The idea behind Zane Education is that children learn and retain more from videos when there are subtitles or close captioning along with the video. I was interested in this idea, as I know that when I am watching a movie but find I'm being distracted for some reason - sound quality, noise in the room, etc. - I find that turning on the captions helps me pay attention.
I was disappointed with Zane, however. I found the videos to be dry, much like the filmstrips and educational videos I remember watching in school, and the picture quality is not any better. In fact, the narration even sounded the same. I found myself wondering if they had simply put captions to a warehouse of old videos from the 70s and 80s. The kids said they were boring - and my son is one who prefers to learn through video! I generally have no problem getting him to watch historical documentaries - but he only watched the Zane videos when I made him.
The videos are shown in a very small box on the computer screen, and there seems to be no way to enlarge it. At least a few of the videos we watched had issues with the captioning moving on before the narration - which defeats the purpose, in my opinion.
That said, I did like that there was a quiz to go with each video, as well as links to a glossary, dictionary, encyclopedia, and thesaurus to the right of the video. If a student wants to know the meaning of a word and can't figure it out from the video, they can pause it and click on those links.
Zane Education also covers a wide range of topics - there are videos to reinforce most subjects a homeschooler might cover. Art, biology, geography, health, history, library skills, literature, math, music, religion, science, and social studies are all there. However, I found it disappointing that "health" seems to equate to "sex ed" and nothing else. I also found the religion category very lacking, though I did appreciate the informative videos on other major world religions. The videos are geared toward jr. high and up, though the website states that a few of the categories are appropriate for children as young as 6. In my opinion, a child would have to be a very advanced reader at 6 years old for the whole idea of the captioning to be effective. Otherwise, they will probably get frustrated by not being able to keep up with the words. Also, I would only use these videos to reinforce what my children are learning, though the website suggests that they could be used on their own, as a homeschooler's only curriculum.
Online memberships to Zane Education vary in price, depending on level of access. You may choose to only access the videos for a certain age or subject, or you can choose to access all of them. Memberships are available per month or for 12 months. Monthly memberships start at $5, and yearly memberships start at $98.89.
***Disclaimer: I was given a membership to Zane Education in exchange for my review through the Schoolhouse Review Crew. All opinions are my own.