Lisa Baldwin over at HSBA Post wrote in 2013 about her Top Ten Favorite Educational Shows on Netflix. It’s a great list and we had 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 Feel free to leave a comment below if something is out of date. The last time this post was updated was on September 11, 2017.
I’ve listed the rating and made some personal comments in parenthesis after the description of each show (where appropriate). Please be aware that some of these shows may not be appropriate for your 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. TV-PG)
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. TV-G)
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! TV-G)
4. Ken Burns: The War – A seven-part series brings World War II to life through the harrowing accounts of soldiers and others from “typical” American towns. (All of Ken Burns’ documentaries are great supplements to your history curriculum. TV-14)
5. Magnus – This dramatic documentary explores the life and mind of Magnus Carlsen, the charismatic Norwegian prodigy who became world chess champion. (TV-PG)
6. The Story of Maths – Oxford professor Marcus du Satoy presents a history of math from the discovery of decimals in ancient Egypt to the great unsolved problems of today. (TV-G)
7. The Kids Menu – This documentary reveals hope in the fight against childhood obesity: When given information and options, kids often choose healthier eating habits. (TV-G)
8. New Frontier – After decades in decline, space exploration appears to be on the cusp of revitalization. This series forecasts new possibilities on the horizon. (TV-PG)
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. (TV-PG)
10. Plastic Ocean – When he discovers the world’s oceans brimming with plastic, a documentary filmmaker investigates the pollution’s environmental impact. (TV-PG)
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?