Many homeschoolers are aware of PragerU’s free, five-minute videos on important topics that were created for teens and adults. Lots of those videos make excellent supplements for topics students are studying.
PragerU is also creating free content specifically designed for younger audiences. The videos are available at the PragerU website under the “Kids” tab. Following are brief descriptions of the main series and what’s available as of December 2021.
TBH (To Be Honest) History is a series of videos that teach about critical points in history through narration, images, and skits. The target audience is about grades five through twelve. Students younger than about ten will probably enjoy watching, but they probably won’t be able to keep up with the amount of information conveyed.
The skits are often silly, but they make serious points in a memorable fashion. Each video runs about ten to fifteen minutes.
Thus far, there are five videos:
American Revolution, Part 1
American Revolution, Part 2
French Revolution, Part 1: The Birth of Left vs. Right
French Revolution, Part 2: The Disaster of Utopia
The selection of topics reflects PragerU’s goal of educating all ages with information about influential ideas and philosophies. Much of this is pertinent to current issues, although the videos usually leave it to their audiences to make the connections for themselves.
The videos about the American and French revolutions, for example, contrast the ideas, actions, and results of both revolutions. There’s a political point of view behind the videos that tends towards conservatism and libertarianism.
You might expect the videos to be supportive of Christianity, but they seem more libertarian in this respect, often treating religious figures as oppressors who want to protect their own authority. For instance, in the video on the Scientific Revolution, it never mentions the Catholic Church’s funding of scientific work and the fact that a number of priests and monks are among those responsible for the scientific revolution. Instead, the Church is made to seem the enemy of science. Even so, this series of videos should be an entertaining way for children and teens to learn some important ideas along with some history.
How To Series
Created for teen audiences, the How To series addresses personal development issues using narration and skits. These videos each run about five minutes or less. Thus far, the following videos are available:
Deal with Peer Pressure
Not be a Screen Addict
Have Conversations with Real People
Take Ownership of Your Life
Be Reasonably Green
Prep for a Job
Take Care of an American Flag
These videos are likely to be more successful vehicles for conveying this sort of information than instruction from parents.
Leo and Layla’s History Adventures
These animated, cartoon videos take Leo and Layla through time and distance to have conversations, usually with influential people, to learn about important ideas and events. For instance, they visit with the late Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn to learn the importance of freedom of speech. These videos run about ten minutes each. The animation is limited, and the conversations convey quite a bit of information. The level of information in some of them makes these videos useful for students beyond the target audience of grades three through five. They sometimes oversimplify complicated topics, but they are useful for introducing topics to a younger audience.
Pericles (the birth of democracy in Athens and the concept of civic duty)
Queen Victoria (good manners)
Benjamin Franklin (the American Dream)
Adam Smith (market capitalism)
Paul Revere (the importance of knowing about historical heroes)
Frederick Douglass (slavery in America)
President Ronald Reagan (the end of the Cold War)
Neil Armstrong (good types of competition)
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (freedom of speech)
Nuclear Niyah (the actual costs of environmentalism and renewable energy)
Otto’s Tales are for younger children, probably about kindergarten through third grade. In these videos, someone reads aloud one of the Otto’s Tales books that teach children positive values and virtues along with patriotism. Some of the stories are retellings of classic stories, and some are presented in rhyme. The videos use illustrations from the books along with some animation. Examples of just a few of the many titles in this series are:
Otto’s Tales –
King Alfred and the Cakes (individual responsibility)
Marshall the Courthouse Mouse (how the Supreme Court works)
10 Steps to Freedom (how American came to be known as “the land of the free”)
The Emperor’s New Clothes (the importance of recognizing and speaking up for the truth)
Little George and the Cherry Tree (the value of honesty and bravery)
Today is Christmas (the story of Christmas and St. Nicholas, urging charity and praising the value of the holiday for all)
Craftory is a series of hosted by Jill to celebrate American holidays and values by making craft projects. In American Flag Cork Board, Jill shows how to make a flag on a white cork board. In Apple Pie, Jill shows how to make an apple pie baked in a microwave oven, while discussing why apple pie is considered the quintessential American dish. In Thankful Jar, Jill shows how to make a Thanksgiving jar while sharing the story of the Pilgrims and the first Thanksgiving. In Ship in a Jar, Jill tells about Christopher Columbus while viewers make a simple model of ship in a jar. Some of the craft projects will be more practical to do than others, but the videos convey plenty of history even if you don’t actually do the crafts.
These videos are supposed to be for children, but adults will need to be heavily involved in most of the projects. The videos run fewer than ten minutes each, so you will need to pause them if you are trying to do the projects along with Jill.