I guess you could say Mike built our house using YouTube.com. It is not that he didn’t know how to build a house—he has built several houses in years past—but the house he had in mind was not standard construction. He started in the woods cutting down trees. Then he built a sawmill to cut the lumber, which meant all the lumber had to be properly dried, and that is another matter that requires expertise. Then he decided he wanted to put in an indoor pool that would be heated with firewood and the water purified with copper ions. Who knows how to keep pool water perfectly clear and clean enough to drink? Somebody on YouTube. Of course, he didn’t want a standard square or rectangular house; he wanted an eight-sided, two-section house—not a long wall anywhere. It is really cool, except when the electricity goes out and it is totally dark in the middle of the night and you need to find the bathroom in a hurry. Then it can play havoc with your brain. He didn’t factor that into the design. The other night the power went out and he ended up in the closet trying to find the toilet. At 75 years of age, when it’s time, it’s time. Somehow he made it out and located the right door before it was too late. In truth, the whole house-building project was very complicated. He knew it would be the last house he would ever build, and he really didn’t care if we ever actually lived in the house. He just wanted to put into reality all the crazy ideas he’d had since he was a kid. And he wanted to be debt free when he finished. It was a glorious challenge that took twelve years to complete.
There were a lot of things he had never done or seen done, so he needed to seek out the “how to” from all the experts found on YouTube. So, many days he would spend all day long watching videos on how to do a certain odd thing and then the next day he would tackle the project, now knowing exactly how to do it. Remarkably, it was an amazing success. We have a nice octagon-shaped pool, 33 feet across and eight feet deep, heated by an outdoor wood furnace, in which to exercise all winter, a house that is inexpensive to heat and cool and stays just the correct temperature. And we actually got to LIVE in the house and swim in the pool for the last seven years and counting . . . and counting.
WHY am I telling you this? I want to convey to you the treasure that you could be accessing every day for homeschooling. If Mike can learn all he needed to build this house, then your kids can build their brain to tackle life’s complicated chores.
Your children ages 2 to 20 could be having cooking class on Mondays, followed by medical science. Choose a cuisine that matches what the children are learning in geography and immerse yourselves in a new culture. Learn how to stay healthy and instruct your doctor.
On Tuesday they could be learning how to breed, raise, and train dogs for sale, thus making an extra $10,000 a year. It is easy and puppies sell like crazy. I know because I watched YouTube videos and raised my own set of pups. This Christmas I will have 16 parti-poodle pups that are 6 to 8 weeks old ready to make some sweetie very happy, and this old sweetie will be happy too. Yep, I am "counting my chickens before they hatch", but I am following the instructions on YouTube like I did for my last set of pups, because it worked! It is a good way to learn economics. Every Wednesday your children could watch shows about earth science and learn about earthquakes before they happen, how weather develops, how the sun affects our weather, and how to predict weather weeks in advance. Or they could learn how to build dog houses and start a business doing that. Thursdays they could learn how to sprout and grow micro greens or how to do hydroponic gardening in your basement in the middle of winter. They could even start a black fly box and make them available to all the chicken farmers around. I want to do this, too, but Mike says we are NOT growing flies! Fridays could be “jackpot” day where the children choose their subject.
Choose a topic that the children will all study together for the week. It could be foundational music (piano and guitar lessons are free and some of the classes are really well done), math, English literature, or building a house. The older children will love the sciences. Mike and the boys loved studying the science of light and sound frequencies. Your boys should be able to discuss quarks and the string theory. Choose a subject you can study in depth, adding new videos every day. Archaeology—especially right now in Israel—is fun and fascinating. There are some godly men who hunt up all kinds of Bible-related artifacts, which will build your child’s faith. Political science and history are interesting for some.
Have each child choose a topic of particular interest to them that they will learn about all year. Have them research and keep notes through the year and then write a paper or even a small book on the topic they choose. That would be a major learning project.
When I first heard the word neuroplasticity I knew I had found a subject that I must know more about. I opened YouTube to a program called TED talks. There are hundreds of talks on most every subject. The sponsors of TED talks find the most knowledgeable and challenging speakers from around the world to share their expertise with a live audience. I found doctors and scientists excited about the wonders of the human brain. (Warning: There are some subjects that are quite disgusting, nasty, and of poor taste, so please pick and choose carefully.) Neuroplasticity is a science based on relatively new discoveries on how we are growing our brain with what we do, say, hear, see, smell, and feel. The changes in our brain can be seen on an fMRI machine. All input affects our body: our hormone release (or not), our body’s movements or lack thereof (balance, etc.), our emotions (mental stability, moods), and our reactions. An example of how informational or emotional input changes the physical structure of the brain is seen in pornography’s destructive force without the victim knowing or believing his brain and body are being sabotaged. Neuroplasticity revealed to scientists how porn disrupts the brain, which in turn causes the body to not be capable of releasing hormones in a normal way, which in turn causes the body to malfunction. You should read our mail—yeek! It is enough to scare any (still-sane) man away from porn. I have drifted off the subject a bit, but I wanted you to see the strength of neuroplasticity. Strong input from any source changes the brain.
