One of the simplest ways to add tech in your homeschool, is through video subscription services like Amazon Prime Video, Netflix and Hulu. These services are also a great way to continue homeschooling, while you’re on an extended vacations, road trips or even when mom is sick.
Thanks to lots of road trips and an extended move this year, we’ve taken advantage of these services much more than in the past. Like audio books and ebooks, all you need is a portable device; and the learning doesn’t have to stop due to lack of time or space. Alternatively, you can stream directly to your smart TV, or a device like Amazon Fire TV or Apple TV.
Why We Love Amazon Prime Video
Amazon Prime Video is our preferred way to homeschool with video streaming. Not only is there already a fantastic selection of shows, movies and documentaries, but you always have the option of renting titles that might not be included with your subscription service. The video library is limitless.
This semester for example, we focused a great deal on African American History, as well as American History. These are some of the tiles we used in our homeschool, that were included with our subscription:
- Martin Luther King Jr. – Documentary on the life of Dr. King
- American Experience: The Abolitionists – Tells the story of how Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, and Harriet Beecher Stowe and their movement against slavery changed our nation.
- Emancipation Road – African-American history from 1625 to today.
- The American Heritage Collection – 8 episode series focusing on the Bible’s influence in American history.
- American Experience: The Pilgrims – Documentary chronicling the first decade of the first English colony in New England.
- The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross – Documentary exploring history and influence of African-American people.
- American Experience – Documentary depicting characters, events and history of the American people.
- American History for Kids – American history told from young a kid perspective.
Prime Video, allowed us to really narrow down on what we wanted to focus on, and gave us a great selection of titles to go along with that.
How We Use Netflix
My favorite way to use Netflix, is for their wide selection of documentaries, historical series and educational videos for young learners.
- Genre’s are clearly divided in smaller categories which makes searching far easier than Amazon Prime Video and Hulu.
- Some of the series we’re currently following in our homeschool are The Crown, Planet Earth I and II, Cosmos, Africa, The Civil War, The West, Galapagos, I’ll have What Phil’s Having, The Magic School Bus, and The America Bible Challenge.
- You can create separate profiles for kids, teens and adults. By far my favorite feature.
Things to remembers when using Netflix:
- They have a very large selection of everything, so you can waste a lot of time surfing, if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for. Always prepare ahead of time.
- This is not the place to look for current shows, everything is at least one season behind.
Why You Should Use Hulu
What makes Hulu a little different than Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, is that current seasons of current shows are readily available. You also have the option of watching these with commercial or commercial free.
- Hulu offers a good selection of older movies, such as Lawrence of Arabia, Ben Hur, and the The Pony Express. We often watch movies like these when studying specific time periods. The visuals, really help my girls understand the era.
- Also movies like Saints and Soldiers, The Conspirator, and shows like Forensic Files are great for understanding and more about the thinking and culture of older generations.
- Hulu, also has shows like The Joy of Painting, Ancient Impossible, The Presidents and America the Beautiful, are great for reinforcing specific subjects.
Things to remember when using Hulu:
- Note that the majority of the shows and movies I listed above, are suitable for older kids (teens).
- In my opinion, most the shows on their library are suitable for older audiences. Please beware.