Meditate With Me

2020 has thrown a lot of uncertainty our way.

We don’t know when we can film with our hosts in our studio again.

We don’t know when the air will clear from the fires in LA so we can enjoy the outdoors again.

We don’t know when we’ll be able to go to conferences and see our colleagues again.

We don’t know when we can visit friends and loved ones again.

It’s so easy to fall into patterns of thinking like this, agonizing over the time we’ve lost and worrying about the future. Meditation is really the cure for what ails us, because it helps you focus on the here and now.

Meditation/ Mindfulness has become a bit of a fad lately, especially in Silicon Valley. But meditation has been around for thousands of years, as part of the Hindu and Buddhist traditional practices. It’s hardly a new invention, but if it helps people to treat it like a new discovery, I don’t have a problem with that. Maybe by making YouTube videos and meditation apps, more people will discover meditation as a way to find peace.

Are you reluctant to try meditation?

Whatever it is holding you back, I’ll bet you anything it’s not a good reason. You don’t have to practice the religions that include meditation in their traditions. You don’t have to do meditation the way it’s shown on TV and in the movies. You don’t have to be in good shape or have a peaceful outlook on life already. You don’t have to look a certain way or act a certain way.

Anyone can do meditation.

It’s all about finding what works for you.

Meditation just requires you to do one thing: pick something to focus on. If you get distracted (and you will, that’s natural, and it’s kind of the whole point), you re-focus. That’s it. That’s all there is to it! Meditation is a way to exercise your mental muscles, developing your ability to focus.

I’ve noticed that in most videos and apps that teach meditation, they start with breath work. This is the technique used in “Zazen” meditation. You sit in the lotus position and focus on your breath – inhale, hold, exhale, hold. This works just fine for me, until my broken-down knees start barking. But I know that for many people, focusing on their breath actually causes anxiety. So they give up and think they can’t meditate.

You don’t have to meditate in this exact way. There are other forms of meditation that don’t focus on your breath at all!

I’m very curious about Transcendental Meditation (TM). This is what the Beatles studied with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, and is championed nowadays by any number of movers and shakers. David Lynch has started a foundation to spread the word about this practice. TM is based on the ancient practice of Vedic meditation, which involves silently repeating a mantra to yourself.

TM (the branded version) requires you to meet with a specially trained instructor, who gives you your personalized mantra. Ooh, do I ever want a personalized mantra! But there are no funds in our kitty to try such a venture. Maybe one day.

So instead, I usually do Yoga Nidra. This probably isn’t what you’re picturing. I do yoga every day, with postures and breathwork. But this is something different. I think of Yoga Nidra as a kind of mind-body integration. It involves a “body scan,” where you concentrate on increasing your awareness of all the parts of your body. You wouldn’t think that would do anything, but I feel calm, conscious, and not distracted by worries about the past or the future.

If you’d like to try this method of meditation, please watch our video:

There’s a brief introduction, followed by a relaxing meditation for you to try.

We’ve also made the mp3 recording of the Yoga Nidra practice available to download for free, so you can take it with you anywhere and continue to practice, even when you’re offline and can’t watch our video on YouTube. Sign up for the free download here: http://bit.ly/GetMeditationRec

I hope you’ll meditate with me, Socratica Friends!

KHH

We recommend the following books and goodies (affiliate links that support Socratica):

Meditation Pillow https://amzn.to/3kXezCq

Muse – a brain-sensing headband that trains you to meditate https://amzn.to/3ill28C

The Miracle of Mindfulness: an Introduction to the Practice of Meditation by Thich Nhat Hanh https://amzn.to/33mAcpy

Meditation Gong https://amzn.to/34kFykw

Other easy ways to support Socratica:

Subscribe to Socratica on YouTube

Socratica Patreon

Socratica PayPal

Socratica Shop on Amazon (affiliate links)

How to Work From Home

Learning all about this the hard way!

First, it must be understood that we don’t know what we’re doing. Nothing wonderful can come from this unless this is made perfectly clear.

Are you working from home? We are. Or we’re trying to.

Because of the Covid Pandemic, we can’t film together in studio. So we’re finding things to work on that we can do solo, like our website Socratica.com and our new podcast Socratica Reads.

We’re also doing our best to keep our spirits up by watching movies, reading books, playing games, and doing a little creative cooking.

