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Is there a subject you struggle to teach in your homeschool, or maybe your current curriculum isn’t capturing the kids’ attention like you thought it would? Homeschooling with videos might be the solution for you. In this post I’ll give you my top recommendations for the Best YouTube Channels for Homeschool. In today’s world we have so many options right at our fingertips – why not use them? My kids love YouTube – they might as well learn something while they are there! 🙂 Educational channels and videos can be just the ticket when you need something a little different.
Best YouTube Channels for Homeschool
Streaming services like YouTube, Netflix, Curiosity Stream, and PrimeVideo can all be great for homeschooling. Out of these, I love YouTube the most because it’s free AND channels tend to stick around. Services like Hulu or Netflix change their libraries frequently so you never know if a show will have another season or be around for the next schooling year. If you are already paying for the subscription streaming services, then by all means – use them!
If you’re my age, you probably have vivid memories of your science teacher rolling in a TV on a rickety cart for science class. Do you remember watching grainy monotone videos the teacher recorded off PBS the night before? Those days are over! There are so many quality documentaries and info-videos out there. It adds a whole new dimension to your secular homeschool.
Why Use Videos in Your Homeschool
Educational videos are an incredible way of bringing the world right into your living room. For homeschool, this is a great opportunity. For real life, this can be a catch 22, right? Whatever you want to learn about, there is a video on YouTube!
When I find myself really struggling to explain cell reproduction, or math theory, or want to bring a different culture alive for my kids – I find a video. Sometimes just having someone else explain the idea to them can help them grasp a new concept or instill a sense of wonder about the natural world.
How and When to Use Videos
Just like Gameschooling, using videos in homeschool can be a fun way to break up the doldrum of a daily routine. If your house has sickness and you don’t feel mentally up to a full day of school, documentaries can be a fun way to learn something and still cuddle on the couch. The best YouTube channels for homeschool will be both entertaining and educational. It’s possible to have both!
This year I also found myself really struggling to use one book with 4 kid,s and expecting them to be excited about a little tiny picture explaining the layers of rocks. It was the first year we combined levels for all the kids, and it took us most of the first semester to find a system that worked. My final solution was documentaries and educational videos – particularly for social studies. We are doing world religions and geography this year so documentaries are a perfect way to explore the world.
You can homeschool with YouTube both for when you just need a “cozy” day or for a full subject. In my Europe unit study, you can see exactly how I used YouTube videos to teach my kids about the continent – including cultural elements and geography. I’ll be writing more unit studies this year using videos, so if you want notified when those are released, be sure you sign up for emails.
What Are the Best Streaming Services for Homeschooling with Videos?
As I mentioned above, I personally prefer YouTube for educational videos for homeschool. Curiosity Stream is a close second. YouTube is free and the channels/creators usually stick around for a while. Curiosity Stream is cheap and the videos are of varying topics and lengths.
Other services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Hulu, etc. require a subscription and change their libraries frequently. However, if you already have these services, you will be able to find good educational videos. My personal opinion is that Netflix has the best variety of documentaries. Prime Video sometimes has biographies that I can’t find elsewhere. Disney+ has nature videos, but my kids have noticed the footage is often repeated throughout multiple movies even if the narration is different, so they feel like they are watching the same movie over and over.
So what channels on YouTube are the best for homeschooling? Keep reading and I’ll give you several suggestions for different subjects and multiple ages.
Math Channels on YouTube
The way I explain a concept and the way my kid hears it don’t always match up. This can lead to frustration on both our parts. Don’t be afraid to use these channels for your homeschool math!
- Numberphile – a variety of math topics and really useful for older kids.
- Khan Academy – topics and grade levels can vary but this is very useful for explaining difficult math topics. It’s a favorite among homeschoolers for a reason!
- Math Mammoth – this is actually the math curriculum for homeschool we use. Maria has several videos to explain the concepts.
- Vihart – do you remember sitting in math class doodling in your margins? This channel uses your doodles to explain math! Super fun!
- Math and Learning Videos (Common Core For Kids) – instructional math videos for elementary aged kids.
- 3Blue1Brown – math for middle schoolers and up. This channel is GREAT for teaching why they need to learn math in real life.
