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Movies, TV Shows, & Documentaries for Homeschoolers

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As a homeschooling mom, I am constantly looking for new movies, tv shows, or documentaries as supplements to our current curriculum (and definitely not so I can occupy the kids while I finally take a shower! 😉).

This post will be a living list – which means whenever I find new recommendations I will add them to this post – so make sure that you save this or pin it so you can come back to it later!

I am not including the rating / maturity level for any of the recommendations on this list, so please make sure that you do your due diligence and make sure the content is within your acceptable bounds for your particular children.

Happy watching!

Table of Contents

Movies

The Martian

When astronauts blast off from the planet Mars, they leave behind Mark Watney (Matt Damon), presumed dead after a fierce storm. With only a meager amount of supplies, the stranded visitor must utilize his wits and spirit to find a way to survive on the hostile planet.

The Dish

A remote Australian community, populated by quirky characters, plays a key role in the first Apollo moon landing.

Wonder

Wonder follows the inspiring story of the Pullman family, whose youngest child, Auggie, is a boy born with facial differences.

Akeelah and the Bee

Akeelah, an 11-year-old girl living in South Los Angeles, discovers she has a talent for spelling, which she hopes will take her to the National Spelling Bee.

42

The life story of Jackie Robinson and his history-making signing with the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Marshall

Based on the early career of Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.

Men of Honor

Carl Brashear (Cuba Gooding Jr.) is an ambitious sharecropper who joins the U.S. Navy to become the world’s first black master diver.

October Sky

The true story of Homer Hickam, a coal miner’s son who was inspired by the first Sputnik launch to take up rocketry against his father’s wishes.

Call of the Wild

Buck is a big-hearted dog whose blissful domestic life gets turned upside down when he is suddenly uprooted from his California home and transplanted to the exotic wilds of the Alaskan Yukon in the 1890s. As the newest rookie on a mail-delivery dog sled team, Buck experiences the adventure of a lifetime as he ultimately finds his true place in the world.

Togo

“Togo” is the true story set in the winter of 1925 of champion dogsled trainer Leonhard Seppala and his lead sled dog, Togo. Together, they embark on an adventure across the treacherous terrain of Alaska to transport medicine to a small town.

Hachi: A Dog's Tale

Young Ronnie reveals to his classmates that his personal hero is a dog named Hachi. Ribbed by his fellow pupils, Ronnie goes on to tell the remarkable story of his grandfather’s friendship with the dog.

Hidden Figures

Three brilliant African-American women at NASA — Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson — serve as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, a stunning achievement that restored the nation’s confidence, turned around the Space Race and galvanized the world.

Colour of Friendship

A white South African girl finds herself in a difficult situation when she is sent to spend a term with a black family in America.

Moneyball

It tells the story of real-life Oakland Athletics baseball team coach Billy Beane, played by Brad Pitt. It sees Beane employ a computer-generated analysis to buy new players for the season underdogs.

Cool Runnings

Four Jamaican bobsleighers dream of competing in the Winter Olympics, despite never having seen snow. With the help of a disgraced former champion desperate to redeem himself, the Jamaicans set out to become worthy of Olympic selection, and go all out for glory.

Secretariat

Despite her lack of experience, housewife and mother Penny Chenery (Diane Lane) agrees to take over management of the family Thoroughbred farm after her father (Scott Glenn) becomes ill. Successfully navigating her way through the male-dominated world of horse racing, Chenery, together with veteran trainer Lucien Laurin (John Malkovich), fosters a gifted colt that ultimately crosses the finish line into history as the Triple Crown winner in 1973.

Seabiscuit

In the midst of the Great Depression, a businessman (Jeff Bridges) coping with the tragic death of his son, a jockey with a history of brutal injuries (Tobey Maguire) and a down-and-out horse trainer (Chris Cooper) team up to help Seabiscuit, a temperamental, undersized racehorse. At first the horse struggles to win, but eventually Seabiscuit becomes one of the most successful thoroughbreds of all time, and inspires a nation at a time when it needs it most.

K-19: The Widowmaker

Follows Captain Alexi Vostrikov (Harrison Ford) who, at the height of the Cold War, is ordered to take over command of the nuclear missile submarine K-19, pride of the Soviet Navy. His assignment: Prepare the K-19 for sea and take her out on patrol — no matter what the cost.

The Finest Hours

On Feb. 18, 1952, a massive storm splits the SS Pendleton in two, trapping more than 30 sailors inside the tanker’s sinking stern. Engineer Ray Sybert bravely takes charge to organize a strategy for his fellow survivors. As word of the disaster reaches the Coast Guard in Chatham, Mass., Chief Warrant Officer Daniel Cluff orders a daring rescue mission. Despite the ferocious weather, coxswain Bernie Webber takes three men on a lifeboat to try and save the crew against seemingly impossible odds.

The King's Speech

England’s Prince Albert (Colin Firth) must ascend the throne as King George VI, but he has a speech impediment. Knowing that the country needs her husband to be able to communicate effectively, Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter) hires Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush), an Australian actor and speech therapist, to help him overcome his stammer. An extraordinary friendship develops between the two men, as Logue uses unconventional means to teach the monarch how to speak with confidence.

