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One of the best things about homeschooling is that you can use a wide variety of resources. It’s also the ideal in that you’re able to cater curriculum to the learning style of your student.
I am a self-declared curriculum junkie and find myself often talking about things we’ve used. I wrote recently about a resource we used for spelling/vocabulary that we really loved, as well as a human development course that I would recommend, and a number of resources that we’ve used to prepare for credit by exam (CLEP/DSST tests).
I really like telling people about what has worked for us. Because not everything has. And I especially like talking about free resources!
We’ve used these free videos in a variety of subjects.
Crash Course is a channel on Youtube created by brothers John and Hank Green. You can find it here: Crash Course.
It has playlists of free videos in lots of subjects. Each video is just 10-15 minutes in length.
Here’s a brief introduction:
Here are the topics that are currently up on the site:
- US History
- World History
- US Government & Politics
- Anatomy & Physiology
They are also working on a series on the history of Games that my youngest is really enjoying.
Because the videos are just 10-15 minutes long, they are never overwhelming. Each one covers a manageable amount of information presented in rapid fire fashion.
We find them witty and engaging. We really like them.
Something to Note
While overall we’ve found the information to be good. The videos are most definitely from a secular worldview. And while we’ve noticed that they attempt to be unbiased, and much of the time are, there does seem to be a liberal viewpoint coming through at times.
All great fodder for discussion with your student. My recommendation would be to either preview the videos or watch them together.
How to Use Them
These are not made to be a complete curriculum. Where they really shine is in either introducing or reinforcing.
In our Psychology and Economics study groups, we watched the Crash Course video that covered the material in the chapters that the students would be reading for the following week. It introduced the topics in an engaging way so that when the kids read the material, it would be familiar.
In my son’s study of Biology this year, I’ve used the videos to reinforce what he’s reading. After he reads a chapter and does the lessons, we’ll watch a Crash Course video together and talk about it.
Another way we used it to reinforce a class was with our Government study. Our curriculum, although great, did not cover all of the material that was going to be on the CLEP test. I pulled out the Crash Course videos that hit those topics, and we watched them, taking notes for studying.
While the Crash Course playlist is aimed at high schoolers, they also have a Crash Course Kids site with free videos for the younger set. Not having used them, I can’t speak to their content. My feeling would be that they would be worth checking out, but pay close attention to content, and only show your kids what you are comfortable with.
In homeschooling, when something works, you want to tell fellow homeschoolers about it. At least I do!
I hope you find these videos as useful as we have. Have you found any other video resources that you’ve liked? Tell us about them!