Secular Science YouTube Channels
Last year we used YouTube a lot when we were learning to use our microscope for my son’s Bio2 Science. We used it for videos on how to use the microscope itself and also to see what we were supposed to be looking at in case we actually had the wrong thing in focus. Here are a few of our favorite secular science education channels on YouTube.
- Crash Course – I’m going to list it here in science but please note Crash Course also has geography, history, and other courses. All the videos are 10-15 minutes with great explanations about scientific concepts.
- Veritasium – entertaining and educational science videos on a wide range of topics.
- HooplaKidzLab – fun science experiments you can do at home.
- DeepLook – these are mostly all short clips that take you up close to science – and I mean really close!
- Global Weirding is probably best for elementary aged kids and is focused primarily on weather. It was a hit with my weather-loving kid for sure!
- Tyler DeWitt – the topic is Chemistry and I would recommend this for middle school and older.
- Teach Engineering – I can’t leave the science section without mentioning this program. We are using units from their full lesson plans this year and my kids have loved them all. These experiments are relatively simple and use items you have at home. Most will be great for 3rd and up.
Educational YouTube Channels for Social Studies
Educational social studies videos are in abundance on YouTube. I always try to find videos that are not whitewashing history and give voice to those who historically have not been able to write their own stories. It can be hard to find, though. These channels do a decent job, but there is always room for improvement. If you have any you would like to suggest for this list please let me know!
- Horrible Histories – Take a tour through history in this channel from the CBBC.
- Risen Africa – takes you through every country in Africa. We have loved this channel this year! And it is written by Africans!
- Geography Now – A brief synopsis for most countries in the world. Some of the humor is tongue in cheek and my kids didn’t get all the references. I think this is best for kids who already have a decent grasp of geography and cultural references.
- PBS Eons – this could go in the science section as well but if your kids are into pre-history this will be a fascinating channel!
- National Geographic produces quality content with gorgeous imagery. Some of the videos on this channel might cover topics you’d rather wait to discuss, so I advise pre-screening some topics. Make a playlist of all the videos you want to watch!
- History Channel – this one is kind of a no-brainer 🙂 but make sure to check out the Ancient Recipes with Sohla section.
- Timeline has full documentaries for a variety of historical topics. Again, not all videos will be appropriate for all ages.
- Travel Kids takes you on a tour through several countries to learn geography, a bit of history and cultural awareness.
YouTube Art Channels for Homeschoolers
Now, I love math, the science, the history, but mostly I’m thankful for art channels on YouTube. I don’t have an artistic bone in my body and have tried using “teach yourself” style books to for my kids but…. It’s just not terribly productive. Thank goodness for these art channels – my kids have learned both technical skills and art history. I get all our art supplies from Blick’s (and, hey, they have a YouTube channel, too)..
- Katie Jobling Art – This is the first art channel my kids fell in love with. I could not believe the beautiful paintings they made after following her tutorials. This is probably more geared towards older kids/adults but my kids were 8-ish when they did this the first time.
- Art for Kids Hub – I think my kids have done every drawing on this channel. It is simple yet effective and my kids liked the host’s sense of humor, too.
- RedTedArt – this is more crafts than drawing or painting. And crafting, quite honestly, is not my gig. I let my kids do these videos on their own and they are responsible for cleaning up the messes.
- Wow Art is messy and fun. My kids prefer art channels that aren’t too juvenile and they are loving this one!
- Yo Kidz – has simple drawings on a variety of topics and also some scientific sketches and labeling. Win-win!
- I Love Drawing – Simple art lessons with a dose of art appreciation thrown in, too!
There are so many quality education videos for homeschool on YouTube as well as the other streaming services. This post could literally go on forever. I know when my kids and I did the Europe Unit Study this year it really evoked curiosity and a sense of wonder for them. If you can’t travel to these fabulous places yourself, then video is a tremendous option.
If you have a favorite you’d like me to add to this list or a content area you’d like me to post about, put it in the comments. I’m always happy to do YouTube research and add to our video library. I know using video schooling, or using documentaries, in our secular homeschool has really brought certain topics to life and helped my kids understand new concepts. I hope you enjoy it too.
P.s. Make sure you subscribe to Give Mom a Minute while you’re over there – I’ll be providing you additional ways to handle your secular homeschool experience.