Glory

Following the Battle of Antietam, Col. Robert Gould Shaw (Matthew Broderick) is offered command of the United States’ first all-African-American regiment, the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. With junior officer Cabot Forbes (Cary Elwes), Shaw puts together a strong and proud unit, including the escaped slave Trip (Denzel Washington) and the wise gravedigger John Rawlins (Morgan Freeman). At first limited to menial manual tasks, the regiment fights to be placed in the heat of battle.

Remember the Titans

In Virginia, high school football is a way of life, an institution revered, each game celebrated more lavishly than Christmas, each playoff distinguished more grandly than any national holiday. And with such recognition, comes powerful emotions. In 1971 high school football was everything to the people of Alexandria. But when the local school board was forced to integrate an all black school with an all white school, the very foundation of football’s great tradition was put to the test.

Lincoln

With the nation embroiled in still another year with the high death count of Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln brings the full measure of his passion, humanity and political skill to what would become his defining legacy: to end the war and permanently abolish slavery through the 13th Amendment. Having great courage, acumen and moral fortitude, Lincoln pushes forward to compel the nation, and those in government who oppose him, to aim toward a greater good for all mankind.

Kundun

In 1937, a two-and-a-half year old boy from a simple family in Tibet was recognized as the 14th reincarnation of the Buddha of Compassion, and destined to become the spiritual and political leader of his people. Director Martin Scorsese brings to the screen the true story of the Dalai Lama. Told through the eyes of His Holiness, “Kundun” brings to life the account of the Dalai Lama’s early life, from childhood through the Chinese invasion of Tibet and his journey into exile.

Sergeant Stubby

With World War I looming, Robert Conroy, a young Army private, adopts a stray, stump-tailed terrier. Conroy names his new friend Stubby and gives him a home, a family, and a chance to embark on the adventure that would define a century. The two quickly find themselves in the trenches of France and on the path to history. French soldier Gaston Baptiste befriends the man and dog and accompanies them along their epic journey through harsh conditions and incredible acts of courage.

The Aviator

Billionaire and aviation tycoon Howard Hughes (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a successful public figure: a director of big-budget Hollywood films such as “Hell’s Angels,” a passionate lover of Hollywood leading ladies Katharine Hepburn (Cate Blanchett) and Ava Gardner (Kate Beckinsale), and an aviation pioneer who helps build TWA into a major airline. But in private, Hughes remains tormented, suffering from paralyzing phobias and depression. The higher he rises, the farther has to fall.

Documentaries

Science Fair

Filmmakers follow nine high school students from around the globe as they compete at an international science fair. Facing off against 1,700 of the smartest teens from 78 countries, only one will be named Best in Fair.

The Biggest Little Farm

The film profiles the life of John Chester and his wife Molly as they acquire and establish themselves on Apricot Lane Farms in Moorpark, California.

Octopus Teacher

A filmmaker forges an unusual friendship with an octopus living in a South African kelp forest, learning as the animal shares the mysteries of her world.

Crip Camp

Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution, the April 2020 documentary from Barack and Michelle Obama’s production company, Higher Ground Productions, tells the true story of how a summer camp for teenagers with physical and mental disabilities laid the groundwork for a civil rights victory.

When Billy Broke his Head and Other Tales of Wonder

A video first-person road movie about disability, civil rights, and the search for intelligent life after brain damage.

The Address

The Address, tells the story of a tiny school in Putney Vermont, the Greenwood School, where each year the students are encouraged to memorize, practice and recite the Gettysburg Address. In its exploration of the Greenwood School, the film also unlocks the history, context and importance of President Lincoln’s most powerful address.

Paperclips

Searching for an effective way to teach their students about the scale of the Holocaust, school officials in Tennessee devise a unique class project involving paper clips.

The Elephant Queen

A journey of family, courage, and coming home; joining Athena, the majestic matriarch, as she leads her elephant herd across an unforgiving African landscape filled with vibrant wildlife.

Fantastic Fungi

A descriptive time-lapse journey about the magical, mysterious and medicinal world of fungi and their power to heal, sustain and contribute to the regeneration of life on Earth that began 3.5 billion years ago.

Atlantis Rising

James Cameron and Simcha Jacobovici go on an adventure to find the lost city of Atlantis by using Greek philosopher Plato as a virtual treasure map.

Chasing Coral

Coral reefs around the world are vanishing at an unprecedented rate. Divers, photographers and scientists set out on an ocean adventure to discover why the reefs are disappearing and to reveal the underwater mystery to the world.

Chasing Ice

James Balog and his team on the Extreme Ice Survey assemble a multi-year chronicle of the planet’s rapidly melting glaciers.

All of Ken Burns’ Documentaries

Ken Burns and colleagues produce critically acclaimed documentaries for public television.

TV Series

Keep Your Head Up, Kid: The Don Cherry Story

Chronicles the life of Don Cherry, from playing minor league hockey to coaching the NHL’s Boston Bruins.

The Men Who Built America

How five self-made men transformed the U.S into a global superpower.

