The best hack I’ve learned as a first year homeschool mom is to use Youtube. I know screens can get a bad rep a lot of the time. However, I find that when I am strategic with YouTube, I get so much bang for my buck (as well as the kids!). With the help of other homeschool mamas, here is a list of strategic ways you can use Youtube in your Homeschool (without any guilt!).
Travel the World
Our Social Studies curriculum has us traveling the world this year. We study maps, read books, and write about a specific country each week. We also log on to Nat Geo Kids’ YouTube channel to see if there are any related videos, which there typically are. National Geographic has a whole series where siblings explore and experience various countries and cultures. These videos are my kids’ favorite part of the week. They love learning about a new country through the eyes of other kids.
Did you know that there are quite possibly thousands of read alouds on YouTube? Seriously. This one surprised me, but it’s true. If you are wanting to read a particular book, but your library doesn’t have it, check YouTube. It’s most likely there. There is everything from Charlotte’s Web to The Very Hungry Caterpillar to everything in between. I’ve even found some less popular books that I haven’t been able to find anywhere else. This is a great way to incorporate more books in your kids’ daily routine, especially if you have a reluctant reader. (You can read more tips on helping your child learn to love books here)
Between the pandemic and winter, it’s safe to say that we are all spending a lot of time inside our homes. When we have a lot of pent up wiggles, we turn on YouTube to move our bodies. If you need something active, GoNoodle and Koo Koo Kangaroo are great options, especially if you need a quick brain break. If you are looking for something more focused, you can’t go wrong with Cosmic Kids Yoga. My kids even like to lay out towels like yoga mats.
Entertaining the Toddler
I know. I know. But look, there is no (absolutely zero) shame in using the tools you have in ways your family needs. Youtube has WONDERFUL resources to teach and entertain toddlers, because sometimes you need to go teach a math lesson or make lunches or just go to the bathroom by yourself. Did you know that the super popular Cocomelon was a Youtube channel before it was on Netflix? It was even previously called ABC Kids TV. Super Simple Songs legit taught my youngest his letters and numbers (#noshame). We’ve also recently discovered Bounce Patrol, which my three year old really seems to enjoy.
It is so common for elementary aged children to have a strong interest in animals. A great way to foster this love of animals, the earth, and the environment is to watch some videos. BBC Earth has a wonderful channel about all things animals. There are so many videos where you see animals up close in their natural habitat. I love that BBC Earth also always encourages taking care of our planet. And of course, it’s easy to do a search of a particular animal, but I do recommend previewing these first. Did you see my Instagram reel (@intentionally_well_blog) of my feelings when my kids wanted to learn more about the anaconda? Yeah….I don’t like snakes.
I’ve shared before that art isn’t really my thing. I kind of forget to plan for it, and I am not crafty. Enter YouTube to save the day for my girls who really enjoy drawing. We love Art for Kids Hub for teaching us all how to draw cute little cartoon-y things. You can also do things like explore the Louvre! How cool is that?
I think that is my most favorite thing with using Youtube in our homeschool. We get to learn and explore places and interests that we wouldn’t really have access to otherwise. The concept that I want my kids to internalize most this school year is that we live in a vast world full of interesting people and places. YouTube has given us a window into this world in a wonderful way. Use it mama, unashamed and guilt free! If you are already using Youtube, what are your favorite videos and channels? Let me know in the comments below. And as always, like and share this post if you enjoyed it.