Liliana and I made this video via video chat so you could get an idea of how we’re handling this very strange time.

Stay well, Socratica Friends!

KHH

Easy ways to support Socratica:

Subscribe to Socratica on YouTube

Socratica Patreon

Socratica PayPal

Socratica Shop on Amazon (affiliate links)

How to Take Online Classes

Have your classes gone online? Because of the Covid19 pandemic, schools around the world are shutting down and sending their students home.

Sick woman

That’s not to say that education is coming to a halt. Most schools are scrambling to put classes online.

For many students AND teachers, this is their first experience with distance learning. It’s kind of a meta experience, in some sense – everyone has to learn HOW to learn in this way.

Technology For Young Hispanic Woman Studying With Laptop Computer

We’ve signed up for a few online classes over the years, but honestly, we’ve never actually completed a whole course this way. Did you know that the completion rate for online courses hovers around THREE PERCENT?

We put our minds to it and gathered all the best advice we could to put in this video. We were actually planning on releasing it in August/September, for the start of the school year, but we thought it might help people more now.  Share it with all the teachers and students you know!

How to Take Online Classes

 

Stay home and stay safe, Socratica Friends!

KHH

Easy ways to support Socratica:

Subscribe to Socratica on YouTube

Socratica Patreon

Socratica PayPal

Socratica Shop on Amazon (affiliate links)

 

Multiple Choice Tests, defanged.

 

 

Do you think Multiple Choice tests are unfair?

Is this because you don’t do very well on them? Be honest, now.

Wouldn’t you like to know how to do better on these tests? Socratica can help.

The truth is, that while multiple choice tests can seem tricky, they really can be the best way to test for certain kinds of knowledge. Namely – can you draw distinctions between closely related ideas?

Answer sheet

To do well on Multiple choice tests, you have to stay calm and proceed through the test without getting too hung up on any one question. Don’t waste your time fretting if you don’t know the answer right away. This is easier to do if you prepare well.

In this video, we share some of our best strategies for doing well on multiple choice tests. Our number one tip is to take a practice test, and then use it to figure out what you DON’T know. Then, study only the material you don’t know! This can feel uncomfortable, but it really is the most efficient use of your time. After studying, then re-test yourself, only on those topics you previously missed. Now, you have a much better chance of success on the real test, and you haven’t wasted precious study time on material you were already going to get right on the test.

Try our techniques on your next multiple choice test, and see for yourself!

More Excellent Study Tips Here (YouTube Playlist)

~ KHH

Easy ways to support Socratica:

Subscribe to Socratica on YouTube

Socratica Patreon

Socratica PayPal

Socratica Shop on Amazon (affiliate links)

Happy New Year, Socratica Friends!

We took an unprecedented 12 whole days off for the holidays. We’re back in the Studio, refreshed and invigorated and ready to make more educational videos for you! Our New Year’s Resolution is to grow our channel so we can make more videos faster, while maintaining high quality. Easier said than done, but we think this is the year we’ll be able to bring on some part time help, especially with editing.

Did you make a New Year’s Resolution this year? How’s it going so far?

We always make resolutions, but half the time (or more) we start cheating a little, then a little more, and pretty soon we’ve forgotten all our plans for self-improvement. Has this happened to you?

We wanted this year to be different, so we researched the best ways to MAKE successful resolutions, and the best ways to help you KEEP your resolutions.  We put it all together in the latest video in our Study Tips series:

New Year’s Resolutions for Students

 

 

If you value the work we do, and would like to support our efforts to make the most beautiful educational videos free for everyone on YouTube, please consider becoming our Patron.  Thank you!

KHH

Socratica Patreon

Subscribe to Socratica on YouTube

Socratica Shop on Amazon

 

 

 

10 Back to School Tips for Success

We all think of ourselves as eternal students here at Socratica.  That means we get a little thrill every September, even though we’re not in the classroom anymore.

happy fall

Between us, the Socratica team has a LOT of experience points – both as students and teachers – we’ve learned a lot about how to be do well in school. That collected wisdom is what we’re trying to share in our Study Tips series.

