don’t you head on over with me and see what these other reviewers had to say about the program for their families!

 



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Standard Deviants Accelerate ~ A Schoolhouse Crew Review

Standard Deviants Accelerate ~ Review

Are you in need of an online curriculum supplement for your middle – high school student? Than you need to check out Standard Deviants Accelerate and the Standard Deviants Accelerate Homeschool Courses.

Standard Deviants Accelerate ~ Review

What Is It?

Standard Deviants Accelerate is an online teaching and learning resource to help supplement different courses that your students are already taking. This is fully online, but you can print the script they use to follow along and take notes if you wish. There are 14 interactive courses available right now. They are:

Arithmetic – Grades 3+

Fundamental Math – Grades 4+

Earth Science – Grades 6+

Nutrition – Grades 6+

Algebra – Grades 7+

Biology – Grades 7+

Chemistry – Grades 9+

English Comp. – Grades 9+

U.S. History – Grades 9+

AP Biology – Grades 11+

AP Chemistry – Grades 11+

AP U.S. Government & Politics – Grades 11+

AP U.S. History – Grades 11+

AP English Comp. – Grades 11+

Although each of these is just a supplement, they are all fully interactive with a video lesson, vocabulary section, diagram practice, quiz and written answer. The end of each chapter has a chapter review. These include Group Activities, Post Test, and Critical Thinking. With all of this, you can use Standard Deviants Accelerate as a warm up for the actual course lesson you are doing, or as a review before a final test.

With a parent account, you are able to view how your “class” is doing (this is wonderful if you have more than one student/child using the same class. You are able to check on their quiz scores, and see what they have typed up in their written answers. Even though I had Moe Man write his quiz scores and be responsible for himself, but loved knowing that I could “check in” on what he was doing as I needed to.

Standard Deviants Accelerate ~ Review

How We Used Standard Deviants Accelerate

Moe Man needed something to go with his Nutrition course to try to help it stick. We decided to hop on in to this and see what we could learn. We used this Nutrition supplement course 3-4 times during the week. We would start each lesson with the video and the notes to go with it.  The next time we logged on, we would work on the vocabulary and the diagram. Depending on how well Moe Man knew the vocab words, would decide how long we needed to work on them. By the end of the week, we would be ready to work on the quiz and the written answer. I really liked this as a review of what we were already using.

Standard Deviants Accelerate ~ Review

What We Thought

I found this Standard Deviants Accelerate to be a very thorough review of the subject. Although the videos where somewhat cheesy, they did help to loosen Moe Man up. I found that he wasn’t as bored while watching them and actually watched them. However, Moe Man said that the videos were a little too cheesy for him…yet he wouldn’t stop watching them or laughing while watching certain parts.

Standard Deviants Accelerate ~ Review

While Moe Man may have found these videos “silly”, they did strike the cord with him and to do that is something that is hard to do in subjects he would rather not be taking. I really enjoyed knowing that Moe Man has something to help re-enforce the areas that need it and that make it fun in the process.

Information on Purchasing

For homeschooling families, there is the homeschool use purchase. The 5 AP courses, recommended for grades 11 and up, have a monthly rate of $14.95 for 1 teacher and 1 student. The other 9 courses have a monthly rate of $24.95, also for 1 teacher/1 student. These non-AP courses range in age recommendations from 8 and up depending on the course you are looking at.

With 14 courses, there is no way we could have reviewed them all! I hope you will hop on over and see what these other families have to say about Standard Deviants Accelerate and their courses.

 



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