Best Educational Shows on Netflix for Homeschoolers

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While we do follow a pretty advanced homeschool curriculum with our daughters, we like to mix things up with educational shows and documentaries to break up the monotony of computer and book work, often on Netflix, Disney+ or Curiosity Stream.

It’s amazing that you can find shows to cover almost any subject you may be covering in your homeschool curriculum. Every core subject, including math, science, language arts and history can all be supplemented with educational TV shows or movies.

Young boy with oversized glasses in a white lab coat holding a beaker

Since we never want their homeschooling to turn into “just watching TV,” we have our kids take handwritten notes while they watch. They use these notes to help them write a formal report on the show after they watch it.

Under this list of shows, you’ll find the process of how to have your kids write a report based upon what they watch.

Educational Shows on Netflix by Subject

Here are some great educational shows streaming on Netflix that will get your kids excited about learning. I’ve organized it by core subject to make finding something to watch easier.

Some shows listed are kids shows for a younger audience and some are geared towards older kids and teens. If you’re looking for a larger list of documentaries for older kids or adults, check out my list of the best documentaries on Netflix.

Kids Science Shows on Netflix

Netflix is one of the best sources for educational shows with a focus on science. Everything from Earth Science to Physics, Biology and more are covered on these shows.

1. Project MC2

Rated TV-G. 6 parts.

First off, it’s pronounced Project MC-squared. It’s all about getting girls interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).

The show follows 4 highly intelligent, diverse teen girls who love STEM. It shows them working together to solve whatever problems they have.

2. The Magic School Bus

Rated TV-Y. 1 season.

If you’ve never heard of The Magic School Bus, you may have had a sheltered childhood. It’s a cartoon that follows a class that goes on wild adventures on the magical yellow bus, learning about new things the entire time.

It’s really engaging and interactive for kids. It’s definitely a classic! One season of the 1990s show is available on Netflix.

Netflix also has its own additions to the classic show you’ll want to check out:

  • The Magic School Bus Rides Again
  • The Magic School Bus Rides Again: Kids in Space
  • The Magic School Bus Rides Again: The Frizz Connection
  • The Magic School Bus Rides Again: In the Zone

3. Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Gauntlet

Rated TV-14. 2 seasons.

Many parents remember this show from their childhood and now it’s back for today’s generation as a reboot with new host Jonah. If your kid is into sci-fi or robots, they may really like this show.

4. Unnatural Selection

Rated TV-MA. 4 episodes.

This show is great for older children to get a grasp of how genetics works. Good information about today’s scientists are hacking biology and editing genes to do things like eradicate disease and select a child’s genetic makeup.

5. Bill Nye: Science Guy

Rated TV-PG. 1 hour 36 minutes.

This young adult science documentary makes a great addition to the homeschool curriculum. It has a great focus on the scientific method.

Netflix has also created its own modern version of this show: Bill Nye Saves the World, which is rated TV-14 with 3 seasons available.

6. Our Planet.

Rated TV-PG. 8 episodes available.

This limited series explores the different regions of planet Earth. Kids can learn about a variety of topographies, including the desert, oceans, jungles, forests and more from David Attenborough.

Be sure to watch Our Planet: Behind the Scenes to see more about how this series was made. Rated TV-G. 1 hour 3 minutes.

7. Night on Earth

Rated TV-PG. 6 episodes available.

This is one of those addictive series that will draw you into your screen. It’s an amazing look at what happens in different parts of the earth at night.

You can also see behind the scenes in how this series was made in Night On Earth: Shot in the Dark. Rated TV-PG. 59 minutes.

8. Emily’s Wonder Lab

Rated TV-Y. 1 season available.

Emily’s Wonder Lab is all about making STEAM subjects fun. This show is full of experiments, activities and demonstrations to get elementary age kids thrilled about science.

9. Ada Twist, Scientist

Rated TV-Y. 3 seasons.

Ada Twist fancies herself a scientist. Her and her two besties ask big questions then work together to uncover the truth about just about anything.

