(Updated 2-29-2024)

Do you worry about the ding that homeschooling can make in your household budget? Or that there will inevitably be things that knock you off your carefully planned homeschool schedule? Have you thought of homeschooling with Netflix?   

One way to stretch your homeschool dollars is to utilize resources that you already have. Netflix has 81.1 million subscribers(1) in the US and Canada, so there is a good chance you already have an account.

Educational programming is also a perfect fill-in for when life throws some friction your way. As you make your video streaming selections, you may want to avoid the public school movie/film strip experience many of us had as children – poorly produced, marginally educational content. To find content that is a good fit, experiment with search terms to spot the subjects you wish to cover or areas of interest for your unique kiddo.

a linked 30+ list to get you started homeschooling with netflix

Netflix is surprisingly void of content on the American Revolution, the Civil War, and World War I, but you’ll find a lot on World War II. There is no shortage of nature documentaries, which are always a favorite with my kids.

pro-tips for homeschooling with netflix (unschooling too!)

Set up a “Homeschool,” “School,” or maybe “Broader Horizons” profile in your Netflix account. This makes it easier to find content earmarked for homeschooling. The algorithm will then give you some solid suggestions based on all the educational content being binged by that profile.

You can have up to 5 profiles on a single Netflix account. Each profile can have its own maturity level, viewing restrictions, profile lock, viewing activity log, subtitle appearance (turning on subtitles is great reading support for emergent and beginner readers), playback settings, and most importantly the “My List.”

Did you know you can use Netflix genre codes to bypass the algorithm and search feature? Codes that may be of interest to homeschool families are at the bottom of the post. Simply click the links. You can also add a genre code number to the end of this URL: www.netflix.com/browse/genre/. When looking at program information, the genre is listed on the right side. Click the genre to see more content in that area.

the eyes – and ears – have it!

Observation is an often overlooked tool for education. The value of observation holds true on “film strip days” too. Observe your child watching the film. Are they interested? Confused? Pause for discussion as questions arrive. At the conclusion of the program ask questions to spark contemplation on the topic. “What was your favorite part?” “Is there anything this program did not cover that would have been a good addition to the show?” This can give you clues on additional content your child would enjoy.

To add a writing component to your homeschool film festival, 3 Moms Blog has created beautiful free printables for film reviews and tracking educational programming for early elementary, middle school, and high school. You can download your free printables here.

Here are 35 selections to get you started homeschooling with Netflix. These can spark interest, deepen learning, or fill in as pinch hitters on sick days. Ratings are included, but please make your own determination as to which selections are appropriate for your preschooler vs. a high school student. Many are perfect for the whole family and make a nice addition to any homeschool curriculum or unschooling effort. Netflix regularly changes its content, so check back for updates.

get started homeschooling with netflix

homeschool preschool & early learners

1. Just in Time (TV-Y) 2 Seasons, 26 Episodes. A gentle Canadian animated kids’ show, not too sappy and includes history and science-based information.

2. Octonauts (TV-Y) 2015, 4 Seasons, 67 episodes. Meet numerous friends of the sea in this British animated show.

3. Puff Wonders of the Reef (TV-G fear, violence) 2021, 1h 2m. A pufferfish seeks a home on the Great Barrier Reef.

homeschool health & wellness

4. Headspace Guide to Sleep (TV-G) 2021, 7 Episodes, 15-to-20m each. Sleep is an essential part of healthy development and function for all ages – especially children. Better understand good sleep habits with these short features.

5. Nike Training Club Collection (TV-G) 2023, 10-to-30m each. an entire collection of multiple series of workouts. Phys ed at home made easy.

homeschool history

6. Secrets of the Saqqara Tomb (TV-PG gore, smoking, violence) 2020, 1h 54m. Fascinating telling of an amazing recent archaeological find that had been untouched for 4,400 years.

7. Secrets of Great British Castles (TV-PG), 2 Seasons, 12 Episodes. Historian Dan Jones takes you on a tour through British history in this 2016 series.

8. World War II in Color (TV-MA disturbing images, gore, smoking, suicide, violence) 10 Episodes. Learn about WWII in depth with this British documentary showcasing major figures and events.

9. Attack on Pearl Harbor Minute by Minute (TV-14) 3 Episodes, 43m each. Ton of archival footage and survivor interviews walk you through the day that lives in infamy.

10. The Cuba Libre Story (TV-14 language) 2015, Limited Series of 8 Episodes. This documentary series takes a deep dive into the tumultuous history of Cuba.

