During this time of sustained social isolation we’ve been turning to YouTube more than usual.
We’ve always enjoyed a good (usually educational) video on YouTube but now without the ability to really do much outside the house we’ve definitely increased our YouTube consumption.
I don’t really feel too bad because 1) these are weird times we are living in and 2) most of the videos are educational (and a few of them are just watching people make giant candy, which is educational in its own way).
I thought I would go through our YouTube watch history and share some of the videos we’ve been watching lately in case you are looking for some good videos to watch.
If you have some good videos or channels to share, I would love for you to leave a comment below so we can check them out!
20 Educational (Mostly Science) Videos We’ve Been Watching in Our Homeschool Lately
Let’s start with some self isolation tips from a guy who knows what he is talking about:
I already don’t like the idea of devices listening all the time, and this video gives a good explanation of why I’m on the right track:
Mark Rober’s videos are always a hit, and a hot tub full of sand is no exception:
We have also watched a number of pandemic/Coronavirus videos:
Ephraim’s been asking questions about black holes so we watched a couple of videos:
My kids love Lego, so it was cool to watch how it is made:
Sometimes you just want to see things dropped from up high:
I made a DIY Escape Room for my kids a couple of weeks ago and we’ve been talking about doing a family escape room tome time, and now we’ve got all the tricks to solve it:
This will make you never want to go in a pool again:
Mark Rober is currently having live science classes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday:
And then there were just a bunch of fun candy-related videos:
What are some of your favorite YouTube videos and channels to watch with your kids?
We are well into fall here in the Canadian prairies and I figured it was about time I shared some ideas for fall nature study.
To be honest, nature study is not something I am naturally good at. But I’m trying.
Apparently my trying has been at least somewhat successful because a few weeks ago my six year old said “Mom loves nature.” – at least he thinks so!
Our fall days here can be hit or miss. We often start getting snow at the end of September but it will usually melt right away or within a few days. The temperature can go from -10C in the morning to +20C in the afternoon. It can be sunny or it can be rainy. Really, we just need to be ready to roll with the punches (or the weather).
I wanted to create a list of fall nature study ideas so I have something to look back on when I’m feeling uninspired. Hopefully this list helps you as well.
Oh, and I also created a free autumn scavenger hunt because my kids love that kind of thing.
AUTUMN NATURE STUDY IDEAS
GO FOR A NATURE WALK
Really, all these ideas can include a nature walk but sometimes it is nice just to go for a walk without any ulterior motives and just see what catches your eye. Point out interesting things you see and get your kids to do the same. After you are done the walk you can ask them what their favorite thing they saw or heard was.
LEAF IDENTIFICATION, COLLECTION AND CRAFTS
You can keep an eye out for all the leaves you spot and see how many different varieties you can find. You can collect one leaf from each variety or try to collect a rainbow of colors.
There are also tons of different crafts you can do with leaves. I’ve been seeing lots of them on Instagram lately (and sharing some of my favorites in my stories), everything from making doll dresses to making masks to paining the leaves, there are some homeschool mamas with some great creativity out there!
SIT & LISTEN
A fun activity to do is to sit still and listen. After a minute or a few minutes ask your children to tell you what sounds they all heard. It’s a very good calming activity as well.
I made a free autumn scavenger hunt and my kids loved looking for all the different items on the list. Some we were able to see and some we even got to collect!
To grab the free scavenger hunt printable, just fill out this form and you will get access to the exclusive subscriber library:
At this time of the year the ladybugs are trying to find a place to hibernate and often do so in groups. We didn’t have to search very long to find a few groups. We made sure to not disturb them though (the ladybug pictures in this post are from earlier in the year).
It can always be fun to identify all the different birds we see but it’s even more so during migration season when we spy birds we don’t see here year round. This year we saw a great blue heron and pelican in the pond by our house, birds we’ve never spotted here before.
BIRD HOUSES & FEEDERS
On the topic of birds, if you want to see more of them, this is a great time to put up bird houses and feeders – you can even make your own! The birds have been going crazy over our bird seed and we have to fill up our feeder every week!
HUNTING FOR AUTUMN DECOR
Want to decorate with pinecones and other autumn-y things? Why not make it a nature study activity? Let your kids know what you are looking for and have them start searching.
Usborne Weather (in an edition so old I can’t even find a link for it)
The weather fact I put up on the letter board was:
Wind doesn’t make a sound until it blows against an object.
One of my children gets very frightened by the sound of wind and when they heard this fact they decided wind really wasn’t that scary then. #scienceforthewin
I remembered making a tornado in a bottle in elementary school and it was something I wanted to do with the kids. The one I remembered involved two large pop bottles and a piece of plastic, but honestly, the little plastic piece was $5 and I didn’t want to have to order it and wait for it to come in so we just made a mini tornado with a water bottle, water and glitter. It wasn’t as impressive but it worked.
Here’s the one I originally wanted to make:
Here’s what we made instead:
We also watched a couple of educational videos about weather from some of our favorite kids science YouTube channels:
And that’s really all there was to our mini unit study on weather!
If we would have taken more time/had the kids shown more interest in the topic I would have printed out the Clouds Fact Cards that we have from Brave Grown Home that we got in a previous bundle, maybe we’ll do that if/when we study the topic in the future.
If you have suggestions on other topics we should study in the future, I would love to hear them, I’m currently keeping a running list of ideas!
Part of our homeschool rhythm for the year is to have a mini unit study every Monday afternoon. My main reason behind this was because there are so many different topics I want to study with my kids and many of them don’t quite fall under our plan for the year, this is my way of sneaking those topical studies in.
This last Monday was our first mini unit study and we kicked things off with owls!
I started out by having the letter board and a few resources and books about owls out on the table in the morning. As soon as my son woke up and I told him what the letter board said he asked what other groups of animals were called so we spent a few minutes looking that up.
FUN FACT Owls do not have a good sense of smell, because of this the great horned owl is one of the only consistent predators of skunks.
I love that I learned just as much about owls as the kids!
We spent some time reading about owls (I’ll list the resources we used at the end of the post) and then the kids took some time to draw some owl pictures.
If we had more time I would have looked around for some good informational videos on YouTube. There are some channels that have good information that have videos on owls that would be good if you want to watch some, we may end up looking at them at a later date.
Owls: Our Most Charming Bird – This book is cute and the drawing of owls are adorable and would be nice to try to copy off of for drawing but the information in it was a little lacking, this is one I would recommend getting out from the library instead of purchasing.
Letter Cards – the black letter cards I bought from Amazon a couple of years ago, I really like them but don’t like that they don’t have duplicate letters so I created my own printable ones (and I reversed the colors so they are not so hard on the printer), but when you are writing words without duplicate letters the Amazon ones work great.
Owls in the Family – we didn’t actually read this book this time but we read it last summer, if we were doing a longer owl study I would read it again with the kids
Owl at Home – we used to own this book but I couldn’t find it when I was pulling stuff together. I would have loved to read it this week with my beginning reader but turned the house nearly upside down and still couldn’t find it.
Our little unit study was only about an hour long and here’s what our table looked after (remember, I only have two kids!), good thing we have a big table!
We have our next few weeks of unit studies planned out but if you have ideas for what we should study in the future, I would love to hear them!