Here is a great list of shows to watch on Netflix for homeschoolers along with an educational activity so they’re not “just watching T.V.” for school.
We’re on our fifth year of homeschooling our daughters now. We started with Zoë when she was in second grade, and with Kaylee when she was in first grade. Our girls are flourishing and thriving and absolutely love homeschooling.
Homeschooling is what you make of it. If you make it hard, it’s going to be hard… if you make it fun and exciting, it’ll be fun and exciting.
While we do follow a pretty advanced homeschool curriculum with them, we like to mix things up with educational shows and documentaries.
See Lesson Plan – Report Writing Below the Show List
Here are some great shows streaming right now on Netflix that will get your kids psyched about learning via Netflix. Some shows listed are kids shows for a younger audience and some are geared towards older kids and teens.
Without further ado, here are some great titles on Netflix right now along with their trailers so you can see what they’re about too.
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. Everything is explained in a way that kids can understand and it’s relatable. Not only that, Brainchild does a wonderful job at promoting self-esteem and being your best you.
2. Project Mc2
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.
3. The Magic School Bus
If you’ve never heard of The Magic School Bus, you probably had a very sheltered childhood. It’s a cartoon that follows a class that goes on wild adventures on the magic school bus, learning about new things the entire time. It’s really engaging and interactive for kids. It’s definitely a classic!
4. The Magic School Bus Rides Again
This continuation of the classic cartoon, The Magic School Bus Rides Again covers a variety of science-based subjects from space to wingsuits to robots. It’s fun.
5. The Who Was Show
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 characters to life. It’s pretty funny and the kids like it.
6. Disney Nature – Oceans
Disney always makes such great documentaries that are engaging for kids. Disney Nature Oceans talks about the importance of water in our world, and how the ocean is an important part of our environment.
7. Our Planet
This limited series explores the different regions of our planet. Kids can learn about a variety of topographies, including the desert, oceans, jungles, forests and more.
8. First Face of America
This series dives into who scientists and archeologists believe was the first people in America. The CGI is really cool and it kept our kids’ attention.
9. Day the Dinosaurs Died
Did an asteroid slam into our Earth millions of years ago and cause a mass extinction of the dinosaurs across our planet? You’ll just have to watch and find out. This is very entertaining.
10. WWII in Color
It’s one thing to learn about World War II in a history book. It’s another thing to learn about World War II by watching black & white film. World War II in Colour makes it feel like you’re there. This an extremely in-depth look into World War II and the history behind it. This might be much for younger kids and better suited for older kids.
11. India: Nature’s Wonderland
This is a fascinating look at India and what lies outside of the cities. India is packed full of all sorts of wildlife and Nature’s Wonderland gives a great look into what’s hidden in the jungles.
12. Night on Earth
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.
13. Black Hole Apocalypse
What would happen if the Earth got sucked into a Black Hole? Something tells me you’re going to watch the trailer below to find out.
Outerspace… Dinosaurs… Shapes… and more!!! One of our Happy Mothering fans recommended Storybots and said “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.”
Didn’t find what you’re looking for here? No worries… Check out these other documentaries streaming right now!!!
Lesson Plan – Report Writing
So their homeschooling doesn’t turn into “just watching TV’ we have our girls take notes with the purpose that the notes will help them write a report on the show after they watch it.
So let’s say a series has 1-hour episodes… I would make sure the report covers no more than 2 episodes or 1 documentary. I feel after 2 hours of screen learning, everything starts to become confusing for the kids to write a report because of information overload.
Here’s how we do it:
- 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. And we’re always available to explain things they don’t understand.
- 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. If they don’t understand it then, at that point we’ll step in and explain it. This helps them learn how to solve their own problems.
- 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.
- Kaylee (4th grade) has to type a minimum of 1 1/2 pages.
- Zoë (6th grade) has to type a minimum of 3 pages.
- 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 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.
And after all of that… boom… you have just homeschooled and had the kids write a report that’s based on what they learned from a screen and the lesson is done.
There are many shows streaming on Netflix that you can use the supplement your homeschool curriculum. I hope you found a new educational show or documentary to watch this week!