Here’s our latest offering – advice on how to make this school year a great one:

10 Back to School Tips for Success.

 

Don’t feel like you have to tackle all 10 tips at once. Try incorporating one or two, and see if it helps. Not everyone has the exact same strengths and weaknesses. But in our experience, these strategies won’t hurt and may actually mean the difference for you.  Give it a shot!

Good luck and be sure to use our videos for help this school year!

KHH

Links to our playlists on YouTube:

Abstract Algebra

Astronomy

Biology

Calculus

Chemistry

English Grammar

Geometry

Python

Study Tips

Please subscribe to our YouTube channel, and share with your friends!
http://bit.ly/1ixuu9W

To support more videos from Socratica, visit Socratica Patreon:  https://www.patreon.com/socratica

Shop Amazon Used Textbooks – Save up to 90% http://amzn.to/2pllk4B

 

How to Take Cornell Notes for Middle School Science

We recently received a question from one of our viewers, Tracie Parks, about our Cornell Notes video:

Cornell notes question

 

Tracie found our video about how to take notes helpful, especially because it shows HOW someone would take notes during a lecture, using a specific lecture!  This video features one of our videos about the History of the Atom as an example.

We’re so glad to hear that Tracie is sharing our Study Tips Series with her 6th grader! That’s really the perfect time to foster those skills.  It takes years to be a Great Student, and Middle School is when most kids start to be challenged to do more in school. They start to take notes in class, read books for information that will be tested on, and write papers.  These are the kinds of skills we want to help people with with our Study Tips.

Tracie was hoping we had an example that was a little more accessible to her middle schooler.  We do have a series of science videos that are perfect for middle-schoolers.  This series is all about those questions that pop up but you’re not sure of the answer – Why is the sky blue? Why is the ocean salty?  Here’s a video about Why Leaves Change Colour in the Autumn:

 

Now let’s show you how we would take notes for this video.  First, we’d prepare our paper (or buy paper already prepared for Cornell Notes), drawing lines for a big Notes section, a smaller Cues section on the left, and a Summary section on the bottom:

IMG_20170630_102828

Then when we start our lecture, we’d take quick notes on the major points, making sure to write down key terms like the names of the pigments. After the lecture, we’d check on the spelling of these terms to make sure they are correct in our notes.

IMG_20170630_112121

Notice there’s a lot of space between the different sections. That way, when we review our notes later, there’s room to add anything we missed.  The little headings in the Cues section helps organize the different ideas.

IMG_20170630_115105

Finally, after the lecture is over, we’ll re-read our notes (maybe check them with a friend or with the textbook), and then we’ll write a brief Summary.

IMG_20170630_113542

 

Tracie, have your 6th grader watch this video series and take notes, as practice. Remember you don’t have to write down every word!  Just the key ideas. Use abbreviations when you can. 

One BIG advantage of watching videos is that you can pause, rewind, or even watch the whole thing over again if you didn’t understand it the first time. And you can post questions in the comments!

Thanks so much for sending in your question. We’re absolutely thrilled to think we are helping someone on the beginning of their journey to be a GREAT Student!! 

KHH

/////////////////////////

We recommend:

Cornell Notes style filler paper on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2dC9bUR

Cornell Notes spiral notebook:  http://amzn.to/2usl3ip

Tomato Timer (use this for the Pomodoro Technique): http://amzn.to/2pMQhyA

The Art of Learning by Josh Waitzkin (Chess Prodigy): http://amzn.to/2r952QB

Amazon Used Textbooks – Save up to 90%
http://amzn.to/2pllk4B

Please subscribe to our YouTube channel, and share with your friends!
http://bit.ly/1ixuu9W

 

/////////////////////////

To support more videos from Socratica, visit

Socratica Patreon
https://www.patreon.com/socratica

Socratica Paypal
https://www.paypal.me/socratica

We also accept Bitcoin! 🙂
Our address is: 1EttYyGwJmpy9bLY2UcmEqMJuBfaZ1HdG9

/////////////////////////

SOCRATICA MERCHANDISE
If you’d like to wear our Socratica shirts, please visit our CafePress site: http://bit.ly/28MnOoc
They ship worldwide!!

Grey hoodie here:
http://www.cafepress.com/socraticastudios.1636726761

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why you should go to Summer School

School’s out for summer.

hammock-on-palm-trees_fy8JO-Cu.jpg

Wanted: one hammock. 

