Look no further for the top educational shows and movies on Netflix – Kid tested, parent approved!
Each month I’ll be sharing our top educational Netflix picks for homeschooling. Leave a comment and tell me what you’re watching!
My kids have tried to use my mom’s landline cordless phone to change the channel on the tv. They touch & try to swipe every screen they see. They ask me to watch a movie that’s still in the theaters like “can’t we just buy it on Amazon?” The difference between the 90s & now is kind of unbelievable. I had to put up with whatever was on Nickelodeon lol. These kids have NEVER KNOWN A WORLD WITHOUT NETFLIX! Hot jeepers they don’t know how lucky they are.
Can I Homeschool with Netflix?
Yup. I absolutely love Netflix for homeschooling. It’s especially useful, I think, because I’m homeschooling multiple ages & stages – I’ve got four kids between 2 & 16 years old. Sometimes the baby just needs me. Sometimes I need to be one on one with my 8 year old for a while. So having a playlist of watch anytime, all ages documentaries & educational television is a lifesaver, especially right now when it’s too freezing to be outside for too long at once. There are a ton of Netflix educational programs that can fill this down time.
Create a Homeschool Profile to Keep Your Playlist Separate
Since you can’t set up playlists in Netflix (Why, Netflix? Whyyyy?) I created a separate profile named “Homeschooling” (I’m so creative) between my profile and the one we had to create for my in-laws so they can stop taking over my recommendations feed with
ashkhaskjhkhdfa amazing programs that I should be watching. Love you guys!
Anyway, I’ve filled the Homeschooling profile list with all sorts of Netflix educational documentaries & school-worth programs that any of the kids can watch when I get busy during the day. And some days we just all curl up under some blankets and watch together for no reason at all.
You Know You’re a Homeschooler If…
You extend TV time for even more learning! After you’ve watched a great program together, start a conversation:
- What did you like best? Least?
- I thought _____ was really interesting. What about you?
- I wonder what it would be like to make a show like this…what do you think?
- I didn’t know _____ …did you pick up anything new?
Another way to encourage reflection and critical thinking is by writing a quick movie review. It’s actually a lot of fun to do your own as well and then compare your opinions – sometimes you’ll find common ground and sometimes it sparks a little debate! Download this free, quick, one-page Movie Review page, then just print and go!
Our Favorite Netflix Educational Shows – December 2019
Winter is the perfect time to explore colder climates and habitats with your kids. Wild Alaska explores this extreme wilderness, and discovers the unique species that have learned to thrive in these harsh conditions. Stories include a mother sea otter trying to get her vulnerable baby through the early, chilly days of spring, grizzly bears rushing to feed in the short summer and finding ingenious ways to fatten up, and young polar bears taking tentative steps on ‘bouncy ice’ as the freeze begins and puts them back in their element.
Great British Baking Show Holidays
This is a mouth-watering, fun pick, so feast your eyes on these fantastic holiday creations! Educational reality TV? Definitely – this show features learning about the cultural food traditions, the baking process, and sportsmanship (GBB is the friendliest and most encouraging competition out there). Whisks up!
Magic School Bus Rides Again: The Tales Glaciers Tell
Hop aboard the Magic School Bus for a whole new adventure about glaciers that is out of this world. Includes a sheet of stickers!
This is Season One, Episode 10. The team goes on a glacial expedition to learn about the science of arctic research, what glaciers can tell us about the history of the world, and more. Don’t forget to grab the companion easy reader to extend the learning!
Magic for Humans – Holiday Episode (December 6)
In this episode, host Justin embraces the holiday spirit by visiting Santa school and teaching kids about the magic of giving. A fun Netflix educational show teaching visual discrimination, problem-solving, showmanship, and generosity!
Penguins: Spy in the Huddle
We featured this one in the past but it’s got total rewatch value – it is SO COOL! There are a million and one nature documentary programs out there, and most of them feel like if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. But these Spy in the… shows have a new and completely awesome angle! And I mean David Tennant is narrating and I could listen to him read me the phonebook so…anyway. The creators use remote controlled spy cams disguised as animals to get right up-close – animals interact the with “spies” in amazing ways; in one installment a family of primates goes into full morning over the loss of a robot they think has died. This is a can’t miss fresh angle on the typical Netflix educational wildlife documentary.
Need More? Here are some past picks for Netflix educational shows:
If you like bringing entertainment into your homeschool, you can’t miss these fun & hilarious story books – 25 Fantastically Fun Math Books with Free Printable Library Checklist!
Our past educational Netflix picks:
One Strange Rock
I’ve got to start with this new one that we’ve been watching. “Darren Aronofsky, Will Smith, and experienced astronauts join forces to tell the extraordinary story of why life as we know it exists on Earth” It is ah-ma-zing — must watch.
This six-part Netflix educational series is an in-depth look at some of China’s most impressive natural sites such as the ancient Han kingdom, the Mongol steppes, the Silk Road and the Tibetan Plateau. It’s engagingly kid-friendly – I’ve used it in a co-op history/geography course for 7-9 year olds and they were glued to it – especially when they found out what guano is lol!
Tesla (PBS American Experience)
No not the car, but the man, Nikola Tesla, an inventor who revolutionized the use of electricity with his ideas. Kids will probably recognize his magnifying transmitter, shown in this 1899 publicity photo. He also developed radio remote control, which should make any RC toy owners out there fall in love 😉
The Story of Maths
I was completely fascinated by this four-part series. Marcus Du Sautoy is a great host who draws you in and keeps you interested, even though we’re talking about math. And as an Oxford math professor, he knows his stuff. In the first episode he explores the math of Egypt, Mesopotamia and Greece. He explains the decimal system based on ten fingers of the hand, that the way we tell the time today is based on the Babylonian Base 60 number system, and other fun & relevant tidbits in an engaging and easy to understand way.
If you like The Story of Maths, check out du Sautoy’s other Netflix educational series The Code & Algorithms!
Penguins: Spy in the Huddle
(Also Dolphins: Spy in the Pod… there are several of these.)
This one is SO COOL! There are a million and one nature documentary programs out there, and most of them feel like if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. But these Spy in the… shows have a new and completely awesome angle! And I mean David Tennant is narrating and I could listen to him read me the phonebook so…anyway. The creators use remote controlled spy cams disguised as animals to get right up-close – animals interact the with “spies” in amazing ways; in one installment a family of primates goes into full morning over the loss of a robot they think has died. This is a can’t miss fresh angle on the typical Netflix educational wildlife documentary.
I’ll be back with new picks next month! In the meantime, tell me: what Netflix educational shows are you watching?
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