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 Feel free to leave a comment below if something is out of date.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. Modern Marvels – Blending facts with humor, this series explores history-changing technology, from wonders of construction and war machinery to everyday power tools. (It’s a little dated but still has some great content.)
3. 30 Days – Morgan Spurlock hosts this reality series that attempts to up participants’ empathy quotients by immersing them in someone else’s reality for a month. (This show adresses controversial topics like abortion, sexuality, illegal immigration, and religion. It’s for older teens. You may want to preview some episodes.)
4. Ken Burns: The War – A seven-part series brings World War II to life through the harrowing personal accounts of a handful of soldiers and others from “typical” American towns, recreating visceral scenes of the battles at Omaha Beach, Guadalcanal, Okinawa and more. (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. TEDTalks: Numbers Speak Louder than Words – Mathemagical tricks abound in these TEDTalks. Count on being amazed as these speakers give a whirlwind tour of the world of numbers. (This is just one example of all the TEDTalks available.)
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. American Experience: Silicon Valley – Meet the trailblazers who transformed California’s Santa Clara Valley into a hub of innovation in this profile of the birthplace of modern technology. (The entire American Experience series is great.)
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?