But that doesn’t mean you should turn your brain off!
In our latest Study Tips video, we give you (at least) 5 good reasons why you should go to Summer School:


 

Summer gives us the unique opportunity to learn anything we want, in a leisurely, indulgent fashion. Always wanted to learn computer programming? Try our Python Series!

Maybe you always thought Calculus was beyond you. Watch this video and tell me this beautiful branch of math doesn’t beckon to you:

Go on. Even if you don’t go to a summer school class, you can find something to keep your curiosity alive.
KHH

SOCRATICA MERCHANDISE
If you’d like to wear our Socratica shirts, please visit our CafePress site: http://bit.ly/28MnOoc
They ship worldwide!!

We recommend:
Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences
http://amzn.to/2ri1nf7

The Art of Learning by Josh Waitzkin (Chess Prodigy featured in Searching for Bobby Fischer)
http://amzn.to/2r952QB

Shop Amazon Used Textbooks – Save up to 90%
http://amzn.to/2pllk4B

***********
Don’t forget to check out our FREE educational apps on the Google Play Store.
http://bit.ly/1MqSHsM

If you’d like to support more great educational videos from Socratica, please consider becoming our Patron on Patreon!
https://www.patreon.com/socratica

SERIES PREMIERE – Study Tips – How to be a Great Student – Cornell Notes

This is the FIRST EPISODE of our new series on How to Be a Great Student! In this episode, we learn about the CORNELL METHOD.

 

This is a great method for taking notes in class (or from your textbook, or watching a video). There’s no way to remember every word of a lecture. But taking great lecture notes is the first step to getting good grades and being a great student.

The most important rule is don’t write down every word. Listen carefully, then write simplified and abbreviated phrases that capture the main ideas.

When you get home, RE-READ your notes! Proofread them, making corrections as needed before you forget. Check your notes with a friend! In the margin, write brief headers that will cue your memory of each section of your notes.

Finally, write a summary at the bottom of the page so you can quickly tell what this page of notes is all about.

Do you have a different method of taking notes? Let us know what are your favourite study tips in the comments!

KHH

**********

Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss this exciting new series from Socratica:
http://bit.ly/1ixuu9W

And please share with all your friends. They deserve to be great students, too!

SOCRATICA MERCHANDISE
If you’d like to wear our Socratica shirts, please visit our CafePress site: http://bit.ly/28MnOoc
They ship worldwide!!

***********
Don’t forget to check out our FREE educational apps on the Google Play Store.
http://bit.ly/1MqSHsM

If you’d like to support more great educational videos from Socratica, please consider becoming our Patron on Patreon!
https://www.patreon.com/socratica

 

Related:

Are you curious about how we filmed these videos?  Check out our episode of Socratica Backstage about this video shoot:  Socratica Backstage: Overhead Mirrored Shots

Watch the trailer for our Study Tips: How to Be a Great Student series

 

Socratica Backstage: Behind the Scenes look at Mirrored Overhead Shots

We’re launching a new series on Socratica called “Study Tips: How to Be a Great Student.” An essential part of the videos in this series will be overhead B Roll and Insert Shots, to demonstrate things like how to take notes, how to use flashcards, etc.

overhead camera rig

Where do you put this thing when you’re not using it?

Many people use a large frame and suspend a camera overhead in order to do overhead shots. It’s one thing if you’re using a GoPro, but this isn’t something you really want to do with a larger camera with a nice lens. Other drawbacks include the amount of space an overhead frame takes up, and the fact that the camera is not easily accessible. You can’t zoom in during a shot unless you have a sophisticated remote control setup. You can’t easily move the camera from its fixed position, which limits the kind of filmmaking you can do (no pans, tilts, or slider shots).

Today on Socratica Backstage, you can watch how we mounted a large mirror in order to do better overhead shots. We immediately put it to use, filming B Roll and Insert shots for our first video in the Study Tips series, “How to Take Great Notes.”

 

We release our Backstage Videos early to our Patreon Supporters.  Thank you for being our super-fans!  Your support means so much to us.

If you are not yet a supporter of Socratica, please visit our Patreon Page and consider joining our team. You’ll be supporting our efforts to make more high-quality educational videos. Thank you!
https://www.patreon.com/socratica

Don’t forget to Subscribe to Socratica!
http://bit.ly/1ixuu9W

KHH