Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Crash Course videos

Add this to your toolbox: the Crash Course YouTube video series from Vlogbrothers.  As of this posting they have made 64 videos, 32 each on World History and Biology.  The videos are silly, exciting, very visual, interesting, and extremely engaging.  Their geeky-silly style is akin to Bill Nye, Alton Brown, and Horrible Histories.  And through this unique combination, the producers are incredibly able to cram you full of more information in 12 minutes than you've probably learned in your lifetime on a subject, and have you able to not only understand but retain it all.  IMPORTANT NOTE: these videos are targeted toward older kids or young adults, and are sometimes quite blunt in their content matter, so you should preview each video before having your child watch it to determine the level of appropriateness.  But don't worry - they're so fun, you won't mind one bit watching the video a second time with your child!  ANOTHER IMPORTANT NOTE: these videos are also blatantly secular in their perspective, so often there will be philosophies in them that don't line up with the philosophies of most conservative homeschoolers.  So again, preview each video first.  However, I still maintain that these videos are useful, despite some of the content, due to their ability to engage and interest the learner and effectively give them a big-picture understanding of a topic before delving into the topic for further study.  Please consider using them as a sort of preview of a subject, and following up each video with questions and conversation and further learning.  And for parents of younger children, or children for whom the videos aren't appropriate, parents should also consider watching them for themselves, so that YOU can have a working understanding of the topic at hand before you delve into it.  Or, you know, for pure entertainment, because these videos are CRAZY FUN!!

The list of videos to date, not in any particular order...


Your Immune System: Natural Born Killer
Evolution: It's a Thing
The Big Guns: Your Muscular System
Your Skeleton: It's ALIVE!
The Excretory System: From Your Heart to the Toilet
The Digestive System
Circulatory & Respiratory Systems
The Nervous System
Animal Behavior
Complex Animals: Annelids & Arthropods
Simple Animals: Sponges, Jellies, & Octopuses
Comparative Anatomy: What Makes Us Animals
Taxonomy: Life's Filing System
Population Genetics: When Darwin Met Mendel
Evolutionary Development: Chicken Teeth
Animal Development: We're Just Tubes
Speciation: Of Ligers & Men
Natural Selection
Meiosis: Where the Sex Starts
Mitosis: Splitting Up is Complicated
DNA, Hot Pockets, & The Longest Word Ever
DNA Structure and Replication
ATP & Respiration
Plant Cells
In Da Club - Membranes & Transport
Eukaryopolis - The City of Animal Cells
Biological Molecules - You Are What You Eat
Water - Liquid Awesome
That's Why Carbon Is A Tramp

Coal, Steam, and The Industrial Revolution
Latin American Revolutions
Haitian Revolutions
The French Revolution
Tea, Taxes, and The American Revolution
The Amazing Life and Strange Death of Captain Cook
The Seven Years War
The Spanish Empire, Silver, & Runaway Inflation
The Atlantic Slave Trade
The Columbian Exchange
The Renaissance: Was it a Thing?
Russia, the Kievan Rus, and the Mongols
Venice and the Ottoman Empire
International Commerce, Snorkeling Camels, and The Indian Ocean Trade
Wait For It...The Mongols!
Mansa Musa and Islam in Africa
The Crusades - Pilgrimage or Holy War?
The Dark Ages...How Dark Were They, Really?
Islam, the Quran, and the Five Pillars All Without a Flamewar
Fall of The Roman Empire...in the 15th Century
Christianity from Judaism to the Constantine
The Roman Empire. Or Republic. Or...Which Was It?
The Silk Road and Ancient Trade
Alexander the Great and the Situation ... the Great?
‎2,000 Years of Chinese History! The Mandate of Heaven and Confucius: World History
Buddha and Ashoka
The Persians & Greeks
Ancient Egypt
Indus Valley Civilization
The Agricultural Revolution
Columbus, de Gama, and Zheng He! 15th Century Mariners

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