Lisa Baldwin over at HSBA Post wrote about her Top Ten Favorite Educational Shows on Netflix. It’s a great list and we have a number of them already in our Netflix queue. All of the shows on her list are targeted towards kids under 10 and since many homeschoolers (including myself) have tweens and teens I’d like to offer a list of my own that may be more appropriate for kids over the age of 10.
Note: this list has changed since it was originally published. Since Netflix often changes what shows it offers it’s possible these shows are no longer available. I attempt to update this list two or three times a year. Feel free to leave a comment below if something is out of date.
I’ve made some personal comments in parenthesis after the description of each show. Please be aware that some of these shows may not be appropriate for tweens due to the subject matter. It’s up to you to make that decision. So, without further fanfare, here are 10 educational shows for homeschooling teens and tweens on Netflix!
Ten Educational Shows for Your Tweens and Teens
1. Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey – Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson presents new revelations about time and space in this reboot of the original “Cosmos” documentary series. (This may be controversial among my Christian readers. It’s a good show for exploring the magnificence of our universe and to generate conversations about God’s creative work.)
2. Bob Ross: Beauty is Everywhere – “The Joy of Painting” host Bob Ross brings his signature wet-on-wet style to a bevy of bucolic landscape paintings celebrating the beauty of nature. (I remember watching this as a kid even though I didn’t paint.)
3. Brain Games – This interactive series uses illusions and experiments to illustrate how our brains manufacture our reality and often play tricks on us. (My kids and I are always amazed at how our brains can so easily be tricked!)
4. Ken Burns: The Roosevelts: An Intimate History – Award-winning documentarian Burns profiles three members of one of America’s premier political families: Theodore, Franklin, and Eleanor Roosevelt. (All of Ken Burns’ documentaries are great supplements to your history curriculum.)
5. 30 for 30: Slaying the Badger – Greg LeMond, the first and only American to officially win the Tour de France, recalls the 1986 Tour and his rivalry with teammate Bernard Hinault. (If you have sports fans in your house they’ll want to watch all the 30 for 30 documentaries.)
6. The Story of Maths – Oxford professor Marcus du Satoy presents a history of math from the discovery of decimals in ancient Egypt to to the great unsolved problems of today.
7. Inside: LEGO – Travel to Lego’s Denmark headquarters to learn about the toy manufacturer’s history and production, as well as the CEO who helped revive the brand. (Another great series. This one in particular will capture your kids’ interest.)
8. Particle Fever – The creation of the Higgs boson particle, an elusive key to unlocking secrets of the universe, unfolds on camera in this landmark documentary.
9. The Last Man on the Moon – A dozen men have walked on the moon. Everyone knows the first but the last could tell you quite a story.
10. Terms And Conditions May Apply – Through interviews with technology thought leaders and futurists, this timely documentary examines the erosion of privacy in the digital age. (This is very apropos for today’s teens. They need to know what they’re giving away when they agree to something online.)
I know I missed a ton of shows. Perhaps I’ll come up with a longer list in the future. What is your favorite educational show on Netflix?