I always like to have some history (or science) videos we can use when we need a “down” day, like today with kids and bad colds. Instead of just watching the latest Disney movie or some random TV show, we get a chance to learn while resting.
We also enjoy watching history videos as a family so that we can learn together.
This year while we study U.S. history, this is what we have available to watch as needed. (We haven’t seen all of these yet so I can not speak to everything on the videos.):
Liberty’s Kids – The Complete Series is always a favorite. We have had these DVDs for a few years so I am not sure the version you can buy now is identical to what we have. This really only covers the Revolutionary War and the founding of our nation, but with 40 episodes, it might take us most of the year to watch it all. At only $5, it’s quite a bargain.
Drive Thru History: American History Series is a new favorite. I just love getting to view locations that we may never see in our travels. We’ve only watch the episode about Columbus, and we’re already hooked. The “tour guide” often does silly random motions or noises (I guess to get kids’ attention), but to us, it was the only down-side of the video.
Amazon Prime Instant Video (free if you have Amazon Prime):
(Below the entire New Dimension Media list are other Amazon Prime history videos.)
New Dimension Media on Amazon Prime is a nice free option for us. Most seem to be around 15-20 minutes long. We’ve watched Roanoke: The Lost Colony and Jamestown: The Beginning so far. With live action instead of cartoons, the kids found it a little sad because almost everyone died, but we’ll try some more of the “happier” stories in the next few weeks. Here are some that look interesting (in roughly chronological order and then the Presidents in order):
The Growth Of Pre-Revolutionary America
Family & Work In Revolutionary America
Pioneer Life In Revolutionary America
Jefferson And The Declaration Of Independence
The Making Of America’S Presidency
Ben Franklin: Man Of Firsts
Washington At Valley Forge
World War I
World War II:? 1929-1939 Part One: Roots Of War
World War II:? 1939-1940 Part Two: Axis Power Rising
World War Ii: 1940-1941 Part Three: America & Japan
World War Ii: 1942-1945 Part Four: A World At War
D Day And World War II
The U.S. Presidents: (even the ones covering a number of presidents are under 15 minutes long)
John Adams & Thomas Jefferson
Madison & Monroe
J.Q. Adams, Jackson, & Van Buren
Harrison, Tyler, Polk, & Taylor
Fillmore, Pierce, & Buchanan
Johnson, Grant, & Hayes
Garfield, Arthur, Cleveland, & Harrison
Cleveland, Mckinley, & Theodore Roosevelt
Taft, Wilson, Harding, Coolidge, & Hoover
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Truman, Eisenhower, & Kennedy
Johnson, Nixon, & Ford
Carter, Reagan, & G.H.W. Bush
Clinton, G.W. Bush & Obama
Other Amazon Prime:
Monumental: In Search of America’s National Treasure (Newly added! Thanks for telling me this was on Amazon Prime.)
Squanto and the First Thanksgiving, Told by Graham Greene with Music by Paul McCandless (Newly added! I’m glad people are sharing favorites with me.)
How do I plan to use this list? I will probably let the kids select short videos from the Amazon Prime list when we have 15-20 minutes before a meal or a little down time before bed. We’ve only watched one of the President videos (the one about Taft, Wilson, Harding, Coolidge, & Hoover), and while not high-action, the kids really enjoyed seeing actual footage of the presidents as well as hearing their Presidential slogans and radio advertisements. They’ve already asked to watch more so these videos may even become rewards for cleaning or other tasks.
I hope this list is a help to others, but I know it will at least be a help to me. Do you have any favorites that I missed?
(By the way, if any of these links don’t work, please let me know. It’ll be a while until we get to watch all of them.)
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