I'm a wife to my "Mr. Right". A momma of five. A maker of slow food and simple living. A collector of memories, a keeper of books, and a champion for books that make memories. An addict who likes my half-and-half with a splash of coffee. A fractured pot transformed by the One Who makes broken things beautiful. I heart homeschooling, brake for libraries, and am glad you're here with me on the journey! Be sure to subscribe to my monthly newsletter. Or, follow along with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google +, Youtube, or Pinterest.

How I Use YouTube in My Homeschool

How I Use YouTube in My Homeschool {The Unlikely Homeschool}

Give her some space, a little free time, and access to a screen and there's no tellin' what she'll create. From crocheting an infinity scarf to learning how to play the ukelele, she's discovered numerous new skills and has grown many new hobbies all within the comfort of our living room and all WITHOUT my help.  

How I Use YouTube in My Homeschool {The Unlikely Homeschool}

Like many 21st century girls, my daughter has turned to youtube to expand her expertise...she's learned to reach beyond these four walls and has embraced her roll as a lifelong learner.  She knows that while I can't teach her everything, I can point her in the direction of people who can via youtube.

She's a youtube girl.
I'm a youtube mom.
We're a youtube family.
We use it DAILY.  
All of us.

Because, while I'm a living-literature-lovin' momma, I also recognize that sometimes a book can't paint nearly as vivid a picture as a video can.  And so, more often than not, after exhausting all the words on the written page, we turn to the screen for clarity.  

Once, in an attempt to help us memorize the books of the Bible, I gathered us all around the computer to watch a Go Fish Video.  I did this every morning.  As in every morning for the entire school year!

(You can watch that video here>>>Go Fish - The Bible Book Bop from gofishguys on GodTube.)

In addition to playing-a-video-so-many-times-that-we-will-actually-have-it-permanently-etched-in-our-brains-for-the-rest-of-our-lives, here's a few other ways that I use youtube in my homeschool...

Impromptu searches

For Everyday Learning

Not a day goes by that I don't open up the youtube search bar and type in some fascinating topic that we just read about in history, science, Bible, phonics...you name it.  

When my son was struggling to tell the difference between a "d" and a "b", I showed him a frew animated D vs. B clips set to music.


After reading about carnivorous plants in the jungles of South America, we just had to watch a bug getting crunched by a venus fly trap!


When we read the biography of famed American Olympic runner, Jesse Owens, and his victory during the controversial 1936 Olympics in Berlin, we wanted to see how fast he ACTUALLY ran.


For the past eight years, we've had a front row seat to tornados, Holy Land tours, excavations, pearl divings, and much...much more...all because of youtube.  I keep a laptop or iPad handy throughout the day so that at any given moment, we can bring color to the black-and-white words we've been reading.

For Independent, Project-based Learning

As I've mentioned, Youtube has helped to broaden my daughter's ability to learn independently. Each month, when she tackles a new independent study, she almost always begins her research on youtube. Over the last few years, she has watched documentaries, how-to videos, reenactments, and tutorials. For her own personal safety and accountability, I almost always look up the general theme of her topic and find a handful of potential videos for her to choose from. But then, the learning is left up to her. Watching a short video on a topic has been a great introduction to more extended reading and discovery.  


Over time, I have come to really value the videos from particular youtube channels.  These might include channels that appeal to a particular interest of one of my kids or just channels that provide interesting and thorough information on a wide variety of topics.  Since I, myself, have a youtube channel, I can "Subscribe" to my favorite channels and get updates on their latest videos under the "My Subscriptions" tab.  Not sure how to register for a youtube channel?  Here's a quick youtube video that will walk you through it step-by-painless-step>>

Some of our current favorite channels include...

Grammaropolis- the School House Rock of the 21st Century
How To Draw and Paint- quick and easy art videos
Tiny Grads- preschool educational videos
Easy Kids Science Experiments- experiments my kids can do on their own


Often times, I'll come upon fascinating videos that don't necessarily relate to anything we are CURRENTLY studying, but would be great additions to our learning "someday." I file these away in organized youtube "playlists" so that I can revisit them when I need them.  Playlists are simply youtube file folders to categorize videos of a particular theme or topic.  Here's a short video on creating playlists>>

My favorite playlists right now include the following...

School House Rock Language

Just last week found my Super Boy and I hunkered down to watch a little ditty about nouns.

an otherwise pretty boring topic
brought to life by animation and a foot-tapping tune.

One final thought...

We live in an interesting age...a time when information comes at the click of a button.  Youtube is just one of many helpful "outside the box" learning tools worth embracing. While I don't think they can ever replace the teaching that happens with hands-on discovery, free videos can enhance any run-of-the-mill lesson and create an endless supply of independent learning opportunities.

*UPDATE: I recently discovered the resource ViewPure.com which allows you to watch youtube videos commercial, ad, and comment free. Simply copy the URL of the youtube video you'd like watch. Paste it into into the "Purify" bar on ViewPure and wait a moment. The cleaned-up video will appear for viewing without all the unwanted junk. The site is currently free for use and has been a huge help to me as I strive to filter all of our home viewing through my Philippians 4:8 grid.

Be sure to join the lovely ladies of iHomeschool Network for more thoughts on Homeschooling with Movies.


  1. Very interesting! My youngest is struggling with B vs D, never thought to turn on YouTube! Thank you for sharing out of the box ideas:)

  2. We love to do this too. But, I find myself having to heavily hover over whatever is watched because of either the commercials in the beginning or the recommended videos at the end. Do you find yourself heavily monitoring your children's YouTube use? How do you teach your children to avoid these things... Thanks!

    1. I agree, this is an issue. Muting the screen until the actual video comes on has been helpful. Apart from my daughter's independent projects, my kids never watch youtube by themselves. I usually get the video all ready for them to watch and then call them over to watch it with me. With my daughter's projects, I am usually with her at the start to help her find an appropriate video. I can skip the ad before handing the screen to her. But yes, this is something I have to be on guard about. But, if truth be told, it's something I have to be on guard about everywhere.

  3. I have the same question, we have had issues with inappropriate side ads etc!

    1. I use FireFox and AdBlock Plus to block the ads. I was surprised when I saw ads on my Mom's screen while we were visiting once. It really helps! Also, I believe our free antivirus software, Avast, may help somewhat with the problem of ads as well.

    2. Thanks for those great suggestions, Laurene!

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  5. I couldn't find the Go Fish video on YouTube but I did find it on GodTube. It's called 'Bible Book Bop.'

  6. I came across this post on Facebook today. I know it's an older post, but I wanted to mention to those readers who are unaware that there is a YouTube kids app for tablets and smart phones. It filters out the inappropriate stuff. While YouTube doesn't guarantee that nothing bad will ever pop up (even though they try very hard), so far we haven't had one single thing pop up. Like you, we've used YouTube daily for years for all sorts of things. Having the app on my daughter's iPad has made it easier for her to look for tutorials, etc. I still pay close attention but I don't have to hover as much as I did before. Just a thought.

    1. Wow! Good to know. Thanks for sharing that resource.

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