11. The White Helmets (TV-PG fear, gore, language, smoking, violence). This 2016 documentary takes you inside a group of first responders saving lives under the most dangerous circumstances.

12. Waco American Apocalypse (TV-MA, child abuse references, language, smoking, violence) 2023 Limited Series, 3 Episodes, 45-to-51m each. Docuseries retells the events of the 51-day standoff and its tragic end.

homeschool language arts

13. Spelling the Dream (TV-G) 2020, 1h 23m. Be inspired by the winners of the biggest spelling contest in the US.

14. The Giver (PG-13 mature themes, sci-fi violence) 2014, 1h 37m. Read the novel, then enjoy this telling of the dark side of utopia.

homeschool math

15. Number Blocks (TV-Y) 2021, 6 Seasons, 120 Episodes. A British animated kids’ show that packs in lots of math concepts and terminology.

16. Jim Henson’s Word Party Presents: Math! (TV-Y) 10 Episodes, 26m each. Animated characters use songs and math to solve problems.

17. The Speed Cubers (TV-PG) 2020, 40m. A documentary that will have you looking for your old Rubik’s Cube!

18. A Trip to Infinity (TV-PG, mild themes) 2022, 1h 19m. Mathematicians and scientists examine this mathematical concept.

homeschool science

19. Magic School Bus Series (TV-Y) 1997, 13 Episodes. The original animated children’s series you loved when you were a kid!

20. The Hidden Lives of Pets (TV-G) 2022, 4 Episodes, 30-to-33m each. Gain insight into the interesting capabilities of man’s best friends.

21. Inside the Mind of Cats (TV-PG) 1h 7m. An interesting documentary showcases the amazing capabilities of our feline friends.

22. Wild Babies (TV-PG, fear) 2022, 8 Episodes. A British ecology documentary will have you going, “Awwww!” as you learn about the lives and habitats of a variety of species.

23. 72 Cutest Animals (TV-PG) 2016, 12 Episodes, 26-to-27m each. The titles sum up this Australian ecology documentary.

24. Island of the Sea Wolves (TV-PG, fear) 2022, 3 Episodes, 40-to-45m each. Explore Vancouver Island and meet its many inhabitants.

25. Surviving Paradise A Family Tale (TV-G, fear, gore, violence) 2022, 1 h 19m. Experience the dry season in the Kalahari Desert.

26. Our Great National Parks (TV-PG, fear) 2022, Limited Series of 5 Episodes. These inspiring nature and ecology documentaries feature President Barack Obama. Some episodes include some food chain scenes, though not extremely graphic.

27. Earthstorm (TV-14 language, mature themes) 2022, 4 Episodes, 42-49m each. Volcanoes, tornadoes, hurricanes, and earthquakes as experienced by survivors, first responders, and storm chasers.

28. Our Universe (TV-PG fear) 6 Episodes, 41-45m each. Morgan Freeman takes you on a cerebral tour of the universe.

29. Black Holes the Edge of All We Know (TV-14, language) 2021, 1h 39m. The investigative documentary follows scientists who capture the first image of a black hole.

30. Life on Our Planet (TV-PG, fear) 2023, 8 Episodes, 42-to-56m each. Life’s extraordinary journey to conquer, adapt, and survive on Earth told from an evolution perspective.

31. Brainchild (TV-G, violence) 2018, 13 Episodes. Kids learn about brain science with comedy, experiments, and interactive games. You can get 52 Brainchild free lesson plans and student handouts for elementary school or middle school at https://www.brainchildshow.com/

32. The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (TV-PG, gore, language) 1 h 53 min. This is included in science as it is inspirational in what one can do with some basic scientific knowledge and grit. I loved this movie and enjoyed sharing it with my 12-and-16-year-olds!

homeschool finance

33. Money Explained (TV-14 language, nudity, smoking) 2021 Limited Series, 5 Episodes, 22-to-23m each. Investigative docu-series pulls back the curtain on get-rich-quick schemes, credit cards, student loans, gambling, and saving for retirement.

34. Get Smart with Money (TV-PG) 1h 33m. Financial advisers point you in the direction of achieving financial goals.

homeschool faith

35. The Chosen (TV-14, fear) 2019, 8 Episodes, 30-to-59m each. TV drama of the Gospels.

Here’s the free printable for writing reports about films.

Netflix Genre Tags

Children & Family Films 783

(1) Statista. Number of Netflix paying streaming subscribers in the United States and Canada. https://www.statista.com/statistics/483112/netflix-subscribers/ accessed 2/29/2024. 

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