When you begin to use “how to” videos for schooling you will be tapping into the most current science and practical skills. You can’t replace reading, as it is critical for learning, so much so that there is actually a special area of the brain that ONLY reading can excite, but YouTube has perks that reading can’t match. On YouTube you can learn what was discovered yesterday because it is being discussed almost as it happens. There is nothing like the thrill of discovery in real-time. So, YouTube videos played a big part in helping me write NGJ’s number-one best seller, "Create a Better Brain through Neuroplasticity". If you haven’t read it . . . well, you should. It is a best seller for very good reason. It is not because I wrote the best book ever; it is because knowledge of how neuroplasticity works could increase your child’s IQ and emotional well-being and happiness if you only knew a few simple things to implement in their life. For instance, specialists teaching troubled (angry or mentally handicapped) children are now using soft classical music and/or natural herbal scents in diffusers while they teach so that the children’s brains are activated in sensory areas. By having these areas of the brain simultaneously stimulated the lessons will be funneled through many areas of the brain, thus bypassing possible damaged areas as well as multiplying the areas of memory. The results are miraculous. Some children who were once thought slightly retarded due to brain damage that caused circuits to be closed are now listed as brilliant, because with the new pathways through the sensory areas they are getting the needed input. The lessons simply found a new path which allowed the child to learn. This is information ALL mamas need to know. As you can see, just knowing how neuroplasticity works can really enhance your child’s learning ability. My book "Create a Better Brain through Neuroplasticity" is simply written and full of examples and stories so even your children will enjoy you reading it to them.
Mama, set your computer up on your kitchen table so you can make sure it stays public and free of trash. Then begin to create a viewing list. To do this you simply open YouTube and type in a subject in the search box. Browse through and find a good video on your subject for Monday morning and a science program for Monday afternoon. Maybe you want something simple for younger children or perhaps something like nuclear science for your brainy teenage son. There is a series of videos on Molecular Machines that even your little ones will love. It is all about these tiny machine-like things that are part of the make-up of our cells. We watched it with our grandchildren. Mike watches them over and over again and gets the grandkids to join him in wonder.
Every topic is there, waiting to be discovered. While writing this I opened YouTube, to see what I watched last. It was a cooking show called Food Wishes. The guy’s voice cracks me up—the way he ends each sentence with a high rather than a low sound. Just being amused as I learn about cooking opens other areas of the brain, which means memory storage is multiplied. TV7 covers Israeli news and the super-straight-laced announcer is dry, but his voice goes up at the end of every sentence just like the Food Wishes cook. You will notice it right off. Your kids need to keep up with news on Israel, because what happens there determines all things future. There I go again off the subject . . . back to homeschool cooking. I also love to watch cooking from India and Israel, some of which are in different languages, so I have to read what they are saying and watch at the same time. This opens two different areas of the brain at once so the information is stored in several places, making recall easier.
Here’s a fun learning experience I had recently: All my life I have made chocolate pies and they were pretty good BUT one day I found a man who had videoed his 100-year-old grandmother as she made chocolate pie. Watching how she made her pies changed my style completely. That old lady knew how to make the BEST chocolate pie and now I do too.
Why should your children spend time learning all this? I am going to tell you something that will blow your mind. Normal schooling is a terrible waste of a kid’s life. Neuroplasticity has proven that learning how to do real things will build into your child’s brain a fountain of concepts, ideas, hope, confidence, and common sense that will tie together the why and how of all disciplines. School pages on math and language are abstract—not tied to using the skill in real life—so the brain has to try to find a place to put this irrelevant information. Learn math by using it to solve an actual problem. Seeing and then putting into practice a building project, a recipe—anything that goes from the imagination to the hands—causes the brain to file that information in many different compartments and the learning becomes useful for real life.
Neuroplasticity also has proven that the more varied areas of learning one is exposed to, the greater the ability to learn anything. This is why the super-geeks of Silicon Valley also study music and learn other languages. Your child will be a better reader if they learn how to play a musical instrument or do mechanics. And Mama, the brain builds best when it exercises by doing. If you want your child to be brilliant, then in the dead of winter give the little ones piles of boxes and blankets and let them build play houses in your living room. During the summer send them outside with spoons to dig up the yard, making it a colossal mess, but expanding their brains to be supercharged. Brain scans have proven that a child who has a wide range of hands-on, interesting projects such as painting, building, cooking, growing, discovering, sewing, etc. has a brain that is much more active, and thus has higher intelligence. No one will become a rocket scientist if they spend their youth watching cartoons. Assist the older children in gathering the tools to pursue their imaginations. That might be a set of mechanic tools, a telescope, or a microscope. You must keep in mind that anything seen or heard must be experienced if there is to be any real learning. A child who is watching cooking shows needs to have regular opportunities to cook. Every subject needs hands-on follow-through to make a lasting difference. This is what separates the folks who just seem to know why, how, and what to do at any given minute from those who stand amazed at how clever the other guy is.
