Another great tool in your homeschool is YouTube. While YouTube does require a bit of policing by the parent, the content you can find there for free is well worth the sifting. You can enable parental controls, which helps some, but please do not rely on them to take care of every offensive thing.
You will find that more and more homeschool blogs have their own YouTube channels. You can find mine HERE and I hope to add more to it throughout the year. You can find some good reviews and information via these channels, but the YouTube videos I like best are from The History Channel. Many excerpts and full-length programs are available for free on YouTube.
For instance, when we studied the Crusades, we were able to watch several episodes of the very well done Crusades series from The History Channel.
Another favorite is Khan Academy. This has become a YouTube phenomenon and some homeschoolers even use just these videos as their math curriculum! You can actually sign up your students on Khan’s website and track their progress through the thousands of video tutorials.
You can also search for specific topics that will help your children understand a concept they are learning. One of our favorites is this Rube Goldberg inspired video that ended up sparking an entire study of Rube Goldberg’s “machines”.
If you sign up for a YouTube account, you have the option of putting videos on a Watch Later List and subscribing to entire channels so you get updates when they upload new videos.
Another use for YouTube in the homeschool is to practice public speaking and communicating concepts. You can create a private channel (or public if you like) where your children can practice giving speeches and explaining ideas. They can also give mini-recitals and homeschool updates for grandparents who can access the videos via private links. I also know a lot of budding filmmakers who hone their skills via YouTube.