Following is an unpaid review of Discovery Education's streaming by Diane Flynn Keith, Editor of Homefires, author of Carschooling: Over 350 Entertaining Games & Activities to Turn Travel Time into Learning Time, a nationally known homeschoolers, and a Co-op member:
If you're looking for some great materials to add interest to your homeschool curriculum, you will feel like a kid in a candy store with a Discovery streaming subscription! This resource takes a LONG time to completely explore. While reviewing this website, I met a teacher who told me that she uses videos, lesson plans, and quizzes from this website extensively in her classroom. Amazing!
When you first reach the Discovery streaming
main page, there isn't much to see. You are asked to select a grade level or subject, or choose your state and the standard you seek to teach. This will take you to some appropriate materials, but if you simply leave the search box at the top of the page blank and press "Go," you will discover that Discovery streaming
houses 7,875 full videos at current count, plus 2,964 audio recordings, and 212 lesson plans (right away you realize that most of the videos do not have corresponding lesson plans...), plus 45 speeches and even 1,184 clip art pictures! (Note: The Discovery streaming
trial subscription gives you access to the "Plus" version, which is not currently available to homerschoolers. The Co-op is lobbying hard for an upgrade to the "Basic" version, which is offered at a fabulous discount through the Co-op. All the same, the Basic version has over 4,000 full videos, thousands of clips, and TONS of other great content.)
If you use the "Advanced Search" option, you can select a resource by publisher. (Once you find something that you really like, this is a great way to find more of the same.)
Of course, you can also search Discovery streaming
by academic subject and grade level, or you can search by keyword, or you can search by your state standards.
In the search results, each video comes complete with a description, a preview photo, and a clickable list of segments if you want to jump directly to the portion that is relevant to your current need. Each video will also tell you the appropriate grade range and indicate what other corresponding resources or helps are available with it.
To help you more fully appreciate what Discovery streaming
has to offer, I have listed some of the nuggets that caught my eye.
Under "Events" - click on any entry to access a calendar with each date keyed to a number of videos and other pertinent resources. Every video includes a description of its content, a preview picture, and a note as to appropriate audience grade level.
In the Video Library, be sure not to miss:
There are 229 Standard Deviants videos!
Languages taught include Mandarin Chinese (2 video lessons plus a number of videos of storybooks available in Mandarin), Arabic (4 video lessons), French (259 video lessons plus a number of storybooks read aloud in French plus more French songs available in the "Audio" section), German (218 lessons), Italian (62 lessons), Japanese (4 lessons), Russian (2 lessons), and Spanish (a whopping 3,308 video lessons plus storybooks in the Video section, plus audio books and songs in the Audio section, plus songs in the Audio Songs section; enough to keep you busy for a LONG time).
Clearvue (a vast collection of academic videos on all subjects)
Weston Woods - about 135 children's picture books on tape (Where the Wild Things Are, Click Clack Moo, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, Officer Buckle and Gloria, Sam and the Lucky Money, George Washington's Mother, and many more. Some are in English, some are in Spanish or Mandarin Chinese. Many have corresponding Teacher's Guides.)
Educational Activities: Hap Palmer, Silly Willy, Phonics and Reading for Students, The Ultimate Phonics Starter Collection, Music Curriculum Connections, Chemistry Basics, Earth Science for Students, Geography Concepts for Students, Human Body for Students, and Biology Concepts for Students - these are actual collections of science lessons for grades 7-12.
In the Audio Library:
Teacher and the Rockbots (51 educational rap/rock songs) - these are not included in the Audio Songs section of this website.
Exploring Music (Mews Music) - 51 approximately one-minute snippets of many classical pieces
Partners in Rhyme (222 full-length music selections, mostly classical but also including Christmas music and a piece called Little Red Riding Hood)
Bobrow - Books on tape (Tale of Two Cities, Canterbury Tales, Crime and Punishment, Dante's Inferno, Frankenstein, Great Expectations, Gulliver's Travels, Hamlet, Huckleberry Finn, Lord of the Flies, Macbeth, Odyssey, Othello, Romeo & Juliet, Scarlet Letter, Wuthering Heights)
Librivox - Books on tape (A Christmas Carol, A Journey to the Interior of the Earth by Jules Verne, A Modest Proposal, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, An International Episode by Henry James, Anne of Green Gables, Ice Palace and Dalyrimple Goes Wrong by F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Last Leaf, The Gift of the Magi, and Duplicity of Hargraves by O. Henry, God Sees the Truth but Waits by Leo Tolstoy, Grimm's Fairy Tales, Heart of Darkness, Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman, Markheim by Robert Lois Stevenson, Pigs is Pigs by Ellis Parker Butler, Poetics by Aristotle, Pride & Prejudice, Robinson Crusoe, The Children of the Zodiac by Rudyard Kipling, The Communist Manifesto, The Diamond Necklace by Guy de Maupassant, The Gray Wolf by George MacDonald, The Happy Prince and Other Tales by Oscar Wilde, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving, The Leopard Man by Jack London, The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Anderson, Pilgrim's Progress, The Wind in the Willows, To Build a Fire, Treasure Island, White Fang, American Indian Fairy Tales, Call of the Wild, Great Big Treasury of Beatrix Potter, Notes From the Underground by Dostoyevsky, Readings of William Shakespeare (excerpts from some of the Bard's most well-known works), The Constitution of the United States of America, The United States Declaration of Independence, A Reading of Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, The Short Stories and Essays of Mark Twain, The Short Stories of Edgar Allen Poe, Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne, and a reading of "On the Antiseptic Principle of the Practice of Surgery" by Joseph Lister)
Library of Congress, Scripps Library, American Rhetoric - Great presidential speeches by Nixon, Kennedy, FDR, and others.
Music for Little People - a good collection of educational songs for children, including Cajun for Kids
Clearvue (a vast collection of academic lectures on all subjects)
Learn French songs
Learn Spanish songs
Here you'll find 395 songs mostly by Twin Sisters and Maryann Harmon. Grammar, math, science, safety, songs for learning French, Spanish, German, Italian, Math with Mar, Start Each Day With a Song, science, health,...
Animated Heroes series: 20 Episodes, including Florence Nightingale, Galileo, Leonardo da Vinci, Christopher Columbus, George Washington, Thomas Edison, Beethoven, ... These are 20-30 minute cartoons dramatizing important highlights of these people's lives.
Under "Articles" there are 23,085 articles comprising almost a miniature encyclopedia in itself.
The "Images" are 20,591 full-color photographs from many sources and the full array of academic subjects; you can select the size/resolution.
The 212 lesson plans include the title(s) of corresponding videos, plus lots of relevant links for more info...
Though long, this list is not anywhere near complete.
I didn't completely preview the clip art -- the first few hundred were representations of the numbers from 0 to 9 and the alphabet. I also didn't preview the forums, which is another area of the site, or the sample lesson plans created using other popular software.
is HUGE. Too huge for me to do it justice. I think everyone, whether considering this subscription or not, should take advantage of their 30-day free trial for at least a few days. It's well worth exploring.