10. Human: The World Within

Rated TV-PG. 1 season.

This docuseries is great for kids who want a better understanding of the human body and how it works. This show combines leading science with personal stories to make learning about the body more interesting.

11. 100 Humans. Life’s Questions. Answered

Rated TV-14. 1 season.

Explore common questions about human behavior on topics like trusting your senses, being happy and the best age to be alive.

12. 72 Cutest Animals

Rated TV-PG. 1 season available.

In our list of the best animal documentary series on Netflix, we shared that 72 Most Dangerous Animals is a popular choice. For kids, though, 72 Cutest Animals is where you want to look! Your kids won’t want to shut off this science documentary series as they learn about different animals!

And if if they like this series, be sure to check out Nature’s Cutest on Curiosity Stream (read my Curiosity Stream review for more details on why it’s ideal for homeschoolers).

History Shows on Netflix

If your kids are tired of reading history books, an easy way to get them more interested in the history of our world is by allowing them to watch some history shows on Netflix. Here are some inspiring titles to try.

1. History 101

Rated TV-14. 1 season.

This series is packed with short lessons to get your kid interested in history! Includes lessons on scientific breakthroughs, world changing discoveries and important social movements.

2. The Who Was? Show

Rated TV-PG. 1 season.

This is a great show to watch on Netflix to supplement your homeschool history curriculum. The Who Was Show is a live-action comedy sketch that brings historical figures to life. It’s pretty funny and the kids like it.

3. Empire Games

Rated TV-14. 1 season.

A great series for kids interested in learning more about the world’s greatest empires. Includes reenactments and interviews with experts.

4. Roman Empire

Rated TV-MA. 3 seasons.

This docuseries tells the history of Roman Emperors, including Commodus, Julius Caesar, and Caligula. Graphic, but great supplement for homeschoolers learning about the Roman Empire.

5. We the People

Rated TV-Y7. 1 season.

Through upbeat songs, kids learn the basics of rights and citizenship in the United States. Features music by Janelle Monae, H.E.R., Adam Lambert, Brandi Carlile and more.

6. Secrets of the Saqqara Tomb

Rated TV-PG. 1 hour 54 minutes.

If you’re studying ancient Egypt in your homeschool curriculum, check out Secrets of the Saqqara Tomb! Your kids will get to watch archeologists explore a tomb that has been undisturbed for 4,400 years!

7. Greatest Events of WWII (In Color)

Rated TV-14. 1 season.

Learn about the most pivotal events of World War II such as the attack on Pearl Harbor and D-Day. Featured colorized original footage.

8. WWII in Color: Road to Victory

Rated TV-MA. 1 season.

This docuseries brings the most important events of World War II to life in vivid color. Learn about the leading figures and decisive turning points of WWII through gripping historical footage and expert commentary.

9. My Best Friend Anne Frank

Rated TV-14. 1 hour 43 minutes.

This documentary is based on the real life friendship between Anne Frank and Hannah Gosler. Learn what life what like for the friends between Nazi-occupied Amsterdam through their reunion at a concentration camp.

10. Anne Frank – Parallel Stories

Rated TV-14. 1 hour 34 minutes.

Oscar Winner Helen Mirren tells the story of Anne Frank alongside the stories of 5 more Holocaust survivors.

11. Age of Samurai: Battle for Japan

Rated TV-MA. 1 season.

Vivid and dynamic reenactments make you feel like you’re in 16th century feudal Japan during a very violent and tumultuous time in the country’s history.

Language Arts Shows on Netflix

Reading and writing are critical skills for all kids to learn. Here are some shows to help them learn the basics.

1. Bookmarks: Celebrating Black Voices

TV-Y. 1 collection.

Celebrities read books by black authors to spark kid-friendly conversation about empathy, compassion, equality and self love.

2. Word Party

Rated TV-Y. 5 seasons.

Join adorable baby animals and help them learn their letters and words, and let them help teach those lessons to your kids.