A successful education is not scoring high on tests, and scoring high on tests does not determine success in life. Brilliance is being capable of touching other people’s lives with knowledge, hope, and vision. This kind of knowledge doesn’t develop out of the air as if by magic, and it doesn’t come from going through the same old kind of schoolbooks others have been using for generations. This kind of brain is developed by seeing, discovering, trying, failing, and learning from others what you did wrong so you can try again. This kind of knowledge can be passed on. YouTube is one way of helping it along.
At first when you start using YouTube it will be difficult to find what you want, but if you stick with it you will learn to guide your children in gaining a wide range of knowledge in many fields. Once you see the results of neuroplasticity learning you will NEVER go back to traditional learning. I am betting that most days instead of being a busy mama in the kitchen, you will be just as engrossed in your children’s YouTube video learning as they are.
Welcome to the world of easy, stress-free, and drastically better homeschooling. Welcome to neuroplasticity learning. Now go and expand your children’s brains!
YouTube videos to consider:
1. Three of the most sought-out, challenging speakers in the English-speaking world are Jordan Peterson, Ben Shapiro, and Candace Owens. Candace says she learned how to communicate by listening to these two men. She learned well. Logic, truth, common sense, debate, political science, creativity, philosophy, psychology, mental health, and other topics are discussed. They are not Bible teachers and at least two of them are not Christians, but they have used their brains and can teach very important skills in communication. Mike and Jeremiah (our grandson) love to watch and discuss their logical presentations and debates.
2. For your budding doctors or nurses, there are lots of medical programs that teach how the body works. If you start your child watching these at a young age, by their
teens they will know the names of every bone and organ in the body. If they are interested in animal health, that is on YouTube as well. When I need to know something about the structure of the body I watch Institute of Human Anatomy. For simple heath information, Dr. Gus is good. Dr. Eric Berg, DC is an excellent teacher and very well learned.
3. For all you weather buffs there is a young guy who brings excitement to the dullest weather day. His program is called Ryan Hall, Y’all. He must be from the South, so how could you lose? He will totally entertain your kids as well as teach them a lot of weather science.
4. While I was writing the book "The Vision", I got interested in volcanoes and earthquakes. Now that is a subject your boys would love. There are all kinds of folks giving sun and earth reports and predicting events by reading the signs. They are very often correct. Once you watch one on this topic, others will pop up. Dutchsinse does a good job teaching on this subject.
5. If you want your son or daughter to know the Bible better than 95% of preachers, then you have to have your children do Bible class with Big Papa (Mike) every single day. Type in Michael Pearl and a list of teaching videos will pop up. You can find Bible stories all the way through the Bible or teaching on Romans, which is foundational to knowing the Bible. They could watch a series on what the different numbers mean in the Bible. Keep in mind Mike does answer some sensitive questions in some of his videos, so when the title looks iffy, save that one for your husband to watch. He needs to keep his brain sharp too.
6. Don’t forget the list in the article: TED Talks, Molecular Machines, TV7, and Food Wishes.
YouTube is a wonderful place to gain knowledge from experts around the world, it is also very dangerous for innocent young souls. YouTube may display ads or suggested videos that are inappropriate and unrelated to the video you are watching. It is important that you never allow your children to browse YouTube without your supervision. Here are some simple steps that you can take to keep your kids from being exposed to nasty content on YouTube.
1. Don’t walk away. Never leave your child alone on a screen with the internet. Ever. Satan desires to have your children that he may sift them as wheat. Keep the family computer in the living room or kitchen so it’s out in the open.
2. Install an ad blocker in your web browser. Adblock Plus is a good option. Just go to adblockplus.org and hit the green button to install it.
3.Use YouTube Kids. For your younger children, YouTube offers a website that is restricted to mostly content that is for kids: www.youtubekids.com . Be aware that there will still be videos that would be bad for your kids even on the kids site, so you should never allow your child to use it without your total 100% oversight.
4.Download the videos and watch offline. This is the safest way to let your kids watch videos from the internet. Find the videos you want to watch, and download them to your computer using a service like www.9convert.com. (You just copy the URL, or Share link, from YouTube, go to 9convert.com, put the URL in the search box, and click download.) Then your children can watch the videos on your computer without ever having to go online. *You should still supervise your kids while they watch, or preview the videos beforehand.