While I love to use Netflix to binge-watch my favorite shows, I really love to use it when homeschooling my children. There are so many different ways to utilize Netflix while homeschooling, and use those shows and documentaries to create your own homeschool unit studies. No, it’s not as difficult as you may think it will be. Netflix is a great way to figure out the subjects that your children will love to learn about throughout the year. Here are tips to help you learn how to use Netflix to create homeschool unit studies.
The Netflix kids section is full of appropriate shows that your little ones will enjoy, and can learn from. We love to peruse the Popular section, and find a new subject to explore. Lately, we’ve been watching lots of cooking and food-centered shows and documentaries, which has prompted me to create a cooking unit study for my 5 year old and 10 year old. Good Eats is a great show for the whole family to enjoy, and as a foundation for a cooking unit study. I suggest using shows that have more than 5 episodes, and dedicate 1 to two weeks to each. This will help you create unit studies that will last all semester.
Begin With The End In Mind
What would you like your kids to learn once you are finished with the unit study you are about to create? If you are focusing on a documentary series about the ocean, do you want them to know more about the creatures that live there? Would you like them to be advocates for ocean conservation? Why is this important to you and your kids’ development? These questions should be answered before you begin your work.
Create Vocabulary Words
Some shows have larger than life explanations of what you’re viewing. If you find your kiddo asking “Mom, what does that word mean?” Then you have a great addition to a vocabulary list for your unit study. Watch the show with your kids first, see what questions they have, and base your unit study around those inquiries. Then, watch the show again on your own. Jot down any words or ideas that YOU would like to learn about, as well. Remember, this is an opportunity for you to learn, too!
Turn Your List Into Lessons
As you look at the vocabulary words, you’ll see what words can be turned into full lessons. For example, barbecue can be turned into a full lesson about the origins of the word, how barbecues started, and even the best foods to barbecue. Heck, barbecue could be a full week of lessons, with a yummy end during Friday’s dinner. Each word should be at least one daily lesson. Shape it around the definition of the word, how you can physically learn what that word means (kids love crafts), and maybe a field trip or special project.
Use Your Library
The best part of learning on Netflix is we’re motivated to take what we watched and research even more. This is very true for children. Once the show is over, they want to learn more. Use what your kids have learned on Netflix to encourage them to checkout library books similar to that subject.
Remember Recommended Shows
Netflix does a wonderful job of recommending shows, series, and documentaries that are similar to ones you’ve just watched. Use this tool to find even more subjects that you’ll kids will like to learn. Show them the thumbnails, and have them pick the new subject. Then, start the whole unit study process again. Learning never stops, especially on Netflix!
Want more information on homeschool unit studies, and how to create them? This post is very helpful: How To Plan Homeschool Unit Studies.
I’m a member of the Netflix #StreamTeam. All opinions are my own.