3. Spelling the Dream

Rated TV-G. 1 hour 23 minutes.

This documentary follows 4 competitors at the biggest spelling competition in the US and discusses how Indian Americans have a long running success in this area.

4. Charlie’s Colorforms City

Rated TV-Y. 4 seasons.

This cute show teaches your little one the basics of storytelling. The stories are fun for kids to help feel like they’re creating. Help inspire a future writer!

5. Books Turned Into Series

Another way to get kids interested in reading is to read the book together and then watch the movie or show. Netflix has been turning popular kids’ books into series. Some to check out are:

  1. Llama Llama (Rated TV-Y; 2 seasons available)
  2. The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That (Rated TV-Y; 1 season available)
  3. Green Eggs and Ham (Rated TV-Y; 1 season available)

6. Wheel of Fortune

Rated TV-G. 3 seasons available.

Have you ever thought about watching this game show as a family to improve your word skills? It’s fun and family friendly.

Math Shows on Netflix

Math is fun when you make it fun! These shows make learning numbers and counting into entertainment.

1. Number Blocks

Rated TV-Y. 6 seasons.

Also targeted at toddlers and pre-schoolers, the Number Blocks show tries to make math fun with colorful blocks that focus on adding up numbers.

2. Money Explained

Rated TV-14. Limited series.

One math-related subject it’s important to teach kids about is money. Money Explained takes a deep dive into topics like scammers, credit cards and student loans.

3. The Speed Cubers

Rated TV-PG. 40 minutes.

Watch Max Park and Feliks Zemdegs on their journey to become Rubik’s Cube solving champions. Fun way to show kids that math isn’t only about writing numbers on paper with a pencil.

4. Word Party Presents Math!

Rated TV-G. 1 season.

Baby animals Bailey, Franny, Kip, Lulu and Tilly help your kids to learn how to count numbers, compare shapes and find patterns! Fun and cute show for young kids.

5. The Imitation Game

Rated PG-13. 1 hour 53 minutes.

In this drama movie, a mathematician leads a team of cryptanalysts to work to break the German’s Enigma code during World War II. While not a documentary, the movie is based on a true story, so it can show your kids the importance of learning math and some of the places it can take them.

6. A Trip to Infinity

Rated TV-PG. 1 hour 19 minutes.

The world’s most cutting-edge mathematicians, particle physicists and cosmologists go in search of the infinite and its mind-bending implications for the universe in this animated feature film.

Multi-Subject Documentary Series

If your kids love learning lots about a variety of subjects, these are some of the best series to add to your homeschool day.

1. Brainchild

Rated TV-G. 1 season.

This show teaches the science of our everyday world in ways that kids can understand. Some topics covered include Social Media, Germs, Dreams, Space, Oceans, Motivation, Emotions and More.

Very relatable. Not only that, Brainchild does a wonderful job at promoting self-esteem and being your best you.

2. Explained

Rated TV-MA. 3 seasons.

Most kids can ask a million questions a minute when they’re interested in something. Explained is a series on Netflix that explores a variety of different topics to give your older kids the answers they seek.

Other titles in the Explained family:

  1. The Mind Explained
  2. Sex Explained
  3. Whose Vote Counts Explained

3. Mystery Lab

Rated TV-PG. 1 season.

Explore science, history, marvels, mysteries and more with Felipe Castanhari, the host of Mystery Lab. Together with the help with Felipe’s friends from the lab, your kids will learn amazing facts about the world they live in.

4. Connected.

Rated TV-14. 1 season.

Are your kids curious about how all of the ways that humans are connected to one another? Science journalist Latif Nassir explores this idea through topics like Surveillance, Clouds and Dust.

5. Ask the StoryBots

Rated TV-Y. 3 seasons.

Ask the StoryBots is a great show for younger kids that always have lots of questions about everything. Why do we have to brush our teeth? Why do we have nighttime? Kids burning questions answered by cute creatures.

