Homeschooling with Netflix

homeschool with netflix


We’re Netflix watchers and like many homeschooling families, we’ll be using a lot of Netflix content to explore the topics we are learning about this year. Fortunately, Netflix has a plethora of educational content. From preschool cartoons to documentaries, there is something that covers almost every subject you can think of. In general, most of the shows my kids already watch on Netflix are educational cartoons.

Here are our favorite educational cartoons right now:

The Adventures of the Young Marco Polo – Follow the young Marco Polo on his journey along the Silk Road. The kids were instantly excited about this one as we had been talking about famous early explorers. Seeing what the journey might have been like in a kid-friendly format makes this an entertaining and educational cartoon we love.

Justin Time – Justin travels around the world in his dreams with a few good friends learning about nature, culture, and how things work. This show keeps the kids tuned in and they always have an interesting fact to tell me when the show is over.

Octonauts – This has been a favorite for years and when it finally came to Netflix we were ecstatic. We don’t have cable so this gave us the chance to catch up on old episodes and see what we had been missing. The kids love learning about lemon sharks and loggerhead sea turtles and I am constantly amazed at the informational content they are able to pack into their heads. One mention of the midnight zone and I get a 5 minute review of what it is and what lives there. I love it!

Magic School Bus – The Magic School Bus is consistently fun and educational. Mrs. Frizzle takes these kids on whirl-wind adventures to learn everything about science from weather to suspension bridges. This was on repeat in my house for a good six months and we still go back to watch episodes that complement or science topics.

Peg + Cat – Peg and Cat embark on adventures, all with a basic math foundation at the center of their problem. This is perfect for my preschooler who is learning early math skills, and serves as good repetition to keep my second grader thinking in a mathematical perspective. It’s good for kids to see math being used in a variety of situations. And we love the Peg + Cat songs.

There really are so many great educational cartoons to watch on Netflix. Here are a few more of our favorites that are currently available for streaming (August 2015):

Little Einsteins

Wild Kratts

Fetch! With Ruff Ruffman

Dinosaur Train

The Cat In The Hat

Monster Math Squad

Sid The Science Kid

Special Agent Oso


Netflix changes their titles occasionally and I am really looking forward to turning on Reading Rainbow for them. The first season of the award-winning show was just added to the Netflix list and it was one of my favorite shows growing up.


We will be using Netflix for a lot more than cartoons this year. We are studying exploration, early America, general math and science, and a little bit about everything else. Here are some of the titles we’ll be watching to complement our studies:

Lewis & Clark – A documentary chronicling the Lewis & Clark expedition in search of the Northwest Passage. Visit the National Geographic website to learn more about the expedition and find kids activities.

How the States Got Their Shapes – A documentary covering history, politics, geography and more that explains why the states have their current borders. Visit the website to play the Place the State game.

The Ultimate Guide to the Presidents –  This documentary covers the role of the President through time from Washington to Obama. Visit the website and click on U.s. Presidents to learn more about each president and watch additional videos.

The Men Who Built America – From railroads to automobiles to oil, this series covers the men who mastered the technology that helped grow America after the Civil War.

Human Planet – This series covers what life is like in different parts of our planet, plus the challenges that are faced by both people and animals.

Bill Nye the Science Guy – Who doesn’t love the fun and educational Bill Nye? We’ll be using this show to learn more about science! Visit the Bill Nye website for home experiments and printable activity pages.

Brain Games – This series covers all things brain! Learn how your brain processes information, from fear to optical illusions. This one is great and keeps my kids interested. Also, if you go to the Brain Games website you will find activities to try out to test your brain. Can you be fooled? Note: Some episodes may not be suitable for the younger set. We skipped the one about fear so that the littles didn’t have bad dreams.


What are your favorite educational shows on Netflix?


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