As our children move into the high school years they are becoming more independent learners. To ensure they make the most of their learning experiences it is important to help them find quality resources to guide their studies.
Over the past few years my teens have enjoyed using many educational videos and documentaries to enhance in their educational efforts. Here are 5 of our favorite uses for documentaries for homeschooling high school.
I received access to CuriosityStream as well as compensation for an honest review. All opinions stated are mine.
5 Uses for Documentaries When You Homeschool High School
1 – Virtual Field Trips
If time and money were no issue my children would love to travel around the world to see and experience new places and cultures. Even though we plan field trips and incorporate educational activities with our vacations we aren’t able to visit all of the places on my teens’ travel wish list.
We have, however, figured out how to do the next best thing – take virtual field trips. Documentaries offer my children a glimpse into places they dream of visiting, without us having to pack a bag or board a plane. One place they would most like to visit is Russia. They have been able to “visit” this fascinating country with a 5-part series on CuriosityStream.
2 – Biographical Studies
One way we have been able to bring learning to life for our students is by exploring the lives of people involved in the topics we are studying. Throughout the middle school years we relied on a variety of biography book series to help our students gather interesting facts about important historical figures.
For their high school studies our teens are now digging deeper into the specific situations, decisions, and experiences that impacted the lives of the people they are studying. Documentaries can offer detailed information, and often a first-hand look, at significant events in the lives of those we are learning about.
My son has conducted a great deal of research on Winston Churchill over the years. This documentary helped him better understand the events that lead up to Churchill’s memorable political career.
3 – Historical Events
As teens move into the high school years they begin to approach history studies in a new way. They move beyond simply memorizing dates, places, and people. During high school history studies students begin to analyze historical events to understand not only what happened, but also why things happened.
Educational videos and documentaries help students look at historical events in greater detail. They may offer a look at a historical event from a different perspective or even share new information about how events from the past influence our lives today.
4 – Science Concepts
There a number of interesting science concepts for high school students to investigate including biology, technology, space, physics, and more. Reading a textbook is never going to be enough to help teens understand these complex subjects.
By viewing documentaries students can hear directly from knowledge experts about in-depth issues related to new discoveries and advances in science and technology.
This year we are studying astronomy in our homeschool high school science lessons and we have incorporated one or more videos each week to help us investigate planets, space travel, satellites, comets, and more.
5 – Writing Prompts
Writing has never been my son’s favorite activity, but he does understand the importance of building strong writing skills during the high school years. To help make writing assignments a little more interesting for my reluctant writer I have used documentaries to offer creative discussion topics and unique writing prompts.
Documentaries and nonfiction videos often pose a philosophical or theoretical question and then offer several pieces of information to support or refute their claim. These topics can easily lead students to form their own opinion about the topic and serve as a launching point for additional research to support their option.
CuriosityStream’s Curious Minds videos introduce just this type of thought prompt. My teens have used these videos as the starting point for expository and persuasive essays.
CuriosityStream – Documentaries and Educational Content for Homeschooling High School
My students are always looking for new sources of quality documentary content. One of their go-to sources for documentaries is CuriosityStream.
CuriosityStream is the first to offer ad-free, on-demand, streaming service for quality programs that educate, inspire and entertain.
CuriosityStream delivers over 1,000 titles of high quality documentaries and series created by the most accomplished producers from around the world, whenever and wherever you want to watch.
It is easy to add CuriosityStream to your homeschool resources:
Limited Time Discount
First month free plus 15% off next two months with code homeschool. Expires 11-1-2015.
Discount valid on either plan:
- Standard Definition (regularly $2.99) will be reduced to $2.50 each month for two months after the free trial month (total charge $5).
- High Definition (regularly $5.99) will be reduced to $5.09 each month for two months after the free trial month (total charge $10.18).
To sign up:
- New users need to head to curiositystream.com and click on the “Start your free month” button.
- On the next page, select preferred plan (SD or HD), input email information, and create a username and password.
- Once that is complete they will be prompted to input the payment information and will get the option to fill in a promo code box. With code homeschool, the 15% discount will be automatically applied.
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