With no sign of schools opening up in the fall, kids all across the United States (and the world) are going to be at home with parents trying to make sure that they get some form of an education.
Just letting kids loose on Netflix or the internet in general is not a good choice. Even something that looks cartoonish may not be very education. Take a look at PlayCroco Casino Bonuses. Their site mascot reminds me of Lyle the Crocodile, but he is definitely not Lyle the Crocodile.
Needless to say, a lot of parents are quietly screaming … HELP! Your silent screams are now being answered with this cheat list of the best educational children’s TV Series for a wide range of kids of different ages.
Liberty’s Kids (history, cartoon)
This is a 40 episode TV series that tells the story of the American Revolution, but don’t worry, although this series is definitely written for kids (I have watched it with my 1st grader as well as his older brothers), it has not been sanitized (so to speak).
Starting from Episode 1, two of the 4 main characters were ex-slaves. One is a free Black man named Moses, but the second ex-slave is a 8 year old White boy named Andrea. The boy and his parents were passengers on a ship, but during the ride, the parents died. So the captain enslaved the boy. When Moses and James went to the ship to retrieve printing supplies, they saw Andrea and snuck him off the ship inside the box that was supposed to have their printing supplies. In other words, instead of taking the printing supplies they had paid for, they took Andrea instead and freed him.
I thought it was interesting that the show starts off by talking about how not all Blacks were slaves and not all Whites were free during this time in history.
I would recommend watching the show with your kids and talking about the show, because, like I said, the show is not sanitized. Another story during the first episode is about taring and feathering a person and although at first it looks like a person is not harmed by tarring and feathering, it actually caused the person a great deal of pain. Like I said, you should watch the show with your kids and talk about what is shown.
Also, Episode 20, “An American in Paris” talks about the SmallPox Vaccine and what a person has to go through before they can even take the vaccine. With COVID-19 vaccines being talked about in the news, some children are going to need to be reassured that the method that was used to administer the SmallPox vaccine during the American Revolution is not what is going to happen with the eventual COVID-19 vaccine.
This series also has several episodes that talk about extraordinary Women and Blacks … and not just the big names like Abigail Adams, but several less known ones including:
- Phillis Wheatley (Black Poet who although she was technically a slave, she was treated as a member of the family)
- Abigail Adams (John Adams’ wife)
- Sybil Ludington (“female Paul Revere”)
- Deborah Sampson (a female American Revolution soldier)
- James Armistead (an enslaved African American who spied for George Washington of his own choice)
- Elizabeth Freeman, also known as Mum Bett (a slave who sues for her freedom and wins)
The series ends with Benjamin Franklin predicting that it will take another war to end slavery. The Founders of the US knew that the future would never forgive them starting the country with slavery, but they also knew that if the country was not formed, nobody would be free.
Magic School Bus and Magic School Bus Returns (science, cartoon)
Both of these series cover a wide range of science topics. The first series, “Magic School Bus” is more of the basic concepts in science. The second series goes into more details, because it is the same group of kids. They are just in the next school year.
But watching the first series is not necessary to watch the second series. My 1st grader watched the second series without watching the first series. But since the second series is not a repeat of the science topics from the first series, in terms of teaching science knowledge, it is best to watch the first series as well.
Wildkratts (science, animals, cartoon)
The Wildkratts series talks about different animals and their features.
Octonauts (science, water animals, cartoon)
This series talks about different animals that live in the water.
Dinosaur Train (cartoon)
This series talks about different dinosaurs and different time periods in the past.
Cyberchase (math, cartoon)
This series talks about math logic and the logic that is used to solve math problems.
Sid the Science Kid (science, cartoon)
This is a series about different science topics that is aimed at preschool and kindergarten level, and possibly 1st grade.
The Ruff Ruffman Show (game show for kids)
The host is a cartoon, but the show contestants are real children. The activities that the children do in the gameshow focus on science and inquiry.
This show is not a cartoon show, but it is excellent for teaching kids (and adults) about science. The stars of this show are strong advocates for S.T.E.A.M. education (science, technology, engineering, art, and math).
Dirty Jobs (science, life skills)
This is another show that is not a cartoon show, but is excellent for showing kids different types of jobs that people do. Mike Rowe is the host of this show, and he is strong advocate for Trade Schools and Community Colleges, because he knows (and teaches through this series) that there are a lot of jobs where a person can be very successful with a trade school degree or a community college degree. That not everybody needs to go into huge amounts of debt paying for a 4-year college just to “go to college”.
How to Become a Superstar Student (study skills)
This series is taught by a Middle School Teacher and it is appropriate for any student from 5th grade and above. This is a good series to watch (and talk about) with your kids.
The Great Courses Plus
This is not one TV series. This is actually a subscription service, similar to Netflix, but for educational shows (courses). The following are ones that my kids have watched and learned from:
- Mastering the Fundamentals of Mathematics (great for kids who are at the Pre-Algebra level)
- Algebra I
- Algebra II
- The Entrepreneur’s Toolkit
- Everyday Gourmet: Rediscovering the Lost Art of Cooking
The website has courses that go all of the way up through Calculus and beyond. There is also a wide range a categories:
- Programs for young learners (Courses specifically for high school students)
- Economics and finance
- Health, fitness, and nutrition
- Hobbies and leisure
- Literature and language
- Music and fine arts
- Philosophy and religion
- Professional and personal growth
- Travel (foreign language)
I will admit that some of the teachers are better than others, but if the thought of trying to help your child stay on track with science, math, history, etc. seems overwhelming to you (or your child’s teacher is not good at teaching online classes) a subscription to The Great Courses Plus is definitely worth the investment. Every middle school or high school student will find something that they will enjoy learning from.
These are just a few of the options that are available. If you can think of any other show that provide education and fun viewing that I missed, list them below in the comments.