We often hear that YouTube is an amazing resource for learning, but how do you find and curate topical videos that are age-appropriate for your kids? This article has some excellent tips.

Children playing in water happily

By Natalie Goodacre

YouTube is amazing, there is literally a video on there for any subject you want to know about. But it is a minefield when you are a parent. We've all been there when children are inquisitive about something so you look for a video, click on it, only to find that a) it's massively inappropriate or b) it has an overly long advert that again, is massively inappropriate.

I can be a pretty old fashioned parent (by today's modern standards) and even though my children have a Kindle fire each, they can only play on it using the kids mode. Which on a side note is amazing - well done Amazon! This means that I control which apps are on there, and YouTube is not one of them. They did have the kids version of YouTube on there for a time, but again I questioned some of the video content so deleted it.

How many times does a 7 year old need to watch a doll pooing on a potty? Is a cartoon of a man watching ladies in a hot tub really appropriate? That was the one that made me delete YouTube kids. YouTube need to get better at screening these things for the kids version. Or maybe I'm a prude who's way behind the times!?!

How we use YouTube for homeschool

Anyway I digress... I still really value YouTube as an educational tool. So to bypass the awkward video mishaps I set up playlists on my account. I only add videos that I have prewatched, and this also allows me to ensure that they aren't too long, uninspiring or just plain random.

I'm not a total bore and include some funny videos in there too, and we dance to music videos (Rhianna is a total No No!).

So here's a step by step of how we use YouTube to enhance our learning:

1. First you will need a YouTube account if you don't already have one.

2. Next search for the topic you want, I searched for Pig Facts.

How we use YouTube for homeschool

3. Next, click on a video. Whilst watching the video click on the plus icon in the top right hand corner (circled below) or the 'add to' icon underneath:

How we use YouTube for homeschool

4. Then it will come up 'Add to Playlist' at the bottom of the screen.

Click on this, then select the playlist you would like the video to be added to.

How we use YouTube for homeschool

5. Once you've done this a message will pop up saying the video was added. You can then go into your library and see the playlist you've created (see my Pig one below):

How we use YouTube for homeschool

And Voila! A simple way to use YouTube videos to enhance your learning without the awkward random stuff that usually pops up. And you need not worry about this taking up too much of your time - I usually make my playlists in bed at night!

How do you use YouTube in your homeschool planning? Share with us in the comments below.

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YouTube is an amazing resource for learning, but how do you find videos that are age-appropriate for your kids? Read the tips on our site.
Natalie Goodacre

Natalie Goodacre


Natalie is a a homeschooling mummy to two gorgeous girls aged 7 & 5, from Lincoln, England. She's passionate about learning through play and inquiry based learning and spends her days with her daughters baking, hanging in trees and using their imaginations during hours of play. She blogs at homeschoolmummy.com and is on Instagram @homeschoolmummy.

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