“Both my 6-year-old and 3-year-old love it! Definitely keeps both of them engaged the whole episode. Every show has a different topic.”

Happy Mothering reader

6. Blippi’s Adventures

Rated TV-Y. 1 collection.

An energetic educational show for preschoolers, Blippi takes kids on interactive field trips that help them learn about the world they live in. If your child enjoys this show, check out Blippi’s Adventures and School Supply Scavenger Hunt.

Didn’t find what you’re looking for here? No worries… Check out these other documentaries on Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video and Disney+ (on lots of other interesting topics) streaming right now.

7. Spycraft

Rated TV-MA. 1 season.

If your child is interested in spy stories, this is a great series to teach them about the technology used in spying. Since it’s rated TV-MA, some subjects may only be appropriate for older audiences.

Or try Curiosity Stream!!! It’s an entire streaming service that’s all about documentaries, and there are tons of choices you can use in your homeschool. Best of all, you can get a full year for less than $20!

Two young girls on a laptop for homeschool lessons.

How to Write a Report on an Educational Show

These tips will help you plan a report your kids can write after watching something educational on Netflix.
5 from 5 votes
Print (no photos)
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Active Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes

Supplies

  • Pencil or pen
  • Lined paper
  • Computer or Typewriter - optional

Tools

  • Any documentary
  • A screen to watch said documentary

Instructions

The notes they take are done with a pencil and paper.

  • With note-taking, we have our girls pause and/ or rewind when they need to finish writing a note or need to hear something again.
  • If they don’t understand something we ask them to watch it twice.
  • If they still don’t understand, then they can Google the answer.
  • This helps them learn how to solve their own problems. And we’re always available to explain things they don’t understand.
  • If they don’t understand it after they tried their best to solve the problem on their own… at that point we’ll step in and explain it.

After the show, they handwrite an outline based on the notes they took.

  • If they take bad notes, they have to watch the show over and do notes over again while their sibling gets to have free time.

After the outline, they then handwrite the rough draft of their report.

  • We encourage nice, legible handwriting… even if it takes longer to write.

After the rough draft is handwritten, they then type the report.

  • Elementary School Kids can usually write 1-2 page reports.
  • Middle school kids can usually write a minimum of 3 pages for their report.
  • High School Kids should write at least 5 pages for a report. You will likely ask them to use multiple sources for this report.
  • The reports usually take a solid day or 2 after the show to write.
  • They’re always allowed to rewatch the show while they’re writing if they need to.

Once their report is typed out, we review it for content, structure, typos and grammar.

  • Then they go back and fix it until it’s all correct.

After their report is good to go… we have the girls stand up and read their report out loud to the family.

    And here’s a solid homeschooling tip for you.

    The report doesn’t have to be that long, though it could be. When you’re starting out with this, what’s important is the writing conveys what they learned in a manner that shows they comprehend it… as well as it’s important the language arts aspect of it is proper. At first, their reports may only be 1/4 page if that typed out and that’s okay.

    Both you and your child are learning a new way to learn, it takes time to get to where they’re busting out a report a day. Count every word they type of their report as a win and you’ll both always be winning. As more reports are done, they’ll get better, longer, more in-depth and start reading out loud very well.

    And the best tip on homeschooling ever: If you or your child is not getting it, feeling frazzled, stressed or any other negative emotion, stop and take a break… maybe even until tomorrow. If the show is just too much, forget about it and go to another one.

    And if that doesn’t cut it, go do something fun, like watch a sing-along show or movie. There’s no need to ever stress out about homeschooling, especially with younger kids.

    And after all of that… boom… you have just homeschooled the kids and had them write a report that’s based on what they learned from a screen and the lesson is done.

    There are so many educational shows on Netflix that you can use the supplement your homeschool curriculum. I hope you found a new educational series or documentary to watch this week!

    And if you love educational content, be sure to try CuriosityStream. It’s a super affordable service that will add value to your homeschool. I love the idea of putting something educational on my portable monitor for the kids while I work!

    More Family Entertainment Ideas

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