Down to Earth

Actor Zac Efron travels around the world with wellness expert Darin Olien to find healthy, sustainable ways to live.

Home - the Story of Earth

An exploration of some of the breakthroughs that show the Earth as a vast, changing system, including plate tectonics and the forces that drive them, the way life has shaped the planet, and the dynamic chemistry of the atmosphere and oceans.

Secrets of the Museum

Following the team of experts and conservators who are hard at work behind the scenes of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

Superstructures: Engineering Marvels

Exploring the engineering marvels that are the Superstructures on our Earth.

Planet Earth

Dazzling, state-of-the-art high-definition imagery highlights this breathtaking documentary series featuring footage of some of the world’s most awe-inspiring natural wonders — from the oceans to the deserts to the polar ice caps.

Blue Planet

Sir David Attenborough narrates this critically acclaimed series that dives deep into the marine environment of Planet Earth. Although two-thirds of the world’s surface is covered with water, scientists know less about the oceans than they do about the surface of the moon.

Cosmos

Renowned astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson takes viewers on a journey through the infinite cosmos. Scientific concepts are presented clearly, with both skepticism and wonder, to give full effect.

Welcome to Earth

Actor Will Smith sets out to offer an insight into some of the world’s most remote and uncharted locations.

One Strange Rock

Explores the fragility and wonder of planet Earth — one of the most peculiar, unique places in the universe.

Liberty's Kids

Two teenage reporters cover the events of the Revolutionary War for Ben Franklin’s newspaper, The Philadelphia Gazette.

Emily's Wonder Lab

Emily Caladrelli shares science experiments to help make STEAM fun.

Bill Nye the Science Guy

Bill Nye is the Science Guy, a host who’s hooked on experimenting and explaining. Picking one topic per show (like the human heart or electricity), Nye gets creative with teaching kids and adults alike the nuances of science.

Human Planet

The six-part programme travels to extreme locations to show people who survive in those locations by building complex relationships with their animal neighbours and nature’s hostile elements. Each episode is tied to a particular habitat, including the Arctic rivers and oceans, mountains, grasslands and jungles, and deserts.

Secrets of the Castle

Historian Ruth Goodman and archaeologists Peter Ginn and Tom Pinfold go back in time a few hundred years – figuratively, at least – as they learn how to build a medieval castle using only tools, techniques and materials that were available in the 13th century.

Tudor Monastery Farm

Joined this time by archaeologist Tom Pinfold, the team turns the clock back to the year 1500 to take on the role of the lay-folk who did the bulk of the farming and crafting within monastic lands. From sheep farming and harvesting to fashioning a printing press and building a Tudor clock, the presenters are put through their paces to give viewers a real-life account of what life would have been like in 1500.

Victorian Farm

This historical documentary series finds archaeologists Alex Langlands and Peter Ginn and domestic historian Ruth Goodman on the Acton Scott estate, located in rural England and frozen in the Victorian era. The trio lives here for a year, using only Victorian-era tools and materials, such as those found scattered around the estate, to re-create everyday life during the late 1800s. The three must grow and harvest their own food, care for and breed a variety of livestock animals, maintain the estate’s buildings and even craft their own tools and furniture.

Edwardian Farm

In this historical documentary series, archaeologists Alex Langlands and Peter Ginn and domestic historian Ruth Goodman team up to re-create a working Edwardian farm. The farm, located at Morwellham Quay in Devon, becomes home for the trio for a full calendar year as they learn to live a simpler but harder life during the turn of the 20th century. They have access only to tools and materials that would have been available at the time, and take up the crafts and responsibilities of the average Edwardian farmer, from harvesting crops and raising livestock to mining and fishing.

Horrible Histories

Based on a series of books by Terry Deary, `Horrible Histories’ informs kids of historical events while being stuffed full of blood, battles and black humour. Each episode features sketches representing a selection of different eras and civilisations throughout history.

The World According to Jeff Goldblum

Through the prism of Jeff Goldblum’s always inquisitive and highly entertaining mind, nothing is as it seems. In “The World According to Jeff Goldblum,” each episode is centered around something people all love — like sneakers or ice cream — as Jeff pulls the thread on these deceptively familiar objects and unravels a wonderful world of astonishing connections that are both surprising and exciting.

Expedition Unknown

Intrigued by legendary mysteries and driven by curiosity, Josh Gates is on a mission for answers. `Exhibition Unknown’ chronicles his global adventures as he investigates iconic unsolved events, lost cities, buried treasures and other puzzling stories.

The Magic School Bus

Scholastic’s “The Magic School Bus” follows Ms. Frizzle and her class as they set off on field trips. Based on the best-selling book series of the same name, “The Magic School Bus” takes kids on a virtual bus ride. Magically transforming into a plane, submarine, spaceship or surfboard, this bus carries Ms. Frizzle and her students on super adventures and teaches them about science.

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I’m a mom to two kids, and I am super passionate about sustainable, clean living.  My husband and I are building our dream self-sustaining homestead, while homeschooling our kiddos.  Have a look around my site for ideas for your homeschool or homestead, or find some new delicious homestead-friendly recipes.  You can also check out my About Me page to learn more about me and my website.

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