Documentaries for Middle & High Schoolers

Your kids have an extraordinary amount of free time thanks to the pandemic and staying at home. If your kids are homeschooling in the traditional sense or distance-learning with virtual school, they may have hours daily of free time that I’m sure they’d love to fill with Netflix bing-watching and video games… at least that is what my 8th and 10th graders enjoy. So we are trying to take advantage of this free time during the week and on the weekend by watching documentaries or documentary series each week.

Here’s a list of what we’ve been watching on Netflix & Amazon Prime:

  • American Gospel
  • Capital in the 21st Century
  • Saving Capitalism
  • Color of Compromise
  • Connected the Hidden Science of Everything
  • History 101
  • High Score
  • Oliver Stone’s Untold History of the United States
  • Kevin Harts Guide to Black History
  • The Code
  • The Social Dilemma

Discussion Questions

If your kids know you’re going to ask them questions about the documentary, they’re more likely to pay attention. Ideally, this is a great opportunity to watch with them and have the conversation as you watch. I love watching documentaries as much as I love reading books so I understand that this may not be yours or your kids ideal activity… however, it’s a great way to build your relationship with your child, build their critical thinking skills and get an idea of what’s going on in their head about current events (think mental/ spiritual health)

Every kid is different so I will not suggest what your exact questions should be… I will only say that it should be something that you and your child are interested in talking about about the documentary or let your child ask you questions. My 13 year old son likes to ask me what I remember about a time period I lived through. This week, he’s watching the documentary about video games so I’ve been reminiscing about my first Atari game console and Nintendo’s Tetris game that I lost many hours playing on my sister’s Game Boy. Enjoy this time with your kids… this has been one